How do I correct an error on French legal documents?

The legal side of your business in France can include some complicated paperwork, especially if French is not your first language. Mistakes are often common, especially when entrepreneurs take care of their legal documents themselves and, as the French administration has never had the reputation of being easy, unfortunately these mistakes often cause a knock-on effect of consequences that can have entrepreneurs tearing their hair out. So if you’ve made an error on your French legal documents, how can you correct that?

Luckily, since 2018 when the ESSOC law (called Loi du Droit à l’Erreur) was voted in, it seems that French officials are now more understanding about certain errors, but only if they are unintentional and if the business manager is proactive enough to correct it immediately. The same goes for legal documents that are out of date.

Legal expert Manuel Nadaud, a lawyer from our partner film Wilegal who is a specialist in business law, takes us through some of the ways to correct legal documents.

How to make corrections in legal documents

Like everything relating to law, certain rules have to be respected and particularly those which apply to the corrections of deeds of documents that have been drawn up by an official person such as a notary for example.
In order to correct some parts of the text that need to be updated or changed, there are several steps:

1. Cross out and number the invalid words;
2. Indicate a reference in the margin or at the bottom of the page;
3. Indicate the corrected words in this reference.

Finally, and for the corrections to be acceptable, the signatories must initial the words crossed out as well as the corrections.

Last but not least, it is important to remember to indicate the total number of invalid, crossed out or added words and to have all the signatories sign the general meeting minutes that mention these changes. Without this, the corrections won’t be accepted.

With accounting, statutory audit, or legal matters in general, it is best to consult with an expert lawyer. Entrepreneurs would do well to concentrate on the business side and instead hire a specialist that gives peace of mind and saves significant costs in the long run.

For more information on legal services, you can consult our Legal Services page or take a look at our articles on How to Dissolve a Company in France or How to Buy Or Sell a Business in France. Or feel free to contact us on 0033 (0) 1 53 57 49 10 to find out how Euro Start Entreprises and Wilegal can help you. Alternatively, you can send us an email from our contact page and we will be happy to discuss your requirements with our bilingual partner lawyers who are dedicated to answering your questions.

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