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Commercial Development

Do you want to create, expand or transfer a point of sale? Do your commercial equipment projects require authorization from the CDAC?

The AEP accompanies you in your steps to achieve and support your project. Whether you are independent, franchisee, expansion manager or promoter, we will provide you with the keys to the success of your project with a view to obtaining your authorisation.

Today, requests for commercial development are examined from an urban planning angle since commercial establishments must meet the requirements of regional planning, the quality of urban planning and the protection of the environment.

The opening of a sales area greater than 1000 m² requires the prior obtaining of an administrative authorization issued by the Departmental Commission for Commercial Development. The regulations applicable to commercial town planning have been modified by la Law No. 2014-626 of June 18, 2014 relating to crafts, trade and very small businesses  (known as the PINEL Law) specified in  Decree No. 2015-165 of February 12, 2015 relating to commercial development.

What is the CDAC?

The Departmental Commission for Commercial Development is competent to examine applications for authorization for commercial exploitation. Chaired by the prefect, each CDAC is made up of 7 elected officials, including the mayor of the municipality where it is located, and 4 qualified personalities in matters of consumption, sustainable development and regional planning (article L751-2 of the code of trade).

The committee decides on the projects submitted to it by a vote by registered ballot. The authorization is acquired only if the project collects the favorable vote of the absolute majority of the members present.

Which projects are subject to authorisation?


Are concerned (article L752-1 of the commercial code) the projects of:

  • creation of a store or extension of an existing business with a sales area of more than 1,000 m²,

  • change of business sector for a store with a sales area of more than 2,000 m² (or 1,000 m² for a predominantly food-based business),

  • creation or extension of a commercial complex with a sales area of more than 1,000 m²,

  • reopening of a store with a sales area of more than 1,000 m² after being closed for 3 years,

  • creation or extension of a permanent customer collection point for retail purchases ordered electronically, organized for access by car.


What is the procedure ?


The procedure differs depending on whether or not the project requires a building permit.

If the project requires a building permit:
Since February 14, 2015, a “one-stop shop” procedure allows the project leader to submit a single file, covering both the building permit application and the commercial operating authorization application. The application is filed with the competent authority in matters of building permits, generally the town hall of the municipality of establishment. This authority asks the CDAC for an opinion.
If the CDAC issues an unfavorable opinion on the project, the mayor cannot issue the requested building permit.
If the CDAC issues a favorable opinion, the mayor can issue a building permit which will be worth, in addition to the authorization to build, authorization for commercial exploitation.

If the project does not require a building permit:
This procedure may concern, for example, the creation of a store with a sales area of more than 1,000 m² resulting from the transformation of an existing building, the change of sector of activity, the reopening to the public of a store that has ceased to be operated for 3 years or the extension of the sales area of a store without expanding the building.
In this case, the project leader must directly contact the CDAC with their application for commercial exploitation authorization prior to the realization of their project. The CDAC then makes a decision: authorization or refusal of the project.

What are the criteria for evaluating a project:


The CDAC takes into account the effects of the project with regard to regional planning, sustainable development and the preservation of the environment (article L752-6 of the commercial code).

The components of the application file are listed in the town planning code and articles R752-6 and R752-7 of the commercial code.

What is the timeframe for reviewing a file?


The CDAC secretariat checks the admissibility of the request and once the file is complete, the request is registered and then examined by the territorially competent department responsible for town planning and the environment.

The CDAC has a period of two months, from receipt of the complete file, to decide on the project. After this period, the opinion or decision is deemed favorable.

The opinion or the decision is notified within ten days to the petitioner and to the mayor of the municipality of establishment and an extract is published in the collection of administrative acts. If the opinion or the decision is favourable, the extract is also published in two regional or local newspapers distributed in the department.

What are the remedies?

The opinion or decision of the CDAC is subject to appeal. This must be exercised, prior to any legal action, before the National Commission for Commercial Development, within one month of the notification or publication of the notice or decision. The CNAC then has 4 months to decide (article R752-30 and following of the commercial code).

The Administrative Courts of Appeal (CAA) are competent (article R311-3 of the code of administrative justice) to judge in first and last resort appeals brought against decisions taken by the CNAC.

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