Which residence/company location is beneficial for an Italian freelancer

#1

I am an Italian citizen currently living in Italy. I am starting to work as a freelancer and want to open a company in order to invoice the client.
Besides that, I also want to move my main residence away from Italy for multiple reasons.
In which countries should I place my company and/or residence so that the combination of both would be beneficial for me (cost and taxwise)?
Goal would be to rent an apartment and actually move (preferably in Europe), and from there travel as a digital nomad.
Has anyone been in a similar situation or knows an answer to this?

#2

well, that depends on how much money you will be making… if a lot, Labuan might help you with taxes for your company. Philippines do not charge foreign residents taxes for income from overseas and living can be cheap and beautiful (and so are the girls :wink: ). Within EU - sorry, I can not really advise on that. Maybe Ireland …

#3

You could look at the combination of Estonia (for incorporation-it’s easy and cheap, and fairly tax efficient for non-residents who draw a salary) and Malta (for moving to). As a non-domiciled resident, Malta will not tax you on the income earned while abroad (as long as you don’t bring the earnings into a Maltese bank account within at least 12 months). It sounds like you would be traveling a lot, so that would be one easy option.

On the Estonian side you could sign up for e-residency, then use a service provider like LeapIn to deal with all accounting and regulatory requirements.

Registering in Malta (as “self sufficient”) is easy as pie and you can do it yourself. Here’s everything you need to know: https://nomadgate.com/register-as-self-sufficient-malta/

You should also speak with a tax professional on the Maltese side to be 100% sure of your liabilities there (both personally and for the company), but it shouldn’t be much if anything as long as you do most work outside of Malta and for non-Maltese clients.

If you’re making a decent amount of money (say 100 000 EUR or more per year), it could be worth it to shell out for professional help with getting an even more tax efficient setup (possibly not in Europe). But as far as low costs and ease comes, this setup is hard to beat in the EU.

Regular disclaimer: Don’t trust a word of what I just said, nor anything else you find on an internet forum. Speak to a professional.

1 Like
#4

Yes I was thinking too about opening a company in Estonia, probably with LeapIN. Thanks for the throughout information! Even though you are right, I need and I will speak to a professional.

#5

Please remember Estonian E-Residency does not give a personal tax residency and is therefore useless because any country you will live will claim you as a personal tax resident. In addition if they have CFC laws they will also be able to claim all tax on your foreign Estonian E-Residency company.

Estonia E-Residency (and its agency LeapIn) is a misleading program that markets itself to gullible people who have no idea about tax law and they will get burned when their country’s tax institution finds out.

#6

@levelsio that’s true if you’re a full-time resident of most (western) countries. Malta is not most western countries, and the Estonian company would most likely (and worst case) be treated as a non-dom resident there as well, only being liable to Maltese taxation on profits generated there—which would be almost negligible if you spend most of the year traveling. But again, my recommendation to speak with a Maltese tax professional on this matter still stands.

Also, note that I did not say that Estonia would give you a personal tax residency—quite the opposite. For it to have any significant tax benefits you’ll need to be a non-tax resident of Estonia, and resident of a tax friendly country (like Malta or many others—mostly non-European ones).

First, of course, you (@saschamayr) would have to make sure that Italy is considering you as a non-resident for tax purposes. If they still consider you a tax resident that can cause a lot of trouble.

#7

@levelsio I agree with you that the name of the program is highly misleading, nearly got into that trap too…

@tkrunning I spoke with a tax professional once and he told me Italy has a whitelist of countries I can move to without them doing further investigation if I actually reside there. This is because specifically for Italians it is/was very popular to just officially move their residence to say Monaco (0% income tax) and rent there a 20m2 flat without actually living there and then pay no taxes at all in Italy. So the gist of it is that Italians can’t just move their residency to tax heavens without getting investigated (which makes sense of course).