How to form an association

An association (in particular a non-recognized association) is the most common form of business for non-profit organizations (it is a type of organization organized for purposes other than generating profit and in which no part of the organization's income is distributed to its members, that, on the other hand, is normal for commercial activities).


Commercial activities are not the main or exclusive purpose of associations, so they can pay less taxes. Associations registered as an ONLUS (Non-Profit Organization of Social Utility) have also preferential tax rate.


Contract of association

An association is formalized by a contract composed of two distinct elements, but legally having the unitary nature, which are:

  • Certificate of incorporation: is an official document that proves that a company has been legally created and officially exists;
  • Articles of association: a document that contains details of how a company is organized, for example, the duties of management, rights of shareholders, and when meetings will be held.

Organizational structure of association

Organizational structure requires the presence of at least two members and two essential components in the association:

  • Company general meeting: the meeting of a company's members at which they inform their members of previous and future activities, elect directors, approve the annual budget, if it's necessary amend the constitution or the articles of association and decree the dissolution of the association;
  • The administrative organ, named the Council (or Committee) Executive Committee, which is responsible for implementing the resolutions of the general meeting,  taking operational decisions and organizing activities. It is composed of the president of the association and usually a treasurer and a secretary.

There are also other associative organizations for which is highly recommended the provision in the Articles of association:

  • Board of Arbitrators or Guarantee (which controls the internal life of the association);
  • The College of the Auditors of Account (which controls the administrative life of the association).

Requirements for incorporation

  1. Be a group of at least two people who share common goals;
  2. Clarify the objectives and activities that will enable their pursuit;
  3. Know restrictions and opportunities deriving from an association;
  4. Formalize and organize the group, which, from the informal group, becomes an association (through the Certificate of incorporation, the Articles of association and electing the members of Committee);
  5. Apply for grant of tax identification number at the office of direct taxes and deposit the association contract at the registry office - competent private acts;
  6. Buy and use the company's books (the register of members, the minutes of general meetings, the account book etc.) and keep all the documents to prepare income and expenditure account in the end of the year.
  7. Get permission to conduct activities (in case of doing business to apply for VAT number;
  8. Apply for registration in the register of regional voluntary organizations, provincial register of associations, list of inhabitants and municipal associations.

IN EVIDENZATranslation by Anastasia Yutkina

Ultima revisione della pagina: 27/6/2016