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Criminal record of companies: why is it necessary? Law 

Criminal record of companies: why is it necessary?

As legal entities, companies often break civil or criminal laws , sometimes without knowing it, and as individuals they can be convicted.
At a time when the corporate social responsibility is very prominent and where one is pushed to verify with whom one does business ( under penalty of sometimes having his responsibility questioned ), the criminal record allows precisely to measure the effort they make to remain respectful of the laws of the countries in which they operate.


The company is subject as much as the natural person to the laws of the Republic. This is why the legislator often treats them as natural persons with, for example, article 768-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which also provides for a criminal record for companies.

Again, the role of the criminal record is to provide information on the various offenses committed by legal persons with some differences in the criminal record of natural persons.


There are actually 2 criminal record bulletins for legal persons .

Newsletter n ° 1

Bulletin n ° 1 is issued only to the judicial authorities . This bulletin provides information on the various convictions and convictions .

It contains the majority of final convictions for crimes or offenses committed by legal persons. This bulletin does not provide information on convictions for offenses in the first four classes.
It should be noted that the 4th and 5th class offenses are also mentioned, followed by restrictive legal measures such as prohibitions, incapacities or disqualifications.
It also provides information on all convictions handed down by foreign judges.

Newsletter n ° 2

The bulletin n ° 2 is given to the administrative authorities and the prefects for for example public procurement, calls for tender, MFA audits or in the context of legal proceedings.
It can also be issued to the president of the commercial court during court proceedings.

The bulletin n ° 2 does not inform about the minor infractions such as the fines whose amount is lower than thirty thousand euros, the simple police infractions and the convictions excluded from the bulletin according to the opinion of the judge.
On the other hand, after a conviction has been pronounced, the defense may plead that the mention of this sentence not be entered on the ballot paper No. 2 . In case of rejection, the legal person has a period of 6 months to make a request in this matter. This request for the recovery of convictions in Bulletin 2 is essential in the event of incapacity, prohibition or disqualification pronounced by the judge.
In the favor ofdigitalisation of justice and transnational collaboration of the judiciary , national criminal records registers are networked between several European states. These are France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic.


On this point, the judicial record of legal persons is different from that of natural persons: unlike individuals with the Criminal Record Bulletin No. 3, the shareholders and associates are not entitled to easily obtain a copy of the criminal record. of the legal person they control wherever they own in whole or in part. In other words, the number 3 criminal record does not exist for companies .

However, the legal representative of the legal person may request from the Public Prosecutor that the contents of the criminal record be communicated to him. This representative can not, however, obtain a copy of the record.

Certain conditions are required before any criminal record is read to the applicant. It is the proof of his identity and his representative status . He must also provide the registration number of the trading company or the company on the basis of the SIRET number. As soon as the conditions are fulfilled, a date is set for the reading of the bulletin 2 of the criminal record.

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