Association event: organization and authorization

November 2017

The organization of an event by an association may be subject to various rules and formalities to be respected. It is mainly the concepts of public order and security that will motivate the attention of authorities.
Regarding sales during a demonstration organized by an association, the rules on VAT are described in our article Association and VAT taxes.

Events in a private place

An associative event can be organized in a private place. In principle, it is not mandatory to obtain prior administrative authorization. However, it is necessary when the planned activities during this event are considered at risk to participants (boxing tournament, bungee jumping, etc.).

Protest on the streets

When the event takes place on public roads, it is necessary that the organizers previously declared to the prefecture or the town hall from where the gathering will take place. This declaration is a simple deposit and not a manifestation of demand. It is only when the prefecture considers that it is likely to cause disturbances to public order that a prohibition may be made against him. However, when the event is the organization of a sporting competition, special rules exist.

The declaration should enable to inform authorities about the content of the planned gathering. It must include in particular the identity of the organizer (s), the expected number of demonstrators, the rally venue, the route planned in case of courses, etc. It is important that the content of the description actually corresponds to what is projected by the organizers. The Penal Code punishes and 6 months imprisonment and fine of € 7500 does establish an incomplete or inaccurate statement to mislead the object or the conditions of the proposed demonstration. In addition, the organizers are liable to the same penalty when:

  • hold a demonstration has not been a statement;
  • hold the event despite its prohibition.

Security staff

When the planned event has a large number of participants or potential risks to people, the necessary security conditions must be ensured. In this case, it is possible to use a service order which may in particular mission is to prevent incidents, to avoid accidents or to frame a procession. It may be composed of members or people outside it (by using a private security company for example).

The establishment of a security service can sometimes be requested by the authorities when the situation demands. It can also be provided by the police (in this case, it is possible that the costs generated by this mobilization are charged to the government by association).

See also


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