A little intro to the Italian Partita IVA

Updated 04/2022

Well, the original title was Everything you need to know – I quickly realized my understanding of this topic is limited. I want to share with you all I know so at least you can get an idea of the options available! If you have moved to Italy and are hoping to open a small business or work freelance, you will need a Partita IVA. This is your VAT code as some may know it. The first thing to know about these Partita IVA’s is that it is a very complicated regime, and you will absolutely need to get a commercialista. Trust me it will make your life much easier.

So what are the benefits of getting a Partita IVA?

Well if you have been living in Italy for some time and have not been able to obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno for work, you may be looking to the Freelance route. By opening a Partita IVA you can obtain the Permesso di Soggiorno for “Lavoro Autonomo” or freelance.

Also if you are planning on running any business while being a resident in Italy, you will need it to legally run your business. It is required anytime you are making more than €5,000.

There are different types of Partita IVA, and some allow you to claim purchases to deduct from taxes or purchase certain deals at various electronic stores and others. Though this seems to be nowhere near the level of deduction the US allows for.

If you need any help figuring out freelance in Italy, or getting settled into your new life, book a call and let me help you work it out to make the most of your life in Italy.

What type of Partita IVA do I need?

There are many different types of Partita IVA, my own personal experience has been with the forfettaria but here I will try to give you an overview of the different options.

The forfettaria PIVA is reserved for individuals who make less than 65,000€ a year. Under this PIVA the taxes should be about 5% for the first 3 years, then 15%. On top of about 25% for INPS, your Italian pension contribuitions.

Under the forfettaria you also have limits in paying employees or collaborators, so it is better to adapt for individuals. This is usually used for Consultants, Social Media Managers, small gig type work.

Instead, the other Partita IVA is a Regime Contributivo. Under this PIVA, the general taxes you pay will be higher, towards 24%-43%. Then you will need to pay the pension contributions as well. Usually, this is the PIVA required for architects, doctors, psychologists, and other professionals. This type of Partita IVA also allows you to hire employees and write off some tax, but not much.

Then if you are opening a commercial endeavor, a store, or bar, you will then have to have a different setup, and it is a much longer process. Again, ask your commercialista they will set you up right.

So how do I set up a Partita IVA?

You can try to set it up on your own, or again, just go to your commercialista. If you set it up on your own it will be free, through a commercialista prepare to pay about €50 for the process.

To open a Partita IVA you must head on over to the Agenzie delle Entrate to request it, the will provide you a form to fill out, asking about the type of work. The forms are AA9/12 o AA7/10, and you will be asked for an ATECO code to identify what you will work as.

Afterward, you will also have to register at INPS, the most dreaded thing in Italy, yes worse than the Questura. You basically need to head to the office of INPS, get the first have of a password, then register online, then they also send you a part in the mail. But step one, just go to INPS with a copy of your ID, Passport, Permesso di Soggiorno, and they will walk you through it.

If you haven’t at this point GET A COMMERCIALISTA.

Ok, ok a commercialista, tell me what I have to do?

Easy, you will find plenty in every city, choose whoever you would like, obviously English speaking is a plus. A commercialista on average (from a survey of all my fellow PIVA’s) costs about €400-500 per year, and that can be broken down into quarterly or bi-annual payments. This is the absolute best investment you will make, and just DO IT.

Seriously, don’t try to figure this out on your own, a commercialista will keep things simple, fill out all your taxes, set you up right, and even keep track of bonuses you may be up for. For example, during the pandemic, my commercialista frequently sends me updates about various government bonuses I qualify for and how I can obtain them.

Note for Americans: Social Security and INPS

If you are working both US and Italy jobs, or you choose to send your money into Social Security, rather than INPS, you can do this and pay only one country’s taxes rather than both. Find out more here.

If you are considering starting a business

I want to send you over to this great resource I found, which comes directly from a legal office. I hope this will help answer some of your business questions!

What if I want a Freelance Visa?

So the Freelance Visa in Italy is a bit different. An Italian Self-Employment visa is a D-Visa, a long stay one. However, this visa simply gives you permission to ENTER the country, not to work or live. That is right though this allows you to start your journey in Italy, you will need further authorization to stay there.

This means before you even get ready to apply for the visa, you need to already have the partita IVA and other authorizations, meaning you need someone in Italy to figure it out for you. There are usually only 2,400 of these visas available per year, and it is very much first come first serve.

So here are the different versions of those Freelance Visas.
The Startup Visa: to foreigners who want to open an innovative company in Italy, or who join an already existing startup as an executive. There is really great information on how to do this at this link. You will find it all in English with step by step on what you need.

Freelancer Visa: to individuals who want to start with freelance work and don’t have a company to hire them
Entrepreneur Visa: if you have an investment plan of over €500,000 to implement that will benefit the Italian economy, this one is for you!

Before you get to the Visa, this is the whole process you will need:

  1. Apply for a Nulla Osta  from the Immigration Desk (Sportello Unico Immigrazione – SUI). This has to be done in Italy, with proper documentation as to your status and ID.
  2. Get the authorization and documentation needed for self-employed activity in Italy. (Partita IVA & such)
  3. Apply for the Self-Employment Visa at the Italian Consulate in your home country.
  4. Enter Italy and apply for an Italian residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) for lavoro autonomo.

For more information on all the documentation you will need to apply for the Visa, visit Visa Guide, they are an excellent resource with all the details!

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

Evelyn Hill


  1. US Visa Express on August 27, 2022 at 6:23 am

    You’ve got it covered! It’s a pleasure to read this type of blog. It motivates me to travel more once the pandemic will passed. Travel Bloggers/Vloggers also provide travel advice. I may use the advice at some point. Excellent selections.

  2. Stella Bevilacqua on September 18, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Evelyn, I would like to inquire more about this process. As an American/Italian working and living in the United States, I am now looking to make my way back to Italy (my parents are retiring and aging in Italy, hence the main reason for my return, etc..) I have dual citizenship but claim taxes in the United States. I would like to reach out to you for some guidance. Thank you. Stella Bevilacqua, MSN.

  3. rachele on January 17, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Evelyn! I would like to ask you some questions. I’m italian, living in Italy and the company i now work for, is asking me to look into the international market in order to create a login page in eng. Since one of the information we require to our costumers is P.IVA i don’t know what is the corrispective for usa/uk. Can you help me whit that? also, i don’t know how to traslate things like CODICE FISCALE or PEC.
    Thank you in advance

    • Evelyn Hill on January 23, 2023 at 7:57 am

      Hey Rachele! Sent you an email with a bit more explanation that I think will help.

  4. Chris oko on May 8, 2023 at 7:45 am

    Hi Thanks for your help.
    My question is I have partita iva and I want to become an Italian citizen what are the requirements?

    • Evelyn Hill on May 9, 2023 at 4:36 am

      Hi Chris, those are actually two completely separate situations, not really intertwined at all. If you are interested in pursuing citizenship I suggest you contact me via e-mail or book a 1:1 and we can explore the road you need to take!

  5. Joe on June 26, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    Hi. I am a student having a Student permesso. I got my partita iva last year and started creating invoices. Now I am earning enough that i don’t want to complete my studies and directly convert my permesso from studio to lavoro autonomo. Is it possible? Please let me know.

    • Evelyn Hill on July 23, 2023 at 8:30 am

      Hello, this is a situation where I would suggest you look into my Moving to Italy Guidebook, or contact me for a 1:1. There is a possibility but it isn’t as simple as that.

  6. Cristina on September 19, 2023 at 8:56 am

    Hello Evelyn,

    This is a very helpful vlog. I’ve been looking for articles to better understand how Partita IVA works. I’ve been thinking on working freelance here in Italy since I find it difficult to land a job around especially that my Italian isn’t fluent yet. If I may ask, is it worth to work freelance and apply for Partita IVA? Let’s say considering the Italian economy, I work freelance and I earn say 1,500 Euro a month, I’ve been told that it isn’t worth it because more than half of that amount will go to taxes and other gov’t obligations that is why most Italians would rather choose to work a 9-5. What is your take on this? I just really want to have a better understanding whether this path is for me. Thank you!

    • Evelyn Hill on September 20, 2023 at 8:45 am

      The taxes are mentioned here – it isn’t half, and it actually evens out to be less than what is taken in a 9-5 job. While it is stressful keeping track of everything, you’ll always have to pay taxes, the only difference is you see them going when Partita IVA – but that is where you have to be smart about pricing beforehand.

      Regarding if it is the path for your situation – that is something to discuss 1:1 and look at all your options, but just remember if you are a resident here and are going to start some freelance projects- you’ve got to open one!

Leave a Comment