How to: Register the VAT number in Italy

VATEvery Italian company has a VAT tax number (Partita IVA) on top of the company number. The two numbers are usually identical but there is an exception: if you have a non trading entity that cannot have a VAT number – such as a Representative office or a Light Branch – and you upgrade it to a company – such as a full Branch – the two numbers will always be different.

Contrary to other EU countries, getting a VAT number in Italy is quite fast. If the company formation is managed correctly, the company get its VAT number in 24-48 hours. Unfortunately the VAT number could be not enough to trade.

The new VAT regime in Italy

From 2011 the VAT number can be used to sell to Italian clients only. If you want to trade with foreign clients, you need to register your company in a second VAT Registry (in Italian “Registrazione del VIES“).

The main reason of the new regime is to prevent VAT frauds. As a result, all the existing Italian companies have been deleted from the online VAT Registry of the European Union, and they should apply again. This could be quite frustrating because the European Registry is used by your clients to be sure that you run a legitimate company. If they check – and if you haven’t get the VIES registration – they will not find your company, like if the company doesn’t exist.

In short, if you run an international business the VIES registration is a must. On the contrary, if all your clients are Italian, the traditional VAT registration is fine.

Who can register your VAT number in Italy and where

A) The first registration (Partita IVA) is usually managed during the company formation, by the notary public or by your lawyer. Any Italian company is required to apply for a VAT number, even if dormant.

The only exceptions are the entity that cannot trade: the Representative Office and the Light Branch (they can’t invoice thus they can’t have a VAT number. Only a company number).

B) The registration of the extra VAT number (VIES) is managed by a chartered secretary or by your accountant. It usually takes anywhere between three weeks and two months, and the process takes place at the local Tax Agency.

Because the Italian Tax Agencies are often overflow with their job, it is useful to remind your accountant from time to time that a regular and direct contact with the Tax Agency could be very effective to speed up the process. The accountant could be annoyed to be schooled by a foreigner like you, but in my experience it could be very useful. Be diplomatic – as usual – and you will rarely fail.

Image source: the VAT number search engine of the Italian Tax Agency


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  1. Richard 15 September 2012 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Stephano. I sent you a question in the other post (the one about subsidiary vs branch). Do we get the PARTITA IVA for our US LLC when we start the subsidiary or branch? Or do we have to pay these guys as an extra expense?

    • Stefano L Tresca 12 November 2012 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Yes Richard the Partita IVA (VAT number) is included in any subsidiary and branch (if your consultant does the job properly). You don’t need to pay any extra.

      However if you don’t need to issue invoice in Italy, it’s better to avoid subsidiary and branch (they are expensive) and go for a representative office or light branch. I replied to this point in the comments here:

      Kind regards
      SteFano … with F 🙂

      • Glenn 31 August 2013 at 4:05 pm - Reply


        I have openenned a consulting firm in italy, and need a VAT (IVA) Number.

        As you say you are retired, who can I talk to in order to help me process an application.


        • Michele Spadaro 13 September 2013 at 4:24 pm - Reply

          dear sir,

          you will be contacted as soon as possible.

          All the best!

  2. petr chlusmky 29 October 2012 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Hi, i have a question – I sold goods to my italian customer in 2010 – he has a partita IVA, but now i cannot see him on VIES and my czech goverment want me to pay a IVA my myself. As i cas read in 2011 all companies with p.IVA was deleted from VIES and has to register again? Is there any chance to get the proof of registration by p.IVA in italy for this company? Or how should i step forward?

    • Stefano L Tresca 2 November 2012 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      Yes you can. A lawyer would be to expensive. Contact any Italian company that provides certification services, like (disclaimer: they are my clients) and ask them a “visura”. If your former client is still registered at the Chamber of Commerce, they can prove it trough a certificate with apostille valid in your country. All the best. Stefano

  3. Duncan Pauline 22 January 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Hi Stefano,

    Just found your website and looks really helpful.

    I am looking into setting up a business where I would like to bring food products from the UK to sell wholesale in Italy and in return to buy food products in Italy and sell in the UK.

    I would be most grateful for any advise for TAX , Vat , regulations


    • Stefano L Tresca 10 February 2013 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Duncan, against my interest, I would use a UK Limited company to trade wholesale food between the two countries. Thanks to the European Union, you don’t need to setup a company in Italy. If your business growth, you can always open an Italian branch or an Italian presence. Just my general opinion, always ask to a professional for your specific case.

  4. Iris Gray 2 February 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Dear Stefano,

    I am a company residing in Germany with many Italian clients. For me it is the easiest to sell the client something if he has the P.IVA (VIES).
    But what I do not know and would like to ask you, is whether the Italian client has to pay the Italian tax directly to the tax office at all? Say he pays for the goods + transport I sell, but does he have to pay tax in Italy or is he completely exempt of that?

    • Stefano L Tresca 10 February 2013 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Iris. I can’t provide detailed opinion on the website. But I am happy to give some general tips. Trading between two countries of the the European Union (for instance Germany and Italy) is a “cross border” transaction. As a general rule (i) there is NO vat tax on services (for instance if you consult them by phone), on the contrary (ii) a vat tax is usually charged on goods. However there are exception. Check your specific case with an accountant or a tax lawyer as soon as you can. EU countries are extremely concerned on VAT tax fraud, and they are more aggressive than in other field. If your clients go busted, you risk to be forced to pay their debts in another country. All the best.

  5. Junaid Masood 22 March 2013 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Hello, Sir My Name is Junaid. I live in Rome.sir i want to get some information.that i have to sale my products door to door in hand byself. So how to make my licence and open my p.Iva?thanku.

    • Stefano L Tresca 25 March 2013 at 11:22 am - Reply

      Hi Junaid. A lawyer is probably too expensive for what you need. I am used to help companies and manage inheritance. For a door to door activity, try the local Chamber of Commerce. Let me know if it will be successful. Cheers

  6. Junaid Masood 22 March 2013 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    sir if i Make my own business here so is this possible to get loan around about 20 to 30,000 euro? I don’t have big investmemt but i want to make business here. Thanku im waiting for ur answer. Thanx

    • Stefano L Tresca 25 March 2013 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Small loans are not my area, but I think that it’s going to be VERY hard to get one. This issue is not limited to Italy. Small business are suffering all around Europe. Ad majora (“all the best” in Latin)

  7. vincent 8 April 2013 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    HI Stefano ,

    Thx for your great website .
    Do you know if it’s always mandatory for a freelancer to be registered to P.Iva to invoice customers or is Codice Fiscale enough on invoices under certain circumstances ?

    Thx again .

    Best wishes.

    Vincent .

    • Stefano L Tresca 10 April 2013 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Vincent. A freelance without a P.IVA (VAT number) can be paid once a year, for one project, for a limited sum. If you need recurrent work from the freelance, he needs to open his own personal VAT number. The fact that a number of entrepreneur ignore this limit doesn’t make it legal. It’s the I-hope-nobody-catch-me strategy, unfortunately very common in Italy.

  8. Fahamah 14 April 2013 at 2:47 am - Reply

    Hi Stefano ,
    Your site is really helpful to understand the Italian Laws for everyone. kindly tell me how much it cost me to go for the legal process to open my P.IVA (VAT number),as I want to open an Amazon store to sell my goods in other countries.
    Best Wishes

    • Stefano L Tresca 1 May 2013 at 12:40 am - Reply

      Hi. Most of the time, an accountant will open your personal VAT for free or for a symbolic cost, if you appoint him to keep your books. I can’t speak for all the accountants, but know many of them in this position. Check in your city, or online. You can also have a look to my resource page. There is an group of accountant who speak English.

  9. cliff 3 May 2013 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Hi stefano, i want to open a P.iva on a business of buying of secondhand vehicles to africa, what type of P.iva do i need, and can i have also a targe-prove to be transpoting the vehicles to port? Thanks. cliff

    • Stefano L Tresca 15 May 2013 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Cliff, that’s a consultancy. I am afraid is a bit too much for a comment on a blog. I will pass your email to my friend.

  10. Saj 15 May 2013 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    We are UK Based business wants to start concession in Italy, the concession company is requiring an Italian VAT number, How we can get an Italian VAT number do we need to register a new company in Italy or we can open a branch or subsidiary.

    • Stefano L Tresca 15 May 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Two options:
      1) setup an Italian limited company (owned by your company)
      2) setup an Italian subsidiary
      You can find more information in this website. As a rule of thumb, usually for fashion companies the best solution is a subsidiary. It’s cheaper than an Italian limited company and doesn’t require share capital (on the contrary, an Italian limited company requires Eur 10,000). Eventually you can ask your lawyer.

  11. jerrodarsenault 19 June 2013 at 2:15 am - Reply

    awesome article.

  12. christopherbrowder 22 June 2013 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  13. jenna 14 July 2013 at 3:52 am - Reply

    first-of-its-kind thank you

  14. Bev 14 July 2013 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Thanks man

  15. RawPreerve 19 July 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply


  16. Sondra 21 July 2013 at 10:06 am - Reply

    most excellent contents, thanks

  17. janell 22 July 2013 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you Stefano

  18. Thomas Buehner 25 July 2013 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Hello Stefano Tresca
    great information in your site.
    I am a (German0 retired Hotel executive living in Italy and have been approached to do some consultant work in the Hospitality business. I am very interested to do this, but found that in order to do this and get compensated, I need a IVA number. The consultant work I would be doing is mostly outside of Italy. It could be one time a year or as many times as I want to accept such work.

    • Stefano L Tresca 28 July 2013 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Hello Thomas,

      your question is very common and often a source of frustration in Italy. Yes you need a VAT number but starting a limited company or even a sole trader business in Italy is more complex than in other countries (and since you live in Italy you already know).

      I’m going to give you the same suggestion that I give to my students, when they want to open a startup: “Start small and fast”.

      The VAT number is NOT required for “lavoro occasionale” (occasional business). It means that you can provide a few consultancy (in theory related to the same project) and don’t get too much money. Start as an occasional contractor and see how it goes. If the income is good (and you like to be back in business) you can open a sole trader in Italy or maybe abroad.

      Contact a local account to help you. In this first stage, a smart account is going to charge you a small fee to get the client later.

  19. Mikel De Crus 25 July 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Dear Stefano,

    Thank you for your website. I am a Non-EU Malaysian citizen but married with an italian.I have a valid passport, permesso di soggiorno,codice fiscale and work in Varese for Whirlpool Srl.However, i would like to teach english part time over the Internet under my own brand/company.Do i have to have a partita Iva VIES if my earnings are leas than 5k? And what if i employ teachers to help me? Your help would be very much appreciated.

    • Stefano L Tresca 28 July 2013 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Dear Mikel, as you can imagine I can’t provide a consultancy to a specific case (especially in the comment of a post). Anyway, as a general rule:
      1) If you manage a recurrent business, you are required to get a VAT number (Partita IVA).
      2) Working as an employee + providing services in your name = means a sort of double tax declaration. Not a piece of cake in Italy.
      I strongly (very strongly) suggest to get a good accountant.

      Out of records, maybe you would like to start joining a service like or etc. When the revenue are good, you can setup a limited company (SRL) and get the VAT number in automatic. All the best

  20. kathie mchugh 27 July 2013 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Hello colleagues, wish u the best

  21. mary thorne 27 July 2013 at 9:31 am - Reply

    I used to be seeking this particular information for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.

  22. randy 27 July 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Have you ever considered about including a little
    bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is
    important and everything. But think of if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!

  23. jenny 4 August 2013 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Talking of VAT…I was wondering if you knew if it is possible/legal to be living in Italy with a Partita IVA as a libera professionista AND have a VAT no. in the UK for the work carried out there (via internet). Thus pay italian tax on italian work and UK tax on UK work (I think an office address is necessary in the UK). This would facilitate our move over there, but I’m not sure if it is allowed….

    • Stefano L Tresca 8 August 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Jenny, I don’t know your specific case. In general is possible to have VAT number in different EU country. Tax is different though. If you live in Italy, and do business online from Italy, the Italian Tax Agency will probably request tax in Italy on the whole income. I suggest to contact an Italian accountant

  24. Michael Adu 6 August 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    What type of iva do i need to by from italy and sell in africa.

    • Stefano L Tresca 8 August 2013 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      In Italy, any IVA is fine. In Africa, you should ask to a local solicitor. Cheers

  25. deway 6 August 2013 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    This post truly made my day. You can’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  26. Milly Boatman 9 August 2013 at 12:53 am - Reply

    Hi Stefano. Your website has many backlinks, including Wikipedia. Do you use any special service?

    • Stefano L Tresca 28 August 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

      Reply no.1: No I don’t use any service. And no, I didn’t register any link to Wikipedia (although I should have), someone else did. I never really used this blog to sell anything, although this can change in the future.

      Reply no.2: Just in case. I don’t plan to buy any web marketing service 🙂

  27. Marvis 18 August 2013 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Dear Stefano, what VAT apply to financial advice?

    • Stefano L Tresca 28 August 2013 at 12:12 am - Reply

      Same VAT than every other service (at the moment 21%). But you need a special licence to provide financial advise. If you plan to provide this service on a personal scale, you should contact an account. At company level, I would suggest to contact a lawyer or a bigger accountancy firm focusing to consultancy.

  28. Patricia Fontenot 24 August 2013 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Excellent website. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends ans also sharing. Thank you to your effort!

  29. Jane 27 August 2013 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Dear Stefano, is any special requirement to start an insurance company in Italy?

    • Stefano L Tresca 28 August 2013 at 12:36 am - Reply

      Yes. Very tough. Don’t even start if you don’t have a big budget and expertise (in that case, feel free to call cheers!)

  30. Ahmed Adil 30 August 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Dear Stefano,

    I am working as an online affiliate marketer for some US companies, and I’m also selling my own stuff (ebooks and computer based training videos) for US-based clients. Each month I generate between $5000 and $10000 in revenue. Additionally, in the next few months I will move to Italy and also want yo move my current activities there. I’d like to know what the best way to declare my revenues and how much taxes I will have to pay. Finally, is there a way to minimize taxes legally?

    Kind Regards.

  31. Fouad 31 August 2013 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Is it possible for an immigrant to open a self-employed company in Italy?

    • Michele Spadaro 13 September 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      of course. naturally, you should accomplish to some requirements, but it is not that difficult thing.

  32. haroon 8 September 2013 at 4:01 am - Reply

    hello Stefano I need your help I want to ask you that I am student here in Italy I have student permit I want to start little business to sell things door to door or shop to shop so I need partita iva or not and it is possible for international student to start
    His own work here in Italy

    • Michele Spadaro 13 September 2013 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      hi haroon. if I can help… it depends how much little would be your business ? any idea, on a yearly basis ?

  33. Ernest 19 September 2013 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Hi stef. thanks for your sit, I´m interested in buying goods from Europe to Africa, can the italian VAT number be use to purchase goods from all Europe?. If no, is there any means to aquire VAT number that can serve this purpose?.

    • Michele Spadaro 24 September 2013 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      Dear Ernest

      someone will contact you soon about your request.

      Best regards

      Michele Spadaro

  34. Lewis 7 November 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Stephano
    I live in the UK,and a few months ago did some work for a company in Italy, I’m not VAT registered. They paid the invoice no problem. Since then i have done some more work for them and there is no more work for me in Italy after this.Now they say they cannot pay the invoice without an IVA number, how can i resolve this issue.
    Thanks Lewis

  35. Marina 9 November 2013 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Hello, Stefan,
    I’m very glad that I’ve found your site!
    At this moment I’m collecting information about taxes to be paid dor commercial activity of our Italian company. We’ve just opened it and have some partners in the USA and Russia.
    Can you help me with this questions please?
    Which taxes are withheld or paid from the payments received by the Italian company under the advertisement service contract with Russian/American companies?
    Has the Italian company to add VAT tax in the invoice for its service?
    Thank you very much!

    • Michele Spadaro 18 November 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      Good morning

      Somebody will answer you soon.

  36. Jessamyn 26 February 2014 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Dear Stefano,

    I hope you are still taking/answering questions several months after the blog post date. Thank you if you are!

    I am a dual US / Italian citizen opening a corporate event planning business in Milan. Initially, my main customer base will be US companies needing assistance developing business events, trade missions, and meetings in Italy. Eventually the business will expand to provide similar services for Italian firms seeking similar event planning in the US and around Milan.

    I am a sole proprieter business (according to US standards) and realize I need an IVA. However, I am a little confused as to exactly what I need as most billing (in early stage) will be through the US.

    Could you clarify, or direct me to websites and information that will?

    Many thanks!

    • Michele Spadaro 3 March 2014 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Jessamyn,

      In your situation, I think the best option is a light branch of your company: in this way, you can bill in Italy from the US. Please let me know if I can help yet.

  37. George Thomas 14 April 2014 at 5:44 pm - Reply


    I just married with an Italian girl, and moved to Rome, Italy to live for some years. But as a freelancer, I have most of my clients in the United States. I would be very grateful if you can give me as much information as possible about the taxes, permissions, registrations, charges, and everything I’d need to know to legally work from here.

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    • Michele Spadaro 16 April 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Hi, George, what’s your job?

      • George Thomas 17 April 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

        I’m a graphic designer. Thanks!

        • Michele Spadaro 23 April 2014 at 7:50 am - Reply

          I will give you an answer soon

          • George Thomas 23 April 2014 at 10:31 am

            Thanks Michele. I really appreciate it.

          • George Thomas 30 April 2014 at 10:12 pm

            Please, I’ll appreciate an answer before I start working. Thanks in advance!


          • George Thomas 6 May 2014 at 8:46 pm

            Here my email just in case. Thanks!

          • George Thomas 8 May 2014 at 6:40 pm
  38. Morgan Eriksson 6 May 2014 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I’m thinking about providing transport of goods from Italy to Malta, The people buy it and I will just bring it to Malta.
    Since the item is bought in Italy and the transport starts in Italy I should charge Italian VAT on the transport.
    I don’t live in Italy myself so how can I get a Italian VAT number?

    • Michele Spadaro 7 May 2014 at 6:00 am - Reply

      Hi Morgan

      You could arrange a company with somebody that is living in Italy (Italian, UE citizen or foreigner living in Italy).
      Ask if you need help

  39. Jayne Randle 24 September 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    I would like to initially open up an office and work from there. I am a freelance teacher and translator and my bulk of work is in company. However I would like to have a base that isn’t home. Do I need to have a partita iva. Of course my intention is to invite students eventually into my studio that is big enough to hold up to 10 people, but currently I wish only to work from there and visit my students out of office.
    Can you guide me in the right direction

    • Michele Spadaro 26 September 2014 at 5:37 am - Reply

      Sorry, I don’t understand if you are in Italy or what.

  40. basit 31 October 2014 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    i am basit from pakistan and doing business in pakistan with name of al fateh expo.
    i have NTN national tax number of that company. this small business start in 2011.
    i am in italy and i have permesso di soggiorno (work card) but my work card has been expired in 16 oct 2014. for renewalof my work card want job contract. but here in italy no more job for forigners, so i want to start business in italy and i wana sell my product here..
    please tell me how can this possible.

    • Michele Spadaro 6 November 2014 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Basit, where are you based in Italy? We should meet personally, for better explanations on your possibilities. Feel free to contact me directly trough the contact page.
      Michele Spadaro

  41. Jane.T 12 November 2014 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Michele and Stefano,

    First and foremost, thank you for this very informative site. I am a speech therapist living in Italy and thinking about providing freelance therapy (on a small and personal scale) in Italy. I have a codice fiscale and permesso soggiorno. From your article, I understand that I will need to apply for a Partita IVA in order to provide recurrent services. My questions are:

    1) Do I need to open a Sole Proprietorship/Limited Liability in order to get my Partita IVA?
    2) In your article, you mentioned that a lawyer or Notary Public can apply for the Partita IVA. But in your response to Marvis, you mentioned “If you plan to provide this service on a personal scale, you should contact an account.”

    So does this mean that if I am doing it on a freelance basis (small scale), I can get an accountant to apply for the Partita IVA?

    Looking forward to your advice and many thanks in advance!


  42. Gary Edwards 4 February 2015 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Hello Stefano,

    My partner and I have an existing UK ltd. ( she is an Italian resident, I’m UK)
    We are expanding our existing business to operate as a tour operator business in Italy
    We have less than two elements to our business , in the UK this means we escape many of the regulations that travel agents are bound by,
    I’m not yet sure if it will be the same operating in italy.

    As are not as yet VAT registered in the UK but may do so now .
    Do you think we will need a partita iva in Italy or can trade just using a UK VAT number ?
    We plan to mainly sell online but also through hotels who we will need to give receipts to , we will also need fiscal receipts from coach companies etc, that we will be using
    After some research it looks as though my italian partner may need to become a ‘direttore tecnico ‘ of an Italian branch of our UK company (referente in Italia?)

    We want to operate within the law so any advice on this or who to contact greatly appreciated.


    • Michele Spadaro 7 February 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Dear Gary,

      it seems you should open an Italian branch of your UK company, for proper operating in Italy.
      I can give legal assistance for this.

  43. JENNY 9 March 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Hello Stefano,

    I have a UK LTD company where I provide services (summer camps) to italian schools. At present I invoice directly the schools. do i need to pay tax to the italian government? do i need to register for p.iva? i’m already vat registered in the uk.

    secondly, in the future i may need to invoice the parents directly. how will this change vat implications?

    Many thanks for your help.

    • Michele Spadaro 14 March 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Where are the services provided?

      • jenny 16 March 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        Hi Michele,

        In Italy. We teach english as a foreign language through drama, sport and art.

        • Michele Spadaro 20 March 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

          Hi Jenny,

          VAT is not applicable in this case

  44. Prince Manu 2 April 2015 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Sir, my name is Prince. I live in italy n would like to start a company of my own. It’s not all that big, I just want to work on a products produced by another company. I will go for the products they produce, work on it then send it back to them. It’s like working under that company but want to make my attivities registered one with my own employees as a company. So I need your advise on how to go about it, how to register, to get .iva

  45. Prince Manu 2 April 2015 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    Is me again, i would like to know if this my activities requires a linces and p.iva if yes, how and where do I go to start the application. And do I need the p.iva before i can comence the activities? Please you reply me through email as well and I will be very greatful for your help.

  46. Abdullah Muhammed abuzar 14 May 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hi dear sir,how are you? I want to start my work. (Distribution of volantini). I need pertita iva. How I can open pertita iva for this kind of business. Thanks

  47. Friso 18 May 2015 at 7:11 am - Reply


    Thanks for a lot of useful information here. I have a question regarding the neccessity to get a P.IVA.

    We are finalizing details for a business agreement with an Italian Company to provide management services for a limited time of one year with a possibility to extend the contract on a year to year basis.

    Invoicing will be done from our Dutch Limited Liability Company. In order to prepare the contract correctly will we need to provide an Italian P.IVA or is the Dutch VAT number sufficient?

    As the company is Dutch based VAT will be paid in Holland.

    Grazie mille per il vostro aiuto,

    • Michele Spadaro 22 May 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      No need to open Italian p.iva
      michele spadaro

  48. usman 3 July 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Hi, I want to buy autolavaggio on lease. Can you explain me how will I associate VAT number on my name as new business holder. I’m bit confuse. Thx.

  49. Slava 22 July 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply


    I am about to be hired as a long-term contractor by an Indian company for work in its client’s office in Italy. They say I need to obtain a Partita IVA to do this job, is this correct? I already have codice fiscale.


    • Michele Spadaro 24 July 2015 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      yes, that is correct.

  50. Ojay Stephen 2 September 2015 at 10:09 am - Reply

    I am currently working at the world expo in Milan, do I required to obtain a VAT number?

    • Stefano L Tresca 2 October 2015 at 10:55 am - Reply

      You don’t need a VAT number if you have a job contract or a temporary contract. The best place to ask is to your employee though The Expo

      Hope you are enjoying Milan!

  51. Phil 3 September 2015 at 10:23 am - Reply


    We are a Swiss company planning to sell products in Italy using Amazon warehouse in Italy.

    Because the products will be stored in the Italian Amazon warehouse, we need to get an Italian VAT/IVA number for foreign companies.

    Can you please confirm how long this VAT registration takes, and if this local VAT will permit us to invoice all private clients and professional clients with this VAT/IVA number? We were informed we will have to declare the VAT once a year, is this correct? Do you provide the registration and yearly declaration service?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    Best regards,


    • Michele Spadaro 11 September 2015 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Phil

      VAT registration is a process that takes just a few days. You’ll be able to invoice with it. Every year you’ll have to declare the VAT, correct. Yes, we provide the service.

  52. Evan Byrne 22 September 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Buongiorno Michele & Stefano,

    I trust that you are well. I am just sending you a quick message to see whether you recieved an e-mail I sent last week about starting a business in Italy. Please let me know if you did not and I will try to resend it to you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Best Wishes,

    Evan Byrne.

  53. Leo 23 September 2015 at 3:58 am - Reply

    Hi guys,

    I would like to appoint a VAT representative and make a VAT registration in Italy, is there any tax agency to be recommended? Thank you.


    • Michele Spadaro 2 October 2015 at 7:29 am - Reply

      Hi, Leo, you will be contacted very soon for your issue

  54. ANTONIO 3 November 2015 at 10:18 am - Reply

    i have partita IVA number, but if i check it online in the EU Commission data base, it shows invalid, what do i need to do, because i need to buy goods from EU countries.thanks

    • Stefano L Tresca 3 November 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

      Hi Antonio, sadly the Italian tax agency does NOT automatically register your company in Europe. You should ask your accountant to do it manually (the name of the registry is VIES)

  55. craig manley 8 November 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

    I am an American living here in Italy with a permesso di soggiorno and a codice fiscale. I am do freelance work with Upwork and Elance who have said recently that I need a VAT number. Is this true, and where do I apply for this?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Stefano L Tresca 24 November 2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

      Hi Craig. Many accountants will open your personal VAT number for free in order to get you as a customer. If you don’t have an accountant you trust, you can Google “online accountant” (in Italian) or drop me a message and I will forward you to mine.

  56. Daniel 27 November 2015 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Hello michele, I read with much interest your post and solutions to each question asked. Mine is complicated though. I received an offer to work with a firm/ director but he instructed that I must have a partita iva with (attivita servizio impresa) on it, with which the offer would be mine. I am somewhat confused.what steps do I have to undergo? Also, what are the risk involved if I decide to open an iva and later decide to close it, due to not much turnovers.

    • Michele Spadaro 3 December 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Daniel,

      First: where are your from? this can be important.

      • Daniel 6 December 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

        I am a Nigerian residing in the region of piemonte. Every valid documents that is required to habitate is available. Guess I urgently need some explanation as it affect my situation. In anticipation…

        • Stefano L Tresca 7 December 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

          Hi Daniel, if all your documents are in order, the easiest way to have a VAT is to contact a local accountant (or an online accountant). They are usually happy to setup the VAT number for free in order to get a new customer. Things are different if you are planning to incorporate a more sophisticated company, then you probably need a lawyer with corporate experience.

  57. Christel 4 January 2016 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the useful info.
    I’m an EU citizen and will move to Italy soon.
    I plan to register an IVA for a sales activity that I’ll exercise in Florence. The (Italian) importing/distribution company is giving me a choice between working independently for them on a commission base (they invoice) or to register an IVA and invoice clients myself. In order to reduce risks I plan to work as a sole trader.
    However, I may use the IVA to work on other (smaller) projects – importing goods, occasional consultation work, some freelance translations. Can all of these be done under the same IVA? or could the occasional consultation/translations things be done as a “consultore” or some loose arrangement? How would one declare that on a tax form?
    Can I deduct my expenses from the profits when I have an IVA (phone, travel costs, etc)?
    Best regards,

    • Michele Spadaro 8 January 2016 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Hi Christel, you use the same IVA for everything, and can deduct the expenses related to your activity (included the ones you mentioned). For further details, please ask Stefano.

  58. Jan 16 February 2016 at 4:45 pm - Reply


    I am a UK citizen resident in Italy.

    I have been told that I need a P.IVA to start up a very, small business, selling online on Amazon, Ebay and a website.

    The problem is that I have been told that it is obligatory to pay into the social security scheme which is probably much more than I am actually going to make. This then means I can’t afford to do this.

    Is there an alternative? Have I misunderstood the rules?

    • Michele Spadaro 19 February 2016 at 6:29 am - Reply

      No.Exactly that.

  59. Susannah 29 February 2016 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Hello Michele and Stefano,
    I’m a UK citizen living in Italy. I have just started teaching English at a couple of schools and went to my local town to get a codice fiscale. They also gave me an IVA. One of my employers has since said that I don’t need to have an IVA and to actually get it cancelled in case I end up paying a business tax. Is this correct?
    Thank you for your help,

    • Michele Spadaro 3 March 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      I find rather strange the local town gave you a VAT number. this is matter of Agenzia delle Entrate. if you are an employee, you needn’t VAT number.

  60. SELIN AKDENIZ 19 April 2016 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Stefano,
    I am a student in Italy now and I have a resident permit here for study, now there is a possibility that I will start to work with an English school and they will make a ‘partita iva’ contract but I want to know if as a student i can get partita iva, do you have any information about this?

    • Michele Spadaro 22 April 2016 at 6:50 am - Reply

      Hi, Selin,

      yes you can, but as a student you can work just part time. if you think to full time, you have to switch from your current permit to work permit.

  61. SELIN AKDENIZ 19 April 2016 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    and I am from Turkey so non european citizenship.

  62. Nelly Milano 1 August 2016 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Stefano,
    I am a non for profit company based in Canada. In October 2016 i am organizing a conference- workshop in Milan. I was wondering if I have to register my company for VAT in Italy.
    And if so who can help me about this or there is a way to do it online directly with the Italian Revenu Agency. Thanks

    Nelly Milano

  63. Els 15 September 2016 at 1:02 am - Reply

    Hi, Stefano, the site is so helpful, my name is els and im working in a salumeria and have a valid permesso di soggiorno. My question is, i am planning to buy luxury bags like louis vuitton chanel etc and sell it to my country in malaysia, do i need to apple for partita iva? Looking forward for you response. Thanks

    • Michele Spadaro 16 September 2016 at 7:23 am - Reply

      hi els

      if you want to be a professional in that business, yes.

  64. JLas 29 September 2016 at 4:23 pm - Reply


    I have been resident in Italy for 4 years. I am now on a student visa (I had a work permit visa for 2 years and student visa for 2 years). Now I would like to register myself as a freelance consultant, and I already have some tasks to do (from companies not in Italy). I would like to know how to pay the taxes and how to register my freelance activities, do i have to change my student visa?

    Thanks a lot

    • Michele Spadaro 30 September 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply


      you have not to change your student visa for that purpose.
      I leave to Stefano for how to pay taxes and else.

  65. Sham 14 October 2016 at 5:19 am - Reply

    Dear Mr.Michele,

    are there any individual companies (Sole Proprietor)in Italy doing business activities with only VAT Registration ( without register in Chamber of Commerce)…? Is it regal…?

    If we need to get a information about them, from where we can get it.


    • Michele Spadaro 14 October 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

      Registration in COC is mandatory

  66. Jasmine 12 December 2016 at 11:26 am - Reply


    I am an architect, just moved to Italy (non EU citizen) and one company contacted me and is very interested in collaborating with me, but they have asked me to open Partita iva. The problem is that I have no permesso di soggiorno. Is there any way I can open Partita iva without the permit?
    Thank you very much.

    • Michele Spadaro 16 December 2016 at 6:56 am - Reply

      Not possible.
      But you can get it, after giving POA to an attorney here in Italy for a procedure with Questura and going back to your Country waiting for a document called” Nulla Osta”.
      Ask for further details.

  67. Phil 3 January 2017 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    We are a travel wholesaler in Australia selling travel products to Italy. Our supplier contracts include IVA that we pay in full.

    Is it possible for our company to claim a tax refund if we register for Italian IVA?

    Thank you!

    • Stefano L Tresca 24 February 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Hi Phil, most of the VAT can be recovered by Australian company. This is not a job managed by lawyers but VAT refund specialists. There is a list of specialists in our resource page . If the page is not online yet, try “recupero IVA Italia” on Google and its English equivalent “VAT refund Italy”

  68. Sophie 9 January 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply


    What a great site ! Thank you so much for posting such informative and clear information on this (What seems complicated process.).

    I am an EU citizen, living Italy for 6-8 months before moving to London and need to set up as an independent events consultant (advising and helping on destination, hotels, etc..) issuing an invoice on a monthly basis.

    What does it cost to get an Partita IVA?

    What’s the breakdown on the invoice for an american client for consulting fees, expenses, commissions, etc… ?

    Do you have a commercialista to recommend in Rome ?


    • Stefano L Tresca 14 February 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Sophie, I agree. If you just need to consult a personal VAT number (Partita IVA) is the best option. My accountant is used to work with foreign customer and provide services through Skype and email as well. I will drop you an introduction to your email later today. You don’t need to spend money with a lawyer to open a personal VAT number.

  69. Cressida 25 January 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Another person who needs some answers! I wonder if you can help. I am a British freelance translator living in Italy with my British husband who is on a work secondment in an Italian company. I have a codice fiscale and we’ll be applying for residency soon. I have been on maternity leave up to this point but would now like to start translating. The majority (if not all) my clients will be based abroad (I don’t translate from Italian). I only intend on working part-time, so I suspect my turnover will be quite low. Can you please advise whether I will need to register for the IVA & VIES? I have been reading different sources stating that you don’t need to register up to 30 000 euros. And also, what about local taxes?
    If you need any further details, please get in touch.

    • Stefano L Tresca 2 February 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

      Hi Cressida, you could start without VAT and open the VAT later when/if you pass the limit. I would suggest to contact a local accountant. You don’t really need to pay a lawyer for an individual VAT. If you feel more comfortable to deal with an English speaking accountant – who is also an Italian accountant – I’ll send the contact of my accountant to your email later today.

  70. Waseem 8 February 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Hi i make scia for saleing thing by walk. I wantto make limited company what is process and also i want to know shall i pay my taxs yearly bases on scia?

  71. Dahliana 12 March 2017 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Ciao Stefano!
    Light reading all this information…
    Perhaps you could advise me about setting up a Partita IVA for a Teaching and Workshop business I am about to embark upon in Milan.
    Many thanks

    • Stefano L Tresca 24 March 2017 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Dahliana, this can be easily done by you at the Tax Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) or by an accountant. I would suggest the second solution – an accountant. This may be a bit more expensive, but the Italian bureaucracy may be very complex.

  72. Robert Faldetta 16 March 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Hi. I am an Italian (dual with USA) citizen living in Rome. I have a permanent employment contract with an English school. In addition, another company has asked me to provide some part time training and wants to give me a different type of contract, maybe occasional. Do I need a Partita IVA? Thanks

    • Stefano L Tresca 24 March 2017 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Robert, you should ask the school. In theory, any person living in Italy could open a Tax number (Partita IVA). In practice, you have a permanent contract with a school. They may not allow you to provide multiple jobs.

  73. Archie 9 June 2017 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Hello Stefano,
    do I need to open a partita IVA if I will work as a freelance/sideline for italian clients? (Like logo design and etc)

  74. Adinda 11 June 2017 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Ciao Stefano!

    This looks really helpful. I’m an international consultant doing research for non-profit international development and humanitarian aid agencies. I’m originally from Belgium, currently based in the UK, and now planning to move to Rome. I fell in love with Rome a few years ago and am already living there half of the time, and given the Brexit it seems to be a good time for me to make my move. But before doing so, I would like to make sure I understand what I need to do to get settled there as a sole trader.

    I have 2 questions at this point and would be tremendously grateful if you could respond to this as it would help me deciding on next steps:
    1. In the UK, if you have less than 80K profit a year you don’t to register and pay VAT. From what I read in your responses to others’ comments, it seems in Italy everybody is required to have a VAT number and pay VAT. Is this correct?
    2. In the UK and in Belgium, I’m sued to do the registrations and bookkeeping all by myself. But it’s very straightforward for a sole trader in these countries. How easy/difficult is it in Italy? Would you recommend I hire an accountant to help me out? (I must say that my knowledge of the Italian language is at a very basic level close to zero, as I just started studying the language 2 montsn ago)


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