Opening of the French company register ‘SIRENE’ (+10 million businesses and branches)

« Sirene Repository » The biggest database on company civil status

The SIRENE company register gathers economical and legal information on close to 10 million businesses and branches across all sectors of activity in metropolitan France and overseas departments is now available on our open data platform: On average, 10,000 updates are submitted every day. The INSEE works with a lot of actors, like commercial courts clerks, gathering information on matriculations, radiations and changes made to the repository. This makes SIRENE among the world’s most complete databases, it contains essential economical information and identification, including:

  • The address of facilities and their legal status;
  • The SIRET/SIREN ID Number: The SIREN number is a unique ID number assigned to each business by the INSEE. This number identifies a legal person from its creation until its termination. The SIRET number is assigned to each branch. It comprises the SIREN number and an internal ranking number (NIC). With those two codes, all the facilities in France are identified;
  • The APE code: Every operating business has a code characterizing its major activity in reference to the classification of economic activities. This code allows precise statistics on activity sectors in France;
  • The database for the size of the workforce by segment for businesses and facilities…

SIREN is one of the “données de reference” (key databases used as a reference) defined in the Digital Republic Bill as it is likely to be widely and frequently used by a great number of actors and its quality is essential for reuses.

A major economic impact

By opening this register, France honors its commitments in the G8 Open Data Charter and could join the leading countries that already opened their company registers like Norway, the UK, Australia, Indonesia or Romania.

All actors, public (administrations, territorial authorities…) and private (companies, non-profits…) will access the data free of charge. Opening the repository will enrich the list of databases already published in open data by the INSEE, one of’s largest data provider. It will complement company data released by the DILA (Boamp, Bodacc and Balo), the INPI (brands, patents, and drawings), Infogreffe and the National Register of Commerce and Companies (RNCS).

The awaited economic impact is massive, given the positive externalities associated with this opening: availability of key data, increasing reliability of studies and market researches, efficiency of public policies etc. Furthermore, a lot of examples demonstrate the awaited effects [1]of Open Data:

  • clear increase in reuses in terms of volume, diversity and frequency. In France, the switch to gratuity of public service repertories for government entities from the national geographic institute (IGN) saw 20 times more reuses,
  • a very advantageous cost/benefit ratio both for the public and private sector – 1 to 13 for Australian geospatial data-,
  • revitalization of the data-based service industry, with new actors and a bigger innovation incentive for historic actors. In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s decision to open its data allowed the creation a multibillion meteorological industry.[2],
  • transaction cost reduction and information asymmetry reduction whose benefits could concern private and public actors. Denmark calculated that 70% of the benefits of open data would benefit private sector and 30% public sector, with a return on investment of €14 million in benefits for only €0,2 million in costs, in 2010[3],
  • strengthened effort against corruption and tax evasion thanks to information asymmetry reduction. In Canada in 2010, a tax evasion of $3,1 billion was identified thanks to open data. [4]. In Ukraine, a $1,8 billion fraud was detected [5].

[1] See « Open Data for Economic Growth » (World Bank, 2014) et « The Generative Mechanisms of Open Government Data » (Jetzek Thorhildur, 2013), « Cost and benefits of data provision » (Victoria University, 2011).