Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Legal adoption of Holacracy in France

Hello everyone,


We are a small organization trying to establish in France, and willing to integrate Holacracy straight from the beginning in its rules. Here is my question:

- Is there any type of company in France which allows to legally implement Holacracy and its constitution as the one and only way to rule the entire organization ?

So far I couldn’t find better than SAS (Société par Actions Simplifiée), which allows the most flexibility in the writing of the company’s articles.

Nevertheless, nominating a President remains required in order to represent the Company outside for third party...

Any idea out there from the french community ?

Any insight from anyone else?


Best to all,


5 Replies

Hi Fabien,

I'm not an expert about that issue. But I'll try to share with you some informations I hope that could be useful :

- your company may adopt Holacracy "from the beginning in its rules" without including it in the status.  Even if it's not in the status, the company can edit some declaration that make it official. You can find an example of "Déclaration d'adoption de la constitution" in the French translation/ summary of the constitution that published IGI Partners (P.19) : http://igipartners.com/sites/d..._resume_francais.pdf 

- In the French version of Brian Robertson's book (http://lexcellenceenholacracy....de-brian-j-robertson) , you can find a comment from Brian, page 175, about the fact that it's possible to adopt the Constitution within the status, but that he doesn't recomand it at the beginning of the implementation, and recomands to consult a lawyer if you want to.

- On the public service Societe.com, I see that the French pionneer in Holacracy, IGI Partners, seems to be a "SARL".

Best regards



Thanks Vincent,


Indeed, it's possible to adopt Holacracy without including constitution in the company statutes.

Actually, we have checked SARL already, as other legal forms of company with an expert in Marseille, and the result is SAS remains the best in our case.

However, SAS requires the nomination of a President, who's power could allow to reject (un-adopt) constitution in my understanding. I may be wrong...hopefully !

The experts we have found so far do not know enough about holacracy (too new), therefore couldn't answer us with sufficient accuracy. Hence my question to the community here...

Meanwhile, we have taken a project to reach out encode.org and explore further solutions, but it may take some time I guess before we get valuable answers. And we would like to avoid slowing down our evolution for such issues.

In the end, I think we will trust Life, have Faith in the mindfulness of the team we are today and cross fingers for everything to get along well within a SAS for now. Our President could be elected through the holacratic way, as defined in the constitution for elected roles. I would trust this system to be fair enough !

Anyhow, if I get to find out more about how to combine french laws and holacracy, I will definitely share it here for the benefit of all.

Thanks for your time and insights,


Jean-Michel Gode

Hi Fabien,

From my perspective, ther is any link between the type of company and the fact running Holacracy. First point is legal, second one is organizationnal, just like choosing Windows, Linux or Mac Os to run your computers.

If you need a President, just create the "President role" in Holacracy, with the accountabilities needed to fit the legal requests. Before that, the last action of the legal president will be ratifying the constitution. Then just play Holacracy.

Hope that helps,


Thanks Jean-Michel,


Creating the President role fitting the legal requirement sounds like a great idea. Well done ! We will certainly go this way now.

My initial issue came from I've always heard that the CEO (if CEO there is...) can "stop playing the game" at any time, which I wanted to avoid. It would be a shame to start a beautiful and successful business and see one person going fancy one day and wanting to remove the rules, legally !

But I believe it may not happen, due to Holacracy actually, which allows every one to feel soooooo good working for the company that it may never occur !

Thanks to all for your answers that have definitely helped to go around my personal projection...???  


All the best,


Karilen Mays

Fabian: Yes, the CEO or "power holder(s)" who ratify / decide to adopt Holacracy retain the right to change that decision.

Most organizations will make an "operational adoption" to try Holacracy within the organization before even considering a legal adoption. Until this happens, then sure the ratifiers can stop Holacracy; given the cultural impact of implementing Holacracy on an organization and its people, at least with the leaders I work with, most who decide to start don't change this decision often, or without good reason. In fact, it may be desirable that someone(s) should retain the authority to consider if Holacracy is right  for the organization...organizations evolve, after all.

There are even more steps you can take, such as making it difficult to be terminated in the organization, and decoupling this from "Lead Link"; even having more than one person decide if someone is terminated could create safety for individuals to learn Holacracy. Making it clear how this happens, and separating it from role assignments are "upgrades" to your current processes that can make a difference to individuals concerned about reactions or even retaliation to them filling their roles and learning Holacracy. Consider documenting or mapping where you are, or making a very simple adjustment along with your Holacracy implementation, and then process tensions over time to change it (termination, compensation, etc.) ongoing...keep us posted!