Bologna Inside - Second Edition

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5 > WORK



If you’re thinking about working as a libero professionista (freelancer or consultant), you will need professional assistance from a commercialista (accountant) both in terms of getting started and paying your taxes at the end of the year. In order to freelance legally, you must open a partita IVA, a tax identification code issued by the Ministry of Finance. Italian taxlaws don’t favor freelancers, so make sure your that your activity will generate enough income and deductions to make opening a partita IVA worth your while.

Working in the non-profit sector is challenging anywhere, even more so in Italy. Although the media gives the impression of relentless fundraising campaigns, the field is still relatively new and unexploited. Our society is getting more and more sensitive to the importance of donating and volunteering, largely because of the continuous cuts in public spending on health, research and social services, the typical non-profit areas of interest. However, fiscal deductions on donations and the usual tangle of bureaucracy are still controversial topics for Italian policy makers and this is a significant obstacle to non-profit activity.

Silvia Arcangeli

Ask friends to recommend a commercialista, look in the yellow pages under the listing DOTTORI COMMERCIALISTI - STUDI, or try getting in touch with one of the organizations listed below, as many provide advisory services both to freelancers and small business owners.


Starting a business in Italy is challenging because access to start-up capital is limited. You can talk with your bank about taking out a start-up loan, greatly facilitated if you or a family member can demonstrate a steady source of income or other collateral. Standard interest rates on personal loans in Italy always significantly exceed the worldwide interest rate — be sure to negotiate with the bank director. While access to private capital is hard to come by, local and regional agevolazioni fiscali (financial assistance) for entrepreneurial activity is abundant. For example, a foreign woman under 40 falls into three categories for business assistance, imprenditoria giovanile, femminile e immigrati (young, female and immigrant entrepreneurs). You will need help from an Italian speaker to navigate the world of agevolazioni fiscali, which are made available via bandi (calls).For more information, check the website of the Chamber of Commerce at and ERMES Imprese, a regional website dedicated to economic development at

The following organizations provide courses and assistance for entrepreneurial activity:

CID - Comitato Impresa Donna (Committee for Women-owned Businesses)

Viale Aldo Moro, 22
Tel. 051.6099473
Information, training, consulting and support for female entrepreneurs.

ISCOM Bologna

Strada Maggiore, 23
Tel. 051.6487610
ISCOM is the training organ of ASCOM - Associazione dei Commercianti, degli Operatori Turistici e dei Servizi della Provincia di Bologna (Association of Store Owners, Tour Operators and Services of the Province of Bologna).

Progetti d’impresa (Company Projects)

Provincia di Bologna
Via Benedetto XIV, 3
Tel. 051.6598505
A program of the Province of Bologna that offers start-up assistance including consulting, help with business plans, financing and microcredit.

Servizio di Orientamento alle Nuove Imprese (New Business Orientation)

Camera di Commercio di Bologna
See this chapter under ‘Job Training.’