An EU national or a permanent resident with a certificato di residenza, may become self-employed (lavoro autonomo), work freelance (libero professionista) or operate as a sole trader (imprenditore or ditta individuale) in Italy.
A Permesso di Soggiorno needs to be changed to a Permesso di soggiorno per lavoro autonomo/indipendente (how easy this may be done depends on nationality and status).
Certain legal requirements must be met. For example:
Self-employed people may wish to join the Camere di Commercio, which provides a range of information and assistance for the self-employed and those running their own businesses, including supplementary health insurance and help in dealing with Italian bureaucracy, taxation and social security.