Starting a business or establishing a branch
Setting up a new business in Italy requires mandatory registration in the national Business Register maintained by the network of Chambers of Commerce (in italian).
Registration in the Business Register is required by law of all business persons exercising any of the following activities:  
the production of goods and services;
involvement in the movement of goods;
transportation of persons or things by land, water or air;
banking and insurance;
auxiliary activities related to the previous activities (agencies, intermediaries, etc.);
agricultural activities (registration is optional if annual turnover is below a fixed threshold. 
The Business Register allows access to information for companies and is also the virtual help desk for all the procedures for setting up a business  and its life cycle.
The business activity can be carried out as a single independent entrepreneur in the legal form of an individual company, or it can form a partnership or joint-stock company. If the firm is a sole proprietorship, the entrepreneur is solely responsible and its entire assets are subject to business risk; in partnerships, the shareholders are responsible (as in addition to the company, the shareholder is also liable for the obligations and debts of the company) and finally, in the limited liability companies, the liability of the shareholders is limited to what is conferred. In companies, the civil liability linked to the business activity falls on the associates.
Registration is done digitally thanks to the Single Business Communication,procedure that allows everyone to fulfill obligations to the competent authorities with a single valid declaration for tax, insurance and social security purposes.
Through the Single Business Communication the new entrepreneur receives the VAT number and fulfills the registration obligations at:
Registration of the local Unit /branch
If the activity carried out in Italy is only preparatory for commercial development (promotion, advertising and other non-commercial acts) and transactions relevant to VAT are not carried out in Italy, the company which has its registered office in another EU Member State will not be subject to taxation in Italy.
The local unit must be registered in the Economic and Administrative Repertoire (REA) at the Chamber of Commerce, through the Single Business Communication.
The ATECO (in italian) service is available for an overview of the administrative requirements.

Last updated: 11/12/2020


Regulatory reference: (in italian)

  • Civil Code (articles 2188 - 2194);
  • Law n.580 / 1993 - Reorganization of the chambers of commerce, industry, crafts and agriculture, as amended by Legislative Decree no. 23/2010; 

  • Presidential Decree No. 581/1995 - Regulation implementing article 8 and article 9 of law No. 580/1993 on the establishment of the business register and the directory of economic and administrative news;

  • DPR n.558 / 1999 - Regulation for the simplification of the business register discipline regarding business register;

  • Law n.340 / 2000 - Provisions for the delegation of rules and for the simplification of administrative procedures;

  • Law 40/2007 (art. 9) containing urgent measures for the protection of consumers, the promotion of competition, the development of economic activities and the business start up 

  • Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers 6 May 2009 Identification of the technical rules for the methods of presentation of the single communication and for the transfer of data between the relevant administrations, in implementation of article 9, paragraph 7, of the law decree  January 31, 2007, n. 7

  • Law decree 18 October 2012, n. 179 Further urgent measures for the growth of the country, adopted  with amendments by Law 17 December 2012, n. 221

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