Immigration Law

Self employment VISA in Italy

How to work in Italy as a self employee

In order for a foreign individual to engage in self-employment in Italy as a sole proprietor or as a partner/manager of partnerships or corporations, they are required to obtain a residence permit for self-employment. As for the process of obtaining the necessary authorizations, the individual will need to relocate to Italy to initiate the application procedure.

What does it mean to be a foreign citizen?

A “foreign” citizen means a non-EU citizen and a citizen of countries with which there are no recognition agreements (e.g., Schengen Area). Stateless persons and citizens of the Principality of Monaco, Andorra and Vatican City are equated with non-EU citizens.

Nulla-osta and Certification of financial capacity’s parameters for non-EU citizens 

Nulla osta means there’s No legal impediment and Certification of financial capacity’s parameters for the non-EU citizen.

A non-EU citizen who does not possess a valid residence permit or holds an ineligible permit (such as a study or tourist permit) and wishes to reside in Italy for the purpose of engaging in self-employment, must fulfill certain requirements to obtain a residence permit for self-employment from the Police Headquarters. These requirements include obtaining the “Nulla-Osta” (clearance or authorization) and providing a certification that demonstrates the individual’s economic and financial capacity to carry out the intended self-employment activity.

What kind of document is the Nulla Osta and who can issue it?

This document, issued by the Chamber of Commerce, certifies the minimum financial resources required for engaging in self-employment activities. It applies to both foreign individuals intending to work as partners in companies, including cooperatives, that have been established for at least three years. However, the Chamber of Commerce only issues this document when the intended activity by the non-EU national is of an entrepreneurial nature.

It’s important to note that the Chamber of Commerce is not obligated to issue this document to consultants, freelancers, or foreign individuals intending to hold corporate positions in companies that are already active in Italy.

While the Chamber of Commerce has the authority to issue the Attestation of Economic and Financial Capacity for all activities listed in the Register of Companies, they are not required to verify the actual possession of economic resources.

The parameters for the document were updated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 11, 2011, according to Article 2 All. A, point 7. It stipulates that the attestation of parameters must be “…an amount that exceeds three times the sum equal to the annual capitalization of the monthly social allowance.”

The parameters were updated by DM Foreign Affairs 11.05.2011 art. 2 All. A, point 7, in which it is stipulated that the attestation of the parameters must be “…of an amount in any case greater than three times the sum equal to the capitalization, on an annual basis, of the monthly amount equal to the social allowance.”

Validity: 3 months from the date of issue.

How to submit the application?

The applicant is required to complete and sign the following documents:

  1. Application form for the “No Legal Impediment and Certification of Financial Capacity Parameters” (English version).
  2. Request for the “No Legal Impediment and Certification of Financial Capacity Parameters” (English version).

The applicant must also provide a photocopy of the power of attorney, which authorizes an attorney to act on behalf of the non-EU citizen in Italy. The power of attorney must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be signed by the non-EU citizen residing abroad before the Italian Consular Authority in the country of residence.
  • It must include the original visa from the Consular Authority, certifying that the signature was affixed abroad.
  • If the power of attorney is in a foreign language, a sworn translation must be attached.

Other documents needed:

  • A photocopy of a valid passport.
  • A photocopy of a valid residence permit if the applicant is already a resident in Italy.
  • Any statements issued by the relevant authorities in cases where the proposed activity requires prior consent.
  • Two revenue stamps of €16.00 each.

If the application is submitted by an attorney, the attorney must sign the application form and provide the following attachments:

  • A photocopy of the attorney’s valid identification document.
  • A photocopy of the power of attorney (as mentioned in point 1 above).


According to Ministerial Circular No. 3484/C dated April 4, 2000, the requirement for a “Nulla Osta” is not applicable in the following cases:

  1. Individuals who already possess a residence permit that allows them to work, whether for employment or other work-related activities. In such cases, the “Nulla Osta” is only required for other types of permit issuance.
  1. Professionals who cannot be registered in the Register of Companies.
  1. Individuals who hold corporate positions in companies registered with the Italian Revenue Agency (I.R.), or those who are partners or workers in companies or cooperatives registered with the Italian Business Register.

Therefore, non-EU citizens who intend to engage in self-employment in Italy as family members of sole proprietors, partners/managers of partnerships, partners/managers of cooperative companies, or legal representatives of foreign companies, do not need to apply for a “Nulla Osta” to obtain an entry visa as self-employed workers. Instead, they must already possess a valid residence permit (e.g., for employment, family reasons) that permits them to assume one of these positions or qualifications. When it comes time for renewal, they can apply for a change to a residence permit specifically for self-employment.

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