Autoentrepreneurs are the obsession of commentators as soon as one evokes the creation of companies and its high historical level. Last year, according to INSEE, the counter stopped at more than 995,000 companies created, including 641,000 autoentrepreneurs. This is forgetting societies a little too quickly. Because, in 2021, they are the ones that are progressing the most: an increase of 24.3%, against +17% for self-employed people.
The annual report published by the National Council of Commercial Court Clerks (CNGTC) and Xerfi Spécific confirms this trend. Last year, all statutes combined, more than 390,000 companies were created. INSEE only counts 270,000, but its definition is restrictive. Exit for example civil real estate companies! INSEE only includes in its count “operating legal units with no predecessor, [et qui ont] set up new means of production.
The court clerks count all the new legal structures registered in the trade and companies register in France with the exception of Alsace-Moselle. In these three departments, the register is kept there by officials of the Ministry of Justice and their statistics are still not consolidated with those of the clerks. We can therefore estimate the number of companies created last year at around 400,000 throughout the country.
Nearly one in two companies in SAS
The comparison with 2019 sets the tone. Just before the health crisis, the clerks counted 307,000 companies created, a difference of more than 85,000 units with 2021! Already last year, when the creations also displayed insolent levels despite two confinements, Sophie Jonval, the president of the CNGTC, had evoked a “paradoxical” situation. This year, Thomas Denfer, the vice-president, can only note “the resilience of the entrepreneurial fabric”. The collapse did not take place. The year 2021 looks like the last two but bigger.
The simplified joint stock company (SAS) status is still the most attractive. It alone represents more than 46% of all companies created last year. Civil real estate companies (SCI) account for a good quarter of creations; and limited liability companies ( SARL ) for nearly 20% of the total. About two-thirds of the companies have share capital of less than 2,500 euros; while 12.1% have a capital greater than 10,000 euros.
The most buoyant sectors of activity are real estate activities, which represent 30% of registrations, followed by business advice and services (15%), trade (12%), construction (10%), financial and insurance (7%), accommodation and catering (5%). Note the under-representation of transport and warehousing (barely 2.5% of company registrations) while this sector hosts a quarter of business creations according to the INSEE count, confirming, if necessary, the importance of autoentrepreneurs in delivery.
Increase in voluntary radiation
The data published by the clerks also brings to light an unexpected phenomenon. Nearly one out of two company deregistrations proceeds from a voluntary process. In total, there were just over 210,000 company write-offs last year. The massive aid to support businesses during the health crisis has caused a windfall effect, according to the analysis of Laurent Frelat, vice-president of Xerfi Spécific. Companies have cleaned up their accounts and are withdrawing without debt. The most represented sectors are trade, real estate and business consulting.
Finally, the wall of failures that some predicted did not materialize. And shouldn’t catch up with us in 2022 either. Insolvency proceedings remain at a low level, some 23,000 only for companies. This is 15,000 less than in 2019.