Non-EU citizens who intend to start, modify, or cease a self-employed activity or to submit an application to the Business Register as sole proprietors, partners in partnerships, directors of corporations, managers of foreign company branch offices, or who take on an administrative role within a company, must verify that they possess the requirements listed below, depending on whether they decide to:
- remain resident abroad: verification of the condition of reciprocity. The condition of reciprocity implies that in the foreign citizen’s country of origin, an Italian must be allowed the same treatment that the non-EU citizen is requesting. It can be verified at the Italian embassy in the country of origin and checked by the Italian legal entity receiving the application (notary in the case of establishing or another notarial deed of a company, Chamber of Commerce to become a director of a company, etc.). The condition of reciprocity is verified by consulting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- reside in Italy: possess a valid residence permit that allows the carrying out of self-employed work (Article 6, paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree 286/1998).
Even non-EU citizens who take on the role of technical managers for certain activities, or family collaborators of craft businesses, must be in possession of a valid residence permit.
If you hold a residence permit for study or professional training purposes or an EU residence permit for long-term residents released for work by another EU country and want to become self-employed, you must apply for conversion of your permit online at the Single Desk for Immigration c/o the Prefecture.
From January 1, 2021**, British citizens residing in Italy as of 12/31/2020 can exhibit, in the absence of a final residence permit, a certificate of residence in an Italian municipality (or substitute declaration pursuant to Presidential Decree 445/2000) and a copy of the application submitted to the competent Police Headquarters for the issuance of the permit.**
The following residence permits allow the exercise of self-employed activity in Italy:
- self-employed work
- subordinate work
- family reasons
- awaiting employment
- humanitarian reasons (political asylum, statelessness)
- special cases (domestic violence or labor exploitation)
- self-employed work for innovative start-ups
- minor assistance
- special protection
- job search for students
- acts of particular civic value
- long-term residents
If you meet the necessary requirements, registration in the Business Register must be done attaching the following documents:
- citizens already in possession of a residence permit (or the EU residence permit for long-term residents): copy of the valid residence permit;
- citizens with a residence permit being issued, the slip of the registered letter sent to the Administrative Services Center in Rome through Poste Italiane at the time of submitting the application for the residence permit and a photocopy of the passport with a “D” type entry visa;
- citizens with a residence permit being renewed, a copy of the expired residence permit, and the slip of the registered letter sent to the Administrative Services Center in Rome through Poste Italiane at the time of requesting renewal.
If the residence permit is being issued or renewed, a provisional receipt with the note “Residence permit being issued/renewed” will be given to the individual. Once the residence permit is obtained, the individual must present it to the Business Register for regularization of their position. If there are obstructive reasons in submitting the application/renewal of the residence permit the Business Register will suspend the practice.
Residence permits for immigrants awaiting an entry visa
Self-employment visa according to the entry quotas established by the Flows Decree:
If you want to come to Italy and become self-employed, first of all you must ask the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your country if there are any positions available – among those established by the Flows Decree – for the self-employed work you want to undertake.
If a position is available, you must apply for a provisional go-ahead for self-employment at the Police Headquarters in order to obtain a self-employment residence permit.
You will need the go-ahead to apply for a self-employment visa at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your country.
After entering Italy with the visa, you can apply for a self-employment residence permit at the Police Headquarters.
When applying for a visa, if you want to obtain the necessary documents in Italy, you can:
- enter the country with a short-stay visa; or
- appoint an attorney – who resides in Italy – to retrieve the documents on your behalf.
how to apply for a provisional go-ahead for self-employment
1. Fill out the form you are given at the Police Headquarters;
2. Deliver the following documents to the Police Headquarters:
• if you have appointed an attorney, bring the power of attorney authorization letter duly translated and legalized by the Italian Embassy or Consulate of your country and any other document depending on the type of work you wish to undertake:
REGULATED BUSINESSES (FOR WHICH AUTHORIZATIONS, LICENSES OR ENROLLMENT ON APPOSITE BUSINESS REGISTERS OR ASSOCIATIONS ARE REQUIRED):
- a declaration of no impediment (the so-called “go-ahead”) to the exercise of regulated businesses, issued by the competent Administration:
The statement of the absence of obstructive reasons to the exercise of the activity (“nulla-osta”) and the certification of reference parameters are issued, if requested, also to foreigners who intend to operate as working partners at companies, including cooperatives, formed for at least three years.
The Chamber of Commerce is responsible for issuing the “nulla-osta” only for activities that do not require checks or authorization (free activity) or if such checks are within its jurisdiction. In cases where verifications are instead under the jurisdiction of other bodies, they will issue the nulla-osta (at the Chamber of Commerce, therefore, only the possible certification of economic-financial parameters will be requested).
- the Certification of financial parameters issued by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture;
This is a document issued by the Chamber of Commerce that certifies the minimum financial availability reference for carrying out self-employed work. It materializes in a statement containing the amount that the non-EU citizen must possess to start an activity as an individual entrepreneur.
This amount is currently set at 17,493 euros for every type of activity (based on the parameters established in the Decree of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of May 11, 2011).
The Attestation is issued by the Chamber of Commerce only when the activity that the non-EU citizen intends to carry out has an entrepreneurial character.
The Chamber of Commerce is not required to issue the attestation to consultants, freelancers, and foreigners intending to hold corporate positions in companies already active in Italy.
Verification of the actual possession of the corresponding economic resources by the foreign citizen will be provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- a certification of recognition of foreign qualifications or attestations of professional skills.
- LIBERAL PROFESSIONALS
- contract (if stipulated with an Italian company, the certificate of registration with the Business Register is also required; if the contract is stipulated with a foreign company, it must be authenticated by the Italian Embassy or Consulate);
- client’s declaration of responsibility stamped by the Territorial Labour Inspectorate (ITL) stating that the contract shall not give rise to a subordinate employment relationship.
- a copy of the company’s latest Financial Statements (in the case a corporation) filed with the Business Register or a copy of the latest tax declaration (in the case of a partnership or individual company), showing the company’s ability to pay compensation;
- business registration certificate;
- a copy of the declaration of responsibility sent by the legal representative of the company/ cooperative to the Territorial Labour Inspectorate (ITL) stating that the contract shall not give rise to a subordinate employment relationship;
- a declaration by the company’s legal representative guaranteeing compensation of over € 8.500 (for the year 2019) for the working partner or office holder.
After you (or your attorney) have delivered the above documentation, the Police Headquarters issues the provisional go-ahead for self-employment (within 20 days).
Within 180 days from the day you were granted the provisional go-ahead for self-employment, you must apply for a self-employment entry visa at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your country.
You will be asked to provide:
- a document proving that you have a place to live in Italy basis;
- a document proving that your incomes exceed Euro 8.500,00.
SHAREHOLDER, COMPANY DIRECTOR OR HOLDER OF CORPORATE POSITIONS
- The Certification of financial parameters is not required for those who intend to become self-employed as directors in companies and cooperatives that are already operational or for those entrusted with corporate functions.
- The following documents are required instead:
- Business Registration certificate of the company you intend to work for. The company must prove to have been in operation for at least three years;
- a copy of the Company’s Articles of Association;
- a copy of the declaration of responsibility sent by the legal representative of thecompany/ cooperative to the Territorial Labour Inspectorate (ITL) stating that no employment relationship will arise out of the contract;
- a declaration by the company’s legal representative guaranteeing compensation of over € 8.500 (for the year 2019) for the working partner or office holder;
- a copy of the latest Financial Statements filed with the Business Register in the case of corporations, or a copy of the latest tax return in the case of partnerships, proving the company’s ability to pay compensation.
Self-employment visa for particular categories of workers
The following categories of workers can request permission to enter Italy for self-employment purposes at any time:
executives or highly specialized personnel employed by:
- companies with registered offices or branches in Italy;
- representative offices of foreign companies with head offices located in the territory of Member State of the World Trade Organization;
- Italian companies or companies from another EU Member State with head offices located in Italy.