Open a farm: what is needed?

Do you have the idea of open a farmhouse but you don't know how to deal with the bureaucracy? Don't worry, the important thing is that your project is valid and feasible because the rest is solved.

Moreover, if 20,000 have already succeeded (there are many Italian farmhouses surveyed by Istat) you can do it too. So sit back and read below what you need to know and what you need to do for open a farmhouse.

The necessary documents. You need a lot of stamps, so get ready to hunt down the ones you miss. If you are new to the profession, it may take some time, but patience is a skill that you cannot lack if you want open a farmhouse). The required documents are:

  • VAT number;
  • tax account;
  • registration in the Register of Companies of the Chamber of Commerce;
  • registration in the regional register of agritourism operators;
  • authorization from the mayor to carry out the activity;
  • Inps position;
  • Inail position;
  • authorization from the Fire Brigade;
  • authorization for the installation of signs and road signs;
  • Health fitness booklet;
  • sanitary authorization for the premises;
  • waste tax;
  • membership in trade associations.

What is a agriturismor? The definition is contained in Law 96 of 20 February 2006, which defines 'agritourism activities' the "reception and hospitality activities carried out by agricultural entrepreneurs also in the form of joint-stock companies or partnerships, or associated with each other, through the use of their own company in connection with the activities of cultivation of the land, forestry and breeding of animals ".

Natural the question: who can be defined as an agricultural entrepreneur? This is what Article 2135 of the Civil Code says: "Is an agricultural entrepreneur who practices (...): cultivation of the land, forestry, animal breeding and related activities".

Attention: by cultivation of the bottom and breeding of animals we also mean the activities that, to create a biological cycle or an essential part of it, use or can use fresh, brackish or marine waters. So, in spite of the suffix –Agri which makes you think of the earth, it is also possible to do farm holidays with the sea, lakes and rivers.

What does the agritourism activity include? Given that in a farm you cannot miss an activity linked to agriculture or livestock (also linked to water as we have said), the 'tourist' part is based on 4 activities:

  • give hospitality in lodgings or in open spaces intended for campers;
  • providing meals and drinks consisting 'mainly' of own products and products from farms in the area. With preference for typical products characterized by the DOP, IGP, IGT, DOC and DOCG brands or included in the national list of traditional agri-food products;
  • organize tastings of farm products;
  • organize recreational, cultural, educational, sports, as well as hiking and horse-riding activities, also in agreement with local authorities, aimed at enhancing the territory and the rural heritage. For these activities, surfaces can also be used outside the land assets that are available to the company.

Tourism yes, but without exaggerating. Why can open a farmhouse a relationship of connection to the main agricultural activity must be demonstrated, which must not be supplanted by the agritourism activity.

Buildings and sanitation requirements. For the agritourism activity, the buildings, or part of them, already existing in the fund can be used. Sanitation requirements are established by regional laws. It is always the Regions that, in the wake of national law, issue the certificate of qualification to exercise the agritourism business.

Rates, opening times and meal administration. By 31 October of each year, in accordance with the procedures laid down by individual regional regulations, agricultural entrepreneurs who carry out agritourism activities must submit a declaration with the maximum rates set for the following year, referring to periods of high and low season.

The opening periods are decided by the agricultural entrepreneur, notifying the Municipality. A farmhouse can remain open all year or just a few months. If for the needs of the farm it is necessary to suspend the reception of guests, the farm can do so - for short periods - without the obligation to notify the Municipality.

For the preparation of meals up to a maximum of ten, the farmer can also use the domestic kitchen of his home. If the seats are more than ten, then you need an equipped kitchen 'apart' from the home.

Tax discipline. Income from agritourism is also considered agricultural income. As a rule (law 413/91, art.5), the taxable income of the farmhouse is calculated according to a flat-rate regime to the extent of 25% of revenues net of VAT (VAT is also paid on a flat-rate basis, to the extent of 50% of that collected with the proceeds of hospitality).

The alternative is to request, by signing a three-year commitment, the application of the ordinary rules that determine taxable income and VAT to be paid to the State on the difference between income and expenses.

The difference between one system and the other lies in the accounting of costs: with the flat rate system it is not allowed to calculate any deduction costs; with the ordinary system, however, the start-up and running costs of the business contribute negatively to the determination of income and VAT to be paid. The VAT rate for overnight stays (accommodation and camping) and catering is 10%; for all other services it is 20%.

Start of business. To inaugurate a farmhouse and receive the first guests, you need the authorization of the Municipality where the business is located. Administrative procedures and times vary from region to region. As a rule, a regional list of suitable subjects to exercise the agritourism activity is established and periodically updated, subject to verification of the requirements.

Once entered in the regional list (in some cases the list was provincial but the provinces have been abolished) the agricultural entrepreneur can submit an application for authorization to the Municipality and, if the latter does not respond within the time provided by the regional law, start the activity on the basis of the silent consent

Video: So you want to Start a Farm? Six Things You should Know (October 2021).