• 03/06/2022
In order to exercise a productive activity of goods and services (commercial or assimilated), it is necessary to apply to the municipality where the activity takes place.
The matter is regulated by Law 241/1990 (as amended by Law 122/2010), which substituted the SCIA for the DIA (Declaration of Activity's Beginning) in state and regional legislation.
The SCIA 2 decree (Legislative Decree 222/2016) indicates what the different administrative regimes are in relation to productive activities.
In order for the activity to be carried out in accordance with the law, it is necessary to comply with the regulations set out in the General Regulatory Plan as well as the resolutions of the municipality in which the activity is carried out.


Trade in private areas is distinguished according to the extent and nature of the activity exercised:

a) neighbourhood business (food and non-food)
b) medium sales structure (food and non-food)
c) large sales structure (food and non-food)
(d) wholesale trade (food and non-food)
(e) sales by agricultural producers
(f) special forms of sale


The SCIA 2 decree indicates which areas are subject to the administrative regimes set out therein:

* hairdressers and hairdressing salons
* public auction, matrimonial, public relations, extrajudicial debt collection and business agencies
* animal husbandry, resting stables, raw milk production
* printing, lithographic, photographic and printing arts
* kindergartens
* entertainment or entertainment activities
* garages
* driving schools
* motor vehicle service centres
* trade
* petrol stations
* porterage
* cleaning, disinfection, pest control, rodent-control and sanitation companies
* mechanics, body shops and tyre shops
* amusement arcades
* nautical schools
* provision of food and drink
* accommodation and bathing establishments
* dry cleaners and laundries


Next to each activity, Table A of the SCIA 2 decree sets out the administrative regimes to be observed for the start-up, expansion, transfer and cessation of the activity.
There are five administrative regimes:

* Communication
* Simplified SCIA
* Single SCIA
* SCIA subject to absent acts
* Authorisation (or licence)

COMMUNICATION (Art. 19-bis, l. 241/1990)

Consists of the mere communication of the start-up of the activity to the municipality in which it is exercised.
In Rome, the competent office is the SUAP (Single Desk for Productive Activities).
The communication is required, for example, in the case of sub-entry into a food and beverage administration activity or in the case of termination of the activity.

SIMPLIFIED SCIA (Article 19, Law 241/1990)

The 'simplified SCIA' is to be distinguished from the ordinary SCIA provided for by the TUE (Testo Unico dell'edilizia, d.p.r. 380/2001) and relating to the issuance of building permits. Art. 19, paragraph 1, in its new wording, provides that 'Any authorisation, licence, non-constitutive concession, permit or nulla osta, however named, including applications for registration in registers or rolls required for the exercise of entrepreneurial, commercial or artisan activities, the issuance of which depends exclusively on the verification of requirements and prerequisites required by law or administrative acts with a general content, and no overall limit or quota or specific sectoral planning instruments are required for the issuance of such acts, is replaced by a report by the interested party (SCIA)'.

The SCIA does not apply to cases where there are environmental, landscape or cultural constraints and acts issued by the administrations in charge of national defence, public security, immigration, asylum, citizenship, the administration of justice, the administration of finance, including acts concerning the networks for the acquisition of revenue, including from gaming, as well as those provided for by the regulations for construction in seismic areas and those imposed by EU regulations.

Within 60 days from the submission of the SCIA, the municipality may forbid the continuation of the activity or require it to be brought in line with the regulations in force. After 60 days from the submission of the SCIA, the administration is permitted to intervene only in the presence of a current danger of serious and irreparable damage to the artistic and cultural heritage, the environment, health, public safety or national defence, and subject to reasoned ascertainment of the impossibility of protecting such interests by conforming the activity of private individuals to the regulations in force.

SINGLE SCIA (Article 19-bis, paragraph 2, Law 241/1990)

If, in order to carry out an activity subject to an SCIA, other SCIAs, communications, certifications, asseverations and notifications are required, the interested party submits a single SCIA to the SUAP.
As in the case of the simplified SCIA, the administration may intervene within 60 days of the submission of the SCIA.

SCIA SUBJECT TO ABSENT ACTS (Art. 19-bis, para. 3, l. l. 241/1990)

If the activity that is the subject of the SCIA is conditional upon the acquisition of acts of consent, however named, or upon the opinions of other offices and administrations, or upon the performance of prior verifications, the interested party shall submit the relative application to the SUAP.
In such cases, the deadline for convening the preliminary services conference runs from the date of submission of the application and the beginning of the activity is subject to the issuance of the same acts, of which the counter notifies the interested party.

AUTHORISATION (Article 20 of Law 241/1990)

Article 20 of Law 241/1990 regulates the hypothesis in which the municipal administration, which is required to issue the express authorisation measure (licence), is inactive. This is the so-called 'silence-assent'.
Outside the cases in which the simplified SCIA is provided for, in proceedings at the request of a party for the issuance of administrative measures, the silence of the competent administration is equal to the measure of acceptance of the application, without the need for further requests or warnings, if the same administration does not notify the interested party of the measure of refusal (within 30 or 90 days, depending on the case) or does not call the services conference.
In the event of the formation of silence-assent, the administration is obliged to issue electronically, at the request of the private party, a certificate of the expiry of the procedural deadlines and of the acceptance of the request.
Once 10 days have elapsed since the request, the certificate is replaced by a declaration by the private individual.

Silence-consent is never formed in the following cases:

* acts and procedures concerning cultural heritage and landscape, the environment, protection against hydrogeological risk, national defence, public security, immigration, asylum and citizenship, health and public safety
* cases where Community law requires the adoption of formal administrative measures
* cases in which the law qualifies the administration's silence as rejection of the request (so-called "silence-denial")
* acts and procedures identified by d.p.c.m.


The competent administration may always act by way of self-protection, revoking or annulling the measure issued within the limits provided for, respectively, by Articles 21-quinquies and 21-novies of Law 241/1990.
The time limit for taking action by way of self-protection is 12 months from the adoption of the measure authorising or awarding economic benefits, including cases where the measure has been formed in compliance with the silence-consent rule pursuant to Article 20 of Law 241/1990.


Here is the documentation required by the municipality in case of SCIA:

* declarations in lieu of certification and affidavit (Articles 46 and 47 of Presidential Decree 445/2000), certifying the applicant's moral and professional requirements
* certifications of qualified technicians or declarations of conformity issued by the Agencies for Businesses (ex art. 38 paragraph 4 of legislative decree 112/2008), relating to the existence of the requirements and prerequisites for starting the activity
* technical documents (to be attached to the aforesaid certifications) necessary to allow the verifications within the competence of the administration

The aforesaid self-certifications and asseverations substitute acts and opinions of bodies and entities, when required, subject to subsequent verifications by the competent bodies.
Where the act does not constitute a more serious offence, whoever, in the declarations, attestations or asseverations accompanying the notification of commencement of activities, falsely declares or attests the existence of the requirements or prerequisites indicated shall be punished by imprisonment of from one to three years.

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