Setting up a Cultural Association in Italy

Creating a cultural association is an opportunity to carry out activities in various fields, such as cinema, entertainment, art, culture, civic and social Cultural Associationeducation, environmental protection, establishment of courses, social issues of various kinds etc.

Whilst it is possible just to create an association with a group of friends, with no particular formalities, if you are intending to charge attendance fees to the public for events and meetings or sell tickets for drinks, meals or gadgets then it is good idea to consider formally setting up an association and request a fiscal code number and set up a bank account to keep monies separate from members and officers.  This is not a difficult or expensive procedure.

If you want to go one step further and set up an ONLUS, an Italian charitable organisation, the costs and compliance obligations increase, but so do the tax benefits.






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2 Comments on Setting up a Cultural Association in Italy

  1. I am going to start a cultural association (for language learning and computer training) as a partnership with my Italian friend in Italy.
    Can I extend the validity (or re-apply) of Permesso di soggiorno on this basis?

    • It’s more an immigration law question rather than a tax one, but it seems to me that the relevant issue as far as the renewal of a Stay Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno, “PdS”) is whether you have (together with any family members living with you) sufficient financial means (as defined in the legislation and jurisprudence). Simply setting up a cultural association in itself won’t help much in this regard, but if you are going to take a salary or other type of remuneration, eg. as an employee or self employed consultant/collaborator of the association then that remuneration can be taken into consideration. Depending on the type of contact the Questura require that the “employing” entity has been in existence for at least three years (this is to stop people setting up artificial “employer” companies just to get their PdS. Remember that cultural associations generally cannot have a business or commercial purpose or activity. The members make a standard contribution to cover the costs (possibly including salaries of staff) of organising events etc. But if the association starts charging people (whether members or not) defined amounts for lessons or training, then you should use a vehicle such as a co-operative company, snc, sas or srl to run what is effectively a business.

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