Setting up an Association in France

Make it official 

As we wrote a few issues back, Kate Palthey set up her own 1901 association - Nourir les Enfants Haiti - to facilitate donations for her daughter's Haiti Roof Project. While it's possible to set up an association in France without declaring it, for it to have legal capacity, ie: open up a bank account or apply for funding, it has to be registered as une Association loi 1901.

The Association must have at least a president and a treasurer, but should have a vice president, secretary and members, too.   How to it set up Using the website www.service-public.gouv.fr, download the following three documents:

- Création d'une association; Cerfa n° 13973*03 (2 pages) - Demande d'insertion au Journal Official (2 pages)

- Status de votre Association (4-5 pages, including an example to follow or rewrite by hand).

- In addition to the three documents, a self-addressed stamped envelope (€0,58) needs to be included.

AssociationThere are a few things to keep in mind. Be careful in naming an Association. There are millions already out there and the name will have to pass by the INPI (Institute National de la Propriété Intellectuelle) to see if it has already been used somewhere else; in which case they can refuse the request due to infringement.

When filling out the Statuts de votre Association form, specific goals and means to reach these goals will need to be outlined and, although it says the numerous articles to fill out are “free” to each Association, it’s much more favourable to be specific from the beginning (examples can be found on the website, too). This is the most time consuming part.

To make changes or to dissolve the association the application has to be made directly to the Prefecture or sous-prefecture. Send the three documents plus the self-addressed stamped envelope by post with accusé de réception to your closest Prefecture or sous prefecture, which in the Alpes-Maritimes, would be Nice (route de Grenoble) or Grasse: Sous Préfecture, Associations Régies par la Loi 1901, 3 ave General de Gaulle, BP 43179, 06131 Grasse Cedex.

The process is said to take between 5 to 10 days but the sous prefecture in Grasse deals with about 30,000 requests a year so it could take longer. 

Tax deductible

This procedure is entirely free except for listing with the JO (Journal Official de Prefecture) – about €44 for less than 1000 words, which they bill after the Association’s creation is confirmed. In order for donations to be tax deductible and to be able to provide a proper tax donation receipt, the Association must be found in the JO.

For associations with “food-helping” goals (to assist in the feeding at a school and emergency supplies like water, medicine, etc, in disaster areas) 75% of the donation is tax deductible (so with a contribution of €40, the donor pays only €10) and in 2012 up to €513 can be deducted.

For other non-profit associations (like a Telethon) the deduction may only be 66%.

The relevant form – Reçu au titre des dons à certains organismes d’intérêt general, which is Cerfa n°11580*03 – can be downloaded from the website. See also www.associations.gouv.fr


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