Distinction between SIREN and SIRET in France

19/05/2023 - EU Tax Compliance Distinction between SIREN and SIRET in France Image by vectorpocket on Freepik

When embarking on business endeavors in France, it is crucial to grasp the intricacies of administrative and statistical identification.

Among the essential identification numbers used in the country, SIREN and SIRET stand out. This blog post aims to unravel the disparities between these numerical designations and shed light on their profound significance for businesses operating within the French landscape.

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What is SIREN?

SIREN, which stands for Système d'Identification du Répertoire des Entreprises, is a nine-digit identification number assigned to every registered business entity in France. It serves as the primary identification number for companies, organizations, and self-employed individuals. The SIREN number remains constant throughout the life of a business, regardless of any changes in its legal structure or physical location.

The SIREN number is unique to each business and is widely used in various administrative and legal contexts. It is essential for interacting with government agencies, filing taxes, obtaining permits and licenses, participating in public tenders, and conducting business transactions. The SIREN number acts as a reliable reference point for authorities and partners when identifying a particular business.

What is SIRET?

SIRET, an acronym for Système d'Identification du Répertoire des Établissements, is an extended version of the SIREN number. It comprises 14 digits, with the initial nine digits representing the SIREN number and the remaining five digits representing the establishment code.

The establishment code in the SIRET number distinguishes between different physical locations or branches of a company. This means that a single business can have multiple SIRET numbers if it operates from multiple establishments. Each establishment within the same company is assigned a unique five-digit code to identify its specific location.

The SIRET number plays a crucial role in statistical analysis, as it helps differentiate between various branches or establishments of a company. It is particularly valuable for tax authorities, labor agencies, and statistical institutes. Moreover, the SIRET number facilitates accurate tracking of economic activities by providing detailed information on the geographical distribution and scope of businesses.

The practical importance of SIREN and SIRET

SIREN and SIRET numbers are not just bureaucratic formalities; they hold significant practical importance for businesses operating in France. Let's delve into their practical applications:

  • Administrative Procedures: The SIREN and SIRET numbers are essential for interacting with various administrative bodies, such as tax authorities, social security agencies, and trade organizations. These numbers streamline administrative processes, including registration, permits, licenses, and certifications. They facilitate efficient communication with government entities and ensure compliance with legal obligations.

  • Taxation and Accounting: SIREN and SIRET numbers play a crucial role in taxation and accounting. They are required for filing tax returns, submitting financial statements, and tracking business activities for tax purposes. These numbers enable tax authorities to accurately identify businesses and ensure proper tax assessment and collection.

  • Statistical Reporting: The SIRET number aids in statistical reporting, providing valuable data for economic analysis and market research. Statistical institutes use this information to assess business activities, measure economic performance, and make informed policy decisions. The SIRET number helps create accurate reports on employment, revenue, industry sectors, and geographical distribution of businesses.

  • Business Relationships: SIREN and SIRET numbers serve as a means of identification and verification for business partners, suppliers, and clients. These numbers enhance credibility and facilitate smooth transactions by ensuring accurate information exchange and reducing the risk of errors or misunderstandings.


In conclusion, the SIREN and SIRET numbers are not mere bureaucratic formalities but hold practical importance for businesses operating in France. These identification numbers streamline administrative procedures, facilitate taxation and accounting, provide crucial data for statistical reporting, and foster trustworthy business relationships.

Understanding and effectively utilizing the SIREN and SIRET numbers is essential for complying with legal obligations, maintaining accurate financial records, and establishing credibility within the business landscape. By recognizing the practical significance of these numbers and integrating them into their operations, businesses can navigate administrative processes more efficiently, make informed decisions based on reliable statistical data, and build strong partnerships in the dynamic marketplace of France.

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