In 2010, Italy implemented the 2006/123/EC Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council, regarding services in the internal market.
The Directive deals with three areas: the first two are concerned with the removal of barriers to the freedom of establishment and the free movement of services, and the third concerns the establishment of mutual trust between Member States.
In particular, the Directive stipulates:
- the setting up of single information points through which the company may complete all the necessary formalities necessary to carry out its business;
- the obligation to provide the means to complete these procedures electronically;
- the removal of legal and administrative barriers to the development of the services sector.
The Services Directive National points of single contact
The Services Directive is aimed at making life easier for companies that wish to start a business or provide temporary services within the European Union, in their home country or abroad. It obliges Member States to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy, to simplify formalities for companies and to make public administrations more efficient.
For the implementation of the Directive, each Member State had to set up the "Points of Single Contact (PSC)", e-government portals which help businesses to complete the administrative procedures online.
The PSC allows you to get all the relevant information and to send the applications online to the competent authority through a single point of contact. All PSCs form part of the European Network EUGO, and thanks to a central website, one can easily access all PSCs in Europe. Naturally, it is also possible to contact the competent authorities directly.
Intra-Community transfers: requirements
Intra-Community transfers concern exchanges which take place through the transfer of goods between entities belonging to different Member States. Thanks to the reverse charge mechanism the transfer will not be subject to VAT in the country of the seller but in the destination country.
An invoice must be sent in order to transfer or carry out services. With regard to the legal nature of the recipient, economic operators can confirm the validity of the VAT number provided by their EU-based clients with the competent tax authority of the territory where they are domiciled for tax purposes.
This can also be confirmed through the Agenzia delle Entrate’s website.
In addition, the Italian law stipulates tasks for those who intend to carry out intra-Community operations. In general, it is stipulated that:
- the taxpayer states his intention of starting intra-Community operations when the VAT number is set up;
- the Financial Administration may refuse such authorisation;
- taxpayers who carry out intra-Community operations are placed in a special database by way of a census.
Invoices related to transfers of goods and services provided within the EU by national operators for entities subject to VAT in other Member States must:
- show the identification number for VAT purposes, of the recipient or the client in the Member State in which they are based;
- be numbered progressively for each calendar year;
- include an indication, instead of the amount, that they are non-taxable and exempt operations, with reference to the specific regulation.
Proof of qualifications
All EU and non-EU foreign citizens who plan to exercise a professional activity in Italy can request recognition of professional qualifications attained abroad.
Applications for work permits
For the purposes of self-employment and the declaration of the starting / changing of the business activity to the Business Register by foreign entrepreneurs, one can distingish between:
- European Union Citizens (or equivalent);
- Non-EU citizens
EU citizens have the right to settle in Italy, while non-EU citizens require special qualifications (visa and residence permit) to enter Italy and stay there in order to be self-employed.