Newspaper publishing, really?

… continuing the story.

Whatever the amount of money you make (and the way you earn it), you have to declare all your incomes . . . the best option ended up creating an independent activity as a micro-entrepreneur.

Becoming a micro-entrepreneur was relatively easy, and what is more, free. The only tricky part was to specify my activity; podcaster was indeed not among the listed options. Anyway, to complete the online registration process, I chose the most closely approximate, namely Professional Blogger (INTERNET).

Few days later, I received my SIREN1 number, as well as an APE code, among other information relative to my new “company”. This post is about the latter: the main activity code (APE).

The APE code

Briefly, this code makes it possible to identify the main branch of activity of the company. The (French) National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, abbreviated INSEE, allocates this 5-character (4 digit and 1 letter) identifier at the time of registration based on the declared activity (see above). As suggested by the name of the Institute, this code is used mainly for statistical purposes.

The attribution of the APE code is a statistical operation based on the French classification of activity (NAF rev. 2, 2008).

5813Z Edition de journaux

5813Z Newspaper Publishing

How come? Did I make a mistake when I registered my activity? Could the problem come from the description I provided (i.e. podcaster, blogger, scientific writer, and scientific consultant)? Granted, I used the word “writer”; yet, this has nothing to do with the national or regional daily press. No way! I am clearly not into the newspaper publishing sector. What is this 5813Z activity anyway?

There is actually a search tool to determine this code; it navigates up (or down?) through levels increasingly detailed. The current version2 of the nomenclature (NAF rev. 2) has five nested levels:

  • 21 sections,
  • 88 divisions,
  • 272 groups,
  • 615 classes,
  • 732 subclasses.

Subclasse 58.13Z: Newspaper Publishing

Publishing newspapers, including advertising newspapers, appearing at least four times a week. This information may be published in print or electronic form, including on the Internet.

Changing my APE code?

Now, during my inquiry about this APE code, I discovered on the official website of the French administration that if the APE code does not correspond to the main activity, it is necessary to request a change. Accordingly, I contacted the INSEE to ask for info about the APE code attribution. To summarize my email, I asked whether the APE code 5813Z was correct – for my blogging (and podcasting) activity – and asked if I would have to change this code, what would be the procedure.

Of course, I explained what a podcast is and did the same for blogging (to be on the safe side; you never know). I also admitted that, after going through the NAF nomenclature, I could not identify any good match3 indeed. Last, I acknowledged that it was probably hard to assign a better code because these activities (podcasting and blogging) were still unknown (in France).

Audio file + RSS feed = Podcast
All right reserved

Their answer did not take long to come:

“The EPA code 5813Z is the one that is attributed by default to ‘professional bloggers’.”

Explaining that:

“The nomenclature of French activities dates from 2008 and has therefore not yet evolved with the new activities related to the Internet.”

Before to conclude:

“So, your EPA code is well suited to your business (pending an update of the nomenclature!).”

At least four times a week

Yet, they clarified that:

“On the other hand, there is a distinction between 5813Z if the publication of articles is almost daily (more than four times a week) and 5814Z if not.”

And me to reply, half joking:

“All I have to do is to be active (or even very active) to justify my EPA code because for now my podcast is monthly. But the blog is more frequent…”

Back then, this blog did not yet exist! In fact, this exchange took place even before I registered my domain name and got my web host. Now, even though blogging was not my intent at first (see Why a podcast?), I have published regularly since (see One year, already?). However, as you may already know, I post only once a week – every Thursday. That is obviously not enough to fulfil the 5813Z requirement! As for the podcast, needless to remind you that I had to postpone its launch (see 100th post – a bittersweet celebration!).

To be continued4

1 A France-specific 9-digit identifier given to French business (and nonprofit associations). ^
2 Established in 1993, the NAF has undergone two revisions. The current version of the nomenclature is the NAF Rev.2, in effect since January 1, 2008. It succeeded the NAF Rev.1, in force from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2007. One of the objectives of the last revision was modernization in order to reflect the economic developments of the past twenty years. Apparently, the emergence and growth of blogging in the late 1990s remained unnoticed by the French administration! Not even mentioning the advent of podcasting in 2004… ^
3 Actually, I suggested few alternatives, the most relevant being 5819Z – 58.19.29: online publication of informative content. ^
4 Wrecking my cliffhanger: I never had to change my APE code. The problem (i.e. the connecting thread that will run through this mini-series) is a completely different one! ^

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