Legal forms of philanthropic organizations included in the law: Association, Company Limited by Guarantee, Cooperative, Corporation, Foundation, Limited Liability Company, Society, Trust
The legal forms of corporation and company apply only to entities registered as social enterprise (Legislative Decree No.112/2017). Under the Third Sector Code (Legislative Decree No. 117/2017), in addition to voluntary organizations, social promotion associations, philanthropic bodies, social enterprises including social cooperatives, associative networks, mutual aid societies, associations, whether recognized or not, and foundations, any private entity (other than companies) set up for the pursuit, on a nonprofit basis of civic, solidarity and socially useful purposes by carrying out, exclusively or principally, one or more activities of general interest in the form of voluntary action or the free provision of money, goods or services, or mutuality or the production or exchange of goods or services, can register with the Single National Register of the Third Sector (hereinafter RUNTS) and obtain the Third Sector Entity (Ente del Terzo Settore – hereinafter ETS) status, above all for tax purposes. Governmental agencies, political parties, labor unions, professional, entrepreneurial, commercial, or industrial associations cannot qualify as ETS. According to Law No. 208/2015, the so-called società benefit is a company which combines the goal of profit with a public-benefit purpose of creating a positive impact for society and the environment and which operates in a transparent, responsible, and sustainable way.
Main social issues addressed by these organizations: Arts and Culture, Others
According to 2020 data published by ISTAT, the subsectors of culture, sports and recreation gathers over 64 percent of the nonprofit organizations (NPOs) surveyed. This subsector is followed by social assistance and civil protection (over 9%), labor unions relations (6.5%), religion (over 4%), education and research (approximately 4%), and health (3.5%).
Average time established by law to register a philanthropic organization: 31-60 days
The registration time is up to 60 days under the Third Sector Code, which applies to all nonprofit entities registering with the RUNTS that is held by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies and managed on a territorial basis. This term can be shortened up to 30 days if the articles of association and the bylaws of the organization are drawn up in accordance with standard typed models, prepared by associative networks and approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies. The time is up to 120 days under the D.P.R. No. 361/2000, which applies to associations, foundations and private entities registering with the Legal Persons Register that is kept by the prefectures and regions. In order to simplify the process, the Third Sector Code allows third sector associations and foundations to acquire legal personality through a single registration with the RUNTS, subject to a minimum capital requirement of EUR 15,000 (USD 18,226) for associations and EUR 30,000 (USD 36,451) for foundations. Upon request filed by the notary responsible for the association or foundation’s deed, the Third Sector Register Office provides for the registration of the entity, subject only to a control over the formal regularity of the documentation.
For third sector associations and foundations formerly registered with the Legal Persons Register, the effectiveness of this registration is suspended as long as the registration with the RUNTS is maintained.
Average cost for registering a philanthropic organization: USD 0
The registration with the RUNTS is free of charge. A registration tax of EUR 200 (USD 243) and a revenue stamp (EUR 16, or USD 19, and the cost amounts approximately to EUR 150 or USD 182 as documents must be submitted in duplicates) apply to the registration of the creation documents, except for certain tax-exempt entities, such as voluntary organizations. The statutory amendments intended to adapt the creation documents with the third sector reform are tax-exempt for entities registered as voluntary organizations or social promotion associations. For associations, foundations and other private entities registering with the Legal Persons Register, the registration fee amounts to EUR 16 (USD 19) (revenue stamp), except for certain tax-exempt organizations.
Government levels primarily regulating the incorporation of philanthropic organizations: Central/Federal Government