Italy: providing services and travelling for business

Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Italy.

The authoritative source for Italian market regulations is the Italian government. This guidance links to official Italian sources wherever possible.

Italian trade and services regulations

If you are a UK business offering services in Italy, you will need to follow Italian regulations about:

  • getting authorisations or licences to provide a service
  • complying with specific local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

The Italian e-government portal for service providers can help you to:

  • find out about providing services in Italy
  • understand local regulations
  • complete any relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Italy to help you comply with specific regulations.

To find out if EEA nationality requirements apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority.

If you have complaints or queries about anti-competitive practices contact the Italian Competition Authority.

There are also non-governmental organisations that provide advice to UK businesses operating in Italy, for example the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy.

These organisations are not associated with the UK government, and their views are not representative of any government policies.

VAT on sales of digital services

To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.

Ownership of companies registered in Italy

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Italy or any other EEA country.

Read more about this in our guidance relating to the EEA and Switzerland.

Setting up a business

You can find out how to set up a business in Italy on these websites:

UK legal professionals who have investments in law firms in Italy should contact the Italian National Bar Association (website in Italian) for further information on the implications for your investment.

Business travel and entry requirements

See the latest information on all travel to Europe.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Consulate have more information about:

  • visas, including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

Social security payments for employees

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Italy.

Recognition of professional qualifications

To check what you need to do in Italy, read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.

If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your professional qualification in Italy, these sources can help you:

UK statutory auditors working in Italy

For UK statutory auditors, the Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa Italiana (website in Italian) should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in Italy

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Italy, using either an Italian or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region in which you are working or the Italian National Bar Association website (website in Italian) for specific advice.

Data transfer and GDPR

As part of the wider UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the free flow of personal data from the EEA to the UK will continue after 1 January 2021 for no longer than 6 months, until adequacy decisions come into effect.

As a sensible precaution during this 6 month period, it is recommended that you work with EEA organisations who transfer personal data to you to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.

Read guidance on using data in your personal business or other organisation.

Published 11 March 2019
Last updated 28 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated the following sections to reflect the changes created by the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: overview, trade regulations, VAT on sales of digital services, business travel and entry requirements, social security payments for employees, recognition of professional qualifications, and data transfer and GDPR.

  2. Guidance for ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ and ‘Social security payments for employees’ updated.

  3. Change to title to include travelling for business

  4. Update to 'Business travel and entry requirements' section

  5. First published.