Q: I am moving to Italy at the end of the year to open my own restaurant. Do I need special authorisations in order to produce and provide food?
A: As a matter of principle, in order to start the activity of food and beverage provision ("somministrazione di alimenti e bevande"), it is not necessary to obtain an authorisation; it is sufficient to submit prior notice (SCIA: “segnalazione certificata di inizio attività”) to the competent authority.
Food and beverages provision is subject in Italy to a professional qualification and it is thus a regulated profession. In order to practice the mentioned activity, it is also necessary to comply with the hygienic standards and with the safety and security rules laid down by the national legislation.
Article 71, para. 6, of legislative Decree n. 59/2010 (which implements in Italy directive 2006/123/EC on services in internal market) lists the professional requirements for anyone who wishes to work in the field of food (selling food products and serving food and beverages).
Accordingly, besides the morality requirements (absence of criminal convictions for the specific crimes listed), one of the followings is required:
- participation to a course on selling, making and serving food, managed or recognised by the Region;
- having worked (for at least two years in the previous five) as an employee of an undertaking which operates in the same field;
- holding a diploma (secondary school or university degree) which certifies education in the field of sale, preparation and serving of foods.
For the activity you mention, the competent authority is the “Comune” (local authority) where you would like to start the activity. More information as well as application forms and list of documents to be submitted can be found on the website of the local authority: Local authorities for icences and permits
Last updated: 24/01/2017