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5 common beliefs about SIS (Sociétés d’Impact Sociétal)

  1. You have to establish a company before applying for approval

False! Contrary to common beliefs, it is not mandatory to create a company before applying for approval. The application can be submitted by existing companies or those in the process of being established. If the company meets legal requirements, meaning it defines a clear and precise social purpose and identifies its impact indicators, you can submit an application at any stage of your company's life.

  1. You are not allowed to make profits

False! The SIS (Société d’Impact Sociétal) remains a business and must be profitable as such. While it is true that an SIS with 100% impact shares in its capital must reinvest all its profits in maintaining and continuing its activities to achieve its social purpose, every SIS needs to generate financial surpluses to survive. Likewise, the distribution of dividends is permitted, just like in traditional companies.

  1. You have to engage a statutory auditor for the company's annual accounts

True and false. The involvement of a statutory auditor (réviseur d’entreprise) is only required if the turnover of the SIS exceeds 1,000,001 euros or if its net assets surpass this amount. Micro-SIS and medium-sized SIS are not obliged to appoint a certified business auditor. Medium-sized SIS have the option to use an auditor, significantly reducing costs. Micro-SIS, on the other hand, only need to conduct a self-assessment. In any case, every company approved as an SIS must annually produce an extra-financial impact report detailing the implementation of the SIS's performance indicators.

  1. The accreditation is free

True! The SIS approval has no cost for the company. Neither the application nor the approval process incurs any fees for the company.

  1. The accreditation process is lengthy and complex

False! The SIS accreditation procedure was completely revised and simplified in 2020. It is quite straightforward, provided you have a clear idea of the societal mission you want to promote through your entrepreneurial project. A consultative commission of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social and Solidarity Economy generally meets monthly to evaluate approval applications. If your application is approved, you will have a 3-month period to complete the necessary steps (registration with AED, affiliation with CCSS, etc.). Throughout the process, you can benefit from free assistance from the Social Business Incubator.

Are you interested in the topic of social enterprises? We recommend exploring additional content in the dedicated category on impact here!

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