What Does a Company's NAF Code Mean?

The term “NAF code” is common to any legal business. If your business is registered, you must have come across this term before; and if you want to register your business, you're going to get one.

Discover in this article all the information to better understand the NAF code

Definition of the NAF code

The NAF code of a company constitutes a number assigned to it by the INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) with strict reference to the Nomenclature of French Activities (NAF), see the list of popular NAF codes.

The NAF was created in 1993 and was the subject of two revisions: the first in January 2003, and the second in January 2008. It designates more precisely the nomenclature of productive economic activities in France and has had 732 positions since 2008 against between 2003 and 2008. These 732 positions cover all the classes and subclasses of legal economic activities that can be carried out in France.

The NAF code or “NAF number” is assigned to a company when it registers or declares its activity. It is a code made up of 5 alphanumeric characters, including 4 numbers and a letter, since the revision of the NAF in 2008.

Thus, it concerns all professional activities. It can therefore be attributed to a legal person as much as to a natural person, master of his activity. In fact, the NAF code, also known as the APE code (for Main Activity Exercised code) is actually extracted from the NAF directory.

The attribution of the NAF code to a company is therefore done according to its corporate purpose in order to serve well-defined goals.

Usefulness of the NAF code

In general, the NAF code has a statistical vocation and seeks to facilitate the organization of economic and social information.

More specifically, it is useful for:

the census of French economic activity

Thanks to the NAF code, all start-up companies are easily registered and taken into account during statistical studies.

statistical and economic studies by sector of professional activity

Since each NAF code represents a particular economic activity, it is possible, for example, to evaluate the annual production of all companies with the same NAF number. Therefore, even a study of the conjunctural and structural economic situation of an activity class or subclass is also possible.

good business management

Indeed, thanks to the NAF number, a business manager can easily find out about the collective agreement which is assigned to his staff. In fact, the NAF number appears on pay slips, payslips, purchase orders, quotes, etc.

tender management

In the event of calls for tenders, companies registered using the NAF code in the economic activity concerned are directly selected to intervene.

On the other hand, the NAF code is of no use in the event of legal litigation, because it has no legal value. Also, the NAF number is not unique for each company, but it is unique for each type of main economic activity. Several companies carrying out the same main activity can therefore receive the same NAF code.

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