I am a UK national that has been living and working in Italy since 2019. I have a carta d'identita that's valid until 2029 and so far I've had a few "short term" contracts (contrato a tempo determinato), and while I could stick with my current job I'd like to quit and start my own business centered around remote workshops. My two questions are:

  1. am I allowed to do so with my current ID card and status or do I need to apply for some other type of residence permit that allows one to be self employed?

  2. I currently have a carta sanitaria that gives me access to health care. What would be the consequences of switching to be self employed?

For what it's worth I've done research online and asked friends, but it's hard to navigate the Italian bureaucracy and to know which definitions apply to me. I have understood that being self employed in Italy is quite expensive and that I can expect ~4000eur in annual expenses just to cover various fees and taxes.

Here is a copy of my id card with all personal details redacted, in case it might clarify which type of residence permit I currently have:

id card - front id card - back

Thank you in advance,

  • The Carta D'identita, when issued to non Italians, is valid only and exclusively in Italy for identification purposes (it's not valid to travel abroad: NON VALIDA PER L'ESPATRIO). Jul 18, 2021 at 3:45

1 Answer 1


The more pressing issue in your case isn't so much a potential change in work status, it's Brexit. The photo you've posted is not a residence permit, but rather a resident ID card. I'm assuming you received it in 2019 by declaring residence as a citizen of a (then) EU member state. In that case, you may also have an attestato di soggiorno or an attestazione di soggiorno permanente UE.

With the withdrawal agreement, you retain your established residency and work rights, but it would behoove you to obtain a Carta di Soggiorno as proof of those rights (both governments strongly advise this, although it is not, technically speaking, mandatory), particularly if you're planning to open a business tax ID and slog through all the paperwork you'll encounter setting up a business. (Not all officials will know the new card isn't required, so you may face delays or outright refusal otherwise.) The UK has delightfully clear and detailed instructions on what you need to do to get your card (if only Italy's own documentation was ever this straightforward): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/italy-how-to-register-for-the-biometric-residency-card/biometric-residency-card-carta-di-soggiorno-elettronica-for-uk-nationals-living-in-italy-before-1-january-2021#if-you-were-registered-with-the-town-hall-before-1-january-2021

As far as your carta sanitaria goes, a change in employment has no bearing on that (unless you're retiring or, in some cases, unemployed) so nothing should be different there.

(Another heads up -- if you're still driving on a UK license, you can only continue to do so through the end of this year before you'll be required to apply for an Italian one.)

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