Becoming self-employed

How and where do you register as a self-employed person?

Becoming self-employed

Not everyone applying for self-employment can receive a permit as admission depends on the availability under the quota system. Bear in mind that it is extremely difficult to find out whether there are any residual places before submitting an application. It is advisable to try to contact the visa office at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In Italy, certain legal requirements have to be met to become a self-employed professional. It is not enough to simply claim self-employment and start trading. You must first gain approval from the court on what type of business you wish to enter into; if approved it must then be registered with the Business Registrar, Companies House, Tax Registrar and Duty Registrar.

Further requirements include:

  • You must have obtained a certificate of registration (certificato di iscrizione).
  • You must register with the local tax office (intendenza di finanza).
  • You must be registered for VAT (Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto, IVA)

Forms of self-employment


Freelancing is the simplest way to be self-employed in Italy. Once you have registered your company and received your VAT number, clients who you invoice will withhold 20% for tax payments to the government and pay it themselves.

Sole trader

Becoming a sole trader means registering your company as a limited liability company, with yourself as the only shareholder. For more information on this, see our information on setting up a company.need to link once the page is active on the site

Paying Taxes

It is important to note that permanent residents in Italy must pay taxes on income earned worldwide. An individual can qualify as a permanent resident in two ways:

  1. They have been recorded as living in the country for more than 183 days of the year.
  2. Your life is based in the country, e.g. your children attend school there.

Non-residents simply pay tax on income earned in Italy.

Further reading

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