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.

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).

more about the Business Register ...


The business activity can be carried out as a single independent entrepreneur in the legal form of an individual company, or commercial partnership or joint stock company can be formed. If the company is a sole proprietorship, the entrepreneur is solely responsible and its entire assets are subject to business risk; in commercial partnerships, the shareholders are responsible (since 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 their capital contribution. In companies, the civil liability  linked to business activity falls on the administrators.

Application to the Business Register is performed online using the Single Business
Communication procedure, a single declaration which provides all the information required by the tax, insurance and social security authorities. Through this declaration the business receives its tax code (partita IVA) from the national Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) and registers workers' compensation information and social security information with the relevant competent authorities, INAIL and INPS.

more about the Single Business Communication procedure ...  


Setting up a local business unit

If a company headquartered in another European Union Member State wishes to carry out activity in Italy which is limited to preparatory business development with no VAT implications (such as promotion, advertising and similar activities not involving production or sales), then a local business unit can be established, and the company will not be subject to taxation in Italy. The local business unit must be registered in the Economic and Administrative Repertory (REA) at the local Chamber of Commerce, through the procedure Single Business Communication.


for additional information ... ATECO

The ATECO service (in Italian) offers businesses and professionals an overview of the administrative procedures required to set up and exercise their activity in Italy.


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Last updated: 14/04/2020

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