Frequently asked questions about doing business in Italy Frequently asked questions about doing business in Italy

Q: I would like to sell hand-made crafts in Italy on a temporary basis during the Christmas holidays, not from a stand, but as itinerant trade. Do I need a license?

A: As a matter of principle, the activity at stake is regulated in Italy (art. 28 and followings, D.Lgs. 31 marzo 1998 n. 114, as modified by d. lgs. 59/2010) and it requires authorisation since it involves occupation of public soil.

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Q: I work in France as installer of electric equipment. Can I move to Italy in order to practice the same activity?

A: In Italy installer of electric equipment is a regulated profession. The Ministerial Decree n. 37/2008 describes the requirements that an installer must fulfil. Article 4 of the D.M. lays down the professional qualifications which shall be complied with by the individual entrepreneur or by the legal representative of the company or by the technical project coordinator.

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Q: I would like to open a clothes shop in Italy. Is authorisation required?

A: In order to start a business activity in Italy, it is necessary to be registered at a Chamber of Commerce. Setting up a permanent organisation can be done by means of ComUnica, which allows to comply with all communication obligations to the competent authorities (ComUnica is valid for tax, social security and welfare purposes) with one single declaration submitted electronically.

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Q: I work as a tourist guide in Germany. Can I provide my services in Italy on a temporary and occasional basis?

A: In Italy the activity of tourist guide requires a professional qualification.

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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.

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Q: My company, established in Poland, has an opportunity to work in Italy on electrical installations in retail stores. We would like to bring our own staff from Poland. What rules apply?

A: Workers who carry out their activity in the territory of a Member State of the EU other than the State in which they are normally employed fall within the scope of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers. This directive applies in the framework of the cross-border provision of services, i.e. when their activity in a Member State other than the one where they are employed takes place for a limited period of time.

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Q: The company I work for would like to expand its business in Italy. Do we need to open a branch?

A: As a matter of principle, a company which wishes to carry on economic activity in Italy may use a representative office, with no need to set up a subsidiary or branch, as long as it is merely conducting marketing, advertising and other non-transactional operations. In other words, that would be the case if the activity which the company would like to carry out in Italy is preparatory to business development rather than substantial.

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Q: I am an entrepreneur based in Czech Republic. Can I provide cross-border building services in Italy? Do I need a special permit?

A: Construction services may involve different requirements depending on the activity which is going to be performed. As a matter of principle, mason and carpenter activities are not regulated in Italy and they do not require a specific professional qualification; they are considered as craftsman activity. Building surveyors and engineers are regulated professions which require a prior declaration to be submitted to the competent authority.

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Q: I have a company in Croatia and I want to establish an affiliate in Milano, Italy, to expand my business. Can you help me with the procedure?

A: Setting up a permanent organisation in Italy, namely a branch, requires registration with the local Chamber of Commerce.

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