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Setting up a non-profit organization in Italy

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

A non-profit organization is born from a group of who people come together to pursue common goals. What is special is that there is an absence of profit and an open and democratic structure. Also, there is sovereignty at the head of the shareholders’ meeting.

Founding a non-profit organization in Italy

The Italian legal system offers various forms of association. Determinants are the type of common purpose, the “mission. Also, target users, activities intended to be carried out, and the nature of the commitment of members. Additional characteristics are the qualification of ONLUS, a non-profit organization of social utility. Secondly, the legal personality.

Types of association

The Italian system provides four forms of association. Firstly, voluntary organizations, O.D.V. The main purpose is solidarity. Secondly, the Social Promotion Association (A.P.S.) has the main purpose of social utility. Then, there is the Amateur Sports Association (A.S.D.). Finally, the civil code association is any organization that is not part of the previous forms.

Building the organization

The first step in the constitution is the first assembly of the members. During this, the deed of incorporation and statute are written. Together, these constitute the contract, the agreement that gives life to the association.

The deed of incorporation

To explain, the deed of incorporation sanctions the desire to found an association. The document is signed by all founding members and includes their personal data and the place and time of the meeting. Also, the name of the organization and the mission are included. Additionally, the composition of the board of directors and the statute.

The stature

To add, the statute contains the rules of the organization’s life. So, the rules governing relations between members, and the association itself. The statute must contain the following elements:

-the name and type of association,

- the registered office,

- the mission,

- assets,

- the rights and obligations of the shareholders,

- the rules on internal regulations.

Business meeting, discussion of plans

Tax code

Necessary but not mandatory is the tax code. If it does not exist, it limits the organization. Registering the articles of association and the deed of incorporation this way adds value. For example, for the stipulation of contracts. Registering these deeds at the local office of the revenue agency offers benefits. To sum up, tax concessions are accessible. Also, registration in municipal, provincial, regional, or national registers is possible. To add, attribution of personality legal can be requested.

Timeline for documentation The registration of the deed of incorporation and the statute must be made within 20 days of the establishment of the association. Within 60 days of setting up the organization, the EAS model must be submitted. Importantly, this document has to constantly be updated. To explain, the EAS model is the tax data communication model for associations. Some types of associations are not required to submit an EAS model.

Economic report

The advisory economic report must be drawn up within four months of the end of the social year. The annual financial report is drawn up by the board of directors. But, it is established as dictated in the organization’s statute. Also, it must contain all income and expenses of the association. Additionally, the board of directors has the task of writing a social report. To elaborate, it describes all activities carried out by the organization during the year. The shareholders’ meeting approves both documents.


Mazzamuto S., Manuale del diritto privato. Giappichelli, 2017.


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