Before opening a shop you need to define what you are going to do: the product you sell, the position, the analysis of the local situation will be fundamental.

By contacting your Chamber of Commerce, you will find support from professionals who will guide you to open a shop. The standard bureaucratic phases have been very simplified over time.

Open a shop: which permits are needed?

Today, thanks to the Bersani Decree (No. 114 of 31/03/1998) the legislation has been simplified, it speaks, in fact, of “liberalized trade”. According to  Irene Tinagli , professor of Business Economics at the Carlos III University of Madrid, “liberalizing a market simply means creating the conditions for more people or operators to operate. In other words it means lowering the barriers to entry to this market and breaking off any monopolies “ .

This does not alter the fact that to open a shop, specific requirements and regulations are also necessary according to the activity to be carried out. The first step is to contact an accountant and then go to a notary to set up a company. You will then send the communication to the City  logonvia:

  • the COM 1 model ;
  • the COM 2 model ;
  • the opening of a tax position (VAT number) by the person or company created for the activity;
  • the opening of social security and insurance positions (Inps and Inail);
  • The declaration of commencement of activity (DIA) to be sent to the Municipality at least 30 days before.

Open a shop in Italy: the bureaucracy

Notwithstanding that there may be specific regulations, regional or municipal (I suggest you keep up to date with your accountant); today, thanks to the Bersani Decree, the bureaucracy has been simplified.

To open a shop, the registration in the register REC (Commercial Merchants Register) is mandatory only for those who open or manage categories such as bars, restaurants or hotels. In addition, if you are dealing with food products you must attend a course on hygiene and the rules that regulate the conservation of food, organized by the Chamber of Commerce, with passing by examination. Those who worked for a food retailer for the last five years are exempted.

If you want to open a shop in the tobacco sector , instead, you are obliged to license because you are selling products subject to Monopoly of State.

If the store space is less than 250 square meters (for municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants) or 150 square meters (for those with more than 10,000), you will need to fill in the SCIA, Communication of Initiation Activities to the Mayor, in which you declare that you will follow the legislation that regulates your sector of belonging. The rule of silence is valid : if within 90 days the municipality does not answer officially, you can still open the shop.

Always in order to facilitate and encourage competition, all product categories have been grouped into food and non-food products. There is no longer even the old obligation of minimum distance between the same stores, today two restaurants can open one next to the other. A further division of the sales exercises is given by the size of the surface:

  • neighborhood exercise (which does not exceed 250 square meters);
  • medium-sized sales structures (between 250 square meters and 2500 square meters);
  • large sales structures (over 2500 square meters).

Open a shop to the public: the characteristics of the room

Pay close attention to this passage on the suitability of the premises for your future store. In addition to choosing a space that is strategic, easily accessible, possibly with parking and windows that give visibility, it is important to ensure that it meets all the rules. There are municipalities that impose limits on the type of activity, depending on the area in which you would like to open a shop.

Even the original intended use is fundamental: in a historical moment in which restoration and vintage is a trend, an old warehouse can become a shop, but it is necessary to change the intended use. Do not forget, also because otherwise you would risk closure and very high fines, that your premises must respect and follow the ASL rules.

The contacts after an inspection, release a consent. For the methods and characteristics informed at the ASL of your area.

What to do to open a shop? Administrative obligations

The obligations required by law are:

  • opening the VAT position;
  • Chamber of Commerce, INAIL and INPS registration.

To all these organizations your accountant will communicate the precise date of the beginning of your activity.

Open a shop, but what kind?

Open an online store

In the article How to open an online store  you can read specifically the actions to be performed. A trend that has been ridden both by independent traders and by large franchises and on which it is worth betting.

Open a flea market

Also of this theme we have treated all the details in the article How to open a flea market . A trend that has been ridden both by independent traders and by large franchises and on which it is worth betting.