A legal unit is a legal entity of public or private law. This legal entity can be:
- A legal entity, whose existence is recognized by the law independently of the persons or institutions which possess it or are members;
- A natural person, who, as independent, can exercise an economic activity.
It must be declared to the competent administrative bodies (court registries, social security, tax office, etc.) in order to exist. The existence of this sort of unit depends on the choice of the owners (for organisational, legal or fiscal reasons). The legal unit is the principal unit registered in SIRENE.
This definition of the legal unit must not be confused with that of the enterprise, which is considered a being a statistical unit.