Code APE/NAF | What is it for and how to find it?

The APE code (Principal Activity Used), or NAF code (French Nomenclature of Activities) is an identification number that, in particular, allows to determine the branch of activity of your company. Do you need to know the APE code of your company? Want to know what it’s for? We tell you everything in this article.

What is APE code?

APE stands for “Principal Activity Exercise”. The APE code is therefore simply the code that makes it possible to identify the main field of activity (we speak of branch) of a company or self-employed person.

It is assigned by INSEE when you form your company (or establishment) and conforms to the classification of the Nomenclature of French Activities (NAF). This is the reason why we also talk about NAF code.

APE or NAF code is made up of 4 digits + one letter.

All companies and organizations are affected by the APE Code, from the self-employed to individual entrepreneurs and companies including associations.

What is APE/NAF code used for?

The APE code is primarily used by INSEE for statistical purposes. It doesn’t really have any legal value as there is only activity actually done and activity declared to the RCS or RM.

That said, it is also used to determine which collective agreement applies to your company and therefore appears on the pay slip. It may also have an impact on your company’s group mutual insurance and supplementary pension.

On the other hand, APE codes may also be used during calls for tenders: service providers are sometimes rejected if their APE codes do not conform to those required by the end customer. Finally, it is the APE code that has been used since the start of the Covid health crisis to determine access to solidarity funds for, among other things, certain activities.

How to find your APE code?

Allotment of APE code is done automatically by INSEE while registering your company. You don’t have to do anything on your part except be very careful while indicating the corporate purpose as your APE code will depend on it.

While registering, remember to take a look at the list of APE codes to accurately formulate your corporate objective.

To find out the APE/NAF code of your company, once registered, you can consult directly on the INSEE website using your siren number or at your personal location on the Business Formalities Desk website.

It is also reflected in the K-bis quotation and payment slip of your company.

How to change APE code?

Do you believe that the APE code assigned to you no longer matches your main activity? You do not agree with the category assigned to you by INSEE?

It is possible to change the APE code:

It is even more important to clearly define its corporate purpose and hence get the correct APE code, as the process of changing the APE code is relatively long and tedious.

List of APE/NAF Codes

France has 732 different codes, classified by the NAF, consisting of 21 sections, 88 divisions, 272 groups, 615 classes and therefore 732 subclasses. Difficult to find your way? Let us explain by giving some examples.

If you are a software publisher, your APE 62.02A is defined as:

coded action
Section J information and communication
Division 62 Programming, consulting and other computer activities
Group 62.0 Programming, consulting and other computer activities
Class 62.02 IT consulting
subclass 62.02a Consulting in computer systems and software
APE code of a software publishing company

If you are a manager of a construction company that builds individual homes, the APE code is 41.20A and is divided as follows:

coded action
section f Construction
Division 41 building construction
Group 41.2 Construction of residential and non-residential buildings
Class 41.20 Construction of residential and non-residential buildings
subclass 41.20a construction of individual houses
ape code of individual house construction company

Last example, if you drive a food-truck, your APE is as follows:

coded action
Division I Accommodation and Catering
circle 56 Repairs
Group 56.1 Restaurants and Mobile Dining Services
Class 56.10 Restaurants and Mobile Dining Services
subclass 56.10C fast type restore
APE code for a food-truck manager

For a complete list of APE codes, INSEE offers various tools on its site, including a tree structure or search by keyword. This is the most reliable way to access the updated APE/NAF code list.

questions to ask

What is the difference between NAF code and APE code?

In fact, the two terminologies NAF and APE are completely identical, and the NAF code is therefore identical to the APE code. Most administrative documents will ask you for the APE code, but some forms ask for the NAF code.

What is the APE code of a company with multiple activities?

If your company performs multiple activities, the main activity should be used to determine the APE code. To find out, it is the activity that employs the most number of employees or gets the most turnover. If your activity is both industrial and commercial, it is the industrial activity that predominates if it receives more than 25% of the turnover.

How to find out the APE code of your company?

To locate your company’s APE code, you can find it on the INSEE website or at your in-person location at the Business Formalities Desk if your company is registered. It is also reflected in the K-bis quotation and payment slip of your company.

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