Non-paying business owner names to be published

The names of non-payers will now be published in the local press, as well as online

The French State and press is to publish the names and company names of people who fail to pay business suppliers properly.

This week, the Assemblée Nationale voted to adopt an amendment that authorises the administration to publish the names of businesses that are found to have defaulted on payments to their suppliers.

The names of companies and individuals who fail to pay will be published on the website of government business and fraud agency La Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF).

They will also be published in the local daily press, and incur a €150 fine for each day that their name remains unpublished.

The amendment is part of the “Pact law”, a new set of laws proposed by a governmental committee, which will include a range of changes relating to business that are designed to - in the words of economy minister Bruno Le Maire - “make life easier for all business owners in France”.

The amendments are to enter into law on January 1, 2021, and will particularly help small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

According to one MP, the amount of unpaid bills to suppliers represents €200 billion a year to the French economy.

Investigation by the DGCCRF has showed that payment levels improved last year compared to the year before, but some industries remain especially affected, including transport, construction, and food manufacturing.

The new amendment will reinforce a law of December 9 2016 - dubbed “Sapin 2” - which had already allowed systematic publication of the names of non-paying businesses on the DGCCRF website.

Now, the names will also be published in the press.

Olivia Grégoire, MP for La République En Marche (LREM), and president of the Pact committee, said: “We must show that we are uncompromising on these violations [unpaid suppliers]. We must hit non-payers where it hurts: their reputation.”

Mr Le Maire said: “Citizens will be able to see the name of the punished business in their local daily newspaper. I believe this [threat] will have a deterrent effect, because there is nothing more precious than reputation for a business.”

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