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Obtain a Business License in Italy

Obtain a Business License in Italy

Obtaining a business license in Italy involves acquiring specific permits and fulfilling regulatory requirements depending on the type of business you intend to operate. Some sectors you might need a business license for include: food and beverage production, healthcare services, construction, transportation, and professional services. Our specialists in company formation in Italy will assist not only in the registration procedure for your business, but also with obtaining the necessary licenses.

Types of Italian business licenses

There are various types of Italian business licenses and permits that depend on the nature of the business. We present you some examples:

  • A travel agency license granted by the Italian Tourism Authority (ENIT) and the local Chamber of Commerce for starting a travel agency;
  • For businesses in the food and beverage industry, a business license in Italy for food handling help from the local health department is mandatory;
  • Professional licenses for services such as legal, accounting, or consulting are obtained from relevant professional associations or governing bodies;
  • For import/export or trading activities, a trade license from the Chamber of Commerce is needed;
  • If you plan to set up a business in Italy that engages in construction or real estate development, you need permits and approvals from local building authorities.

Opening a restaurant in Italy

Opening a restaurant involves several steps, including obtaining the necessary business license in Italy.

The business owner must obtain the SAB certificate (certificate for serving food and beverages) or have relevant experience in the restaurant sector, generally at least two years in the last five years. Additionally, he/she must have a high school diploma in hotel management.

For serving food and beverages, you will need a food handling permit. If your restaurant sells or serves alcohol, you must notify the Customs Agency. You may also need authorization from the municipality to display your restaurant’s sign.

Some other Italian business licenses that might be necessary include obtaining rights from the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) if you intend to play music within your restaurant.  Registration with CONAI (Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi) is necessary if you use packaging in your restaurant operations to comply with recycling and waste management laws.

Our specialists in company incorporation in Italy can give you more details if you open a restaurant.

Requirements for foreigners

Non-EU citizens intending to open a company in Italy must obtain the Nulla-osta declaration. This confirms that there are no impediments to starting a business. The Nulla-osta is issued by either the Comune or the Chamber of Commerce, depending on the situation.

Additionally, non-EU citizens must provide a certification of financial and economic parameters, which confirms possession of a minimum of 17,667 euros, as mandated by the Foreign Office Decree of May 11, 2011.

These requirements are essential for foreigners to open a company. Following these steps, they can start their business and apply for the necessary business licenses in Italy.

Statistics about industries in Italy

Plenty of industries require business licenses in Italy. These statistics showcase the number of enterprises in Italy in 2021 by sector and highlight the diverse businesses operating in the country:

  • 24.3% of the total (approximately 1.5 million companies) operated in the commercial sector;
  • Business services and construction sectors accounted for approximately 14.6% and 13.8%, respectively;
  • 93.3% of Italian legal entities are categorized as “micro” businesses (less than 10 employees).

Besides helping you obtain your business licenses, we also handle payroll in Italy. In addition to company formation services, we can also recommend our partner accountants in Italy for tax-related matters.

If you need more information on the Italian business licenses and how to obtain them based on the nature of your business, do not hesitate to contact our team.