The difficulties in finding a stable job and the countless commercial possibilities offered by the network are pushing more people to try to open their own business. Creating an activity from nothing, however, is not an easy task, but a challenge to be faced with tenacity and awareness.

Preliminary advice for the less experienced

The opening of a business, especially by young people, is an important moment: we play a lot, sometimes everything, with the ambition that betting in one’s intuition is the right choice. It is therefore essential to have clear ideas to open a business.

Upstream of a good business idea there is, in fact, always a thorough study aimed at identifying the key elements of your project: from the choice of which activity should open, up to the one on which to open the business. You can not wake up one morning all of a sudden and think I want to open a store! >>. Or rather, it can be done, if the choice has been well thought out previously.

Never forget, in fact, that rash decisions can also determine huge and unexpected costs to open a shop. It is always good to be informed, then, for example, about the existence of facilities for the opening of a shop or a specific business. In this sense, public authorities (territorial as well as European) try to meet those who decide to “start their own business”, through the provision, for example, of tax relief or exceptional grants.

Finally, a clarification is necessary: ​​even opening an online store has costs. Exactly like real ones, even virtual stores, to stand out and win the competition, must be set up by serious professionals and their contents need to be advertised to the fullest. It is difficult to imagine to succeed without an investment to support the company.

This was a necessary premise because, net of legal and market rules, the competence and conviction of those who act remain the determining factors for the success of each project.

How to open a business

Let’s try now to see how to open a shop or start a business in compliance with current legislation.

It has been mentioned in the premise that in recent years in Italy progress has been made in the sense of making easier the conditions for opening a business.

This simplification process began in 1998 with the introduction of the so-called Bersani Decree (Legislative Decree No. 114/1998), a normative basis on which Government and Parliament have intervened on several occasions.

The clear change between the “before” and the “after” lies in the fact that now anyone who decides to open a business or a business no longer has the burden of acquiring all the licenses that the law, however, previously provided as mandatory. In the past, in fact, it was not allowed to open an activity without the necessary licenses that were issued by the Administrative Bodies.

For some businesses, the compulsory licenses and permits are still required: it is therefore necessary to read up well (or, even better, contact a professional) to make sure you act in the law.

Performing prior checks to grant licenses and authorizations allowed the State Administration to verify, even before the opening, that the commercial activity during the start-up phase had been set in compliance with the applicable rules: it was therefore necessary to obtain licenses related to the structure, to staff, services offered etc.

What is SCIA

Today, the simplification process has intervened, to start a commercial activity no longer need many of the formalities that were once necessary. It is mandatory to acquire only licenses that require discretionary assessments by the Administration or which are inherent to landscape, environmental or cultural constraints.

Apart from these aspects, in order to start up one’s own business, it is now sufficient to present a certified declaration to the Municipality of reference, indicating the forthcoming opening of the activity and declaring that it possesses all the requisites to be able to undertake it. This declaration is called SCIA (Certified Activity Report).

The change in perspective is clear and obvious: it is no longer the State to check that the private respects the rules, but it is the private entrepreneur, when he opens an activity, to certify to the Public Authorities to do so in compliance of the law.

The SCIA has in fact taken the place of many of the licenses and authorizations that, in need of preventive examinations, slowed down the companies in their launch phase.

It is now up to the City Council the burden, in the 60 days following the receipt of the SCIA, to verify that what is declared by the new trader corresponds to the truth.

The declaration must be delivered to the SUAP (One-Stop Shop for Productive Activities) of the competent Municipality, duly completed in its entirety. The self-certifications with which to prove that they are completely in order to open their business must be attached.

There are in fact the requisites to have to start a new business or open a shop and can relate so much to the entrepreneur (moral requirements, for example) as the activity that will be exercised (think of the building permits or environmental of any shop ).

The contents of the SCIA and its attachments, as well as the documents to open a shop, can obviously vary according to the specific type of activity: opening a grocery store is different from opening a clothing store, both in form and substance.

The procedure for the delivery of the SCIA is now electronic, all the forms to be completed with the relevant instructions for drafting are published on the official website of each Municipality (for the City of Milan ). Once completed and signed, they must then be sent, as mentioned, to the SUAP of the competent Municipality via Certified Electronic Mail.

How to register the activity in the Business Register

For all commercial activities, even for those wishing to open an individual company, it is also mandatory to register with the Chamber of Commerce in the Register of Companies. The Registry is like a database of commercial activities, it contains all the relevant data about the “commercial life” of each company.

Registration is simple: it is carried out electronically through the submission of the Single Communication (“ComUnica”), a document to which digital signature is attached and to be transmitted to the Register of Companies of the competent Chamber of Commerce.