Italy: Certified E-Mail Address Becomes Mandatory For Companies

SUMMARY

  1. Introduction
  2. What is the certified e-mail address
  3. New communication's compulsory fulfilments to the Companies Registrar
  4. New communication's compulsory fulfilments for sole entrepreneurs
  5. New communication's compulsory fulfilments for professionals and Public Administrations.

1. INTRODUCTION

Article 16, paragraph 16, of the Law Decree no. 185 dated November 29th 2008, states that Companies and other Legal Entities have to communicate to the Companies Registrar, their certified e-mail address.

For

  • New companies and new legal entities (ROs and Branches) the certified e-mail address is compulsory since their incorporation and has to be notified to the Companies Registrar together with the application form (usually submitted by the incorporating Notary).
  • Companies and other legal entities incorporated before November 29th 2008 the certified e-mail address has to be communicated to the Companies Registrar within November 29th 2011.

2. WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED E-MAIL ADDRESS

The certified e-mail address (or CEA) is a communication system very similar to the ordinary electronic mailing with additional certification and security transmission's characteristics, totally equivalent to a hard-mail letter sent with a recorded delivery.

In fact it has the same safety and juridical effectiveness of a letter sent via the ordinary postage service with receipt of delivery.

It can therefore even substitute the notification of any warning from public authorities.

The main characteristics and advantages of the CEA are:

  • Integrity of the message: the use of certified e-mail systems is done solely with safe protocols, in order to avoid any alteration of the message or of its attachments by third parties. In fact all communications are protected since they are encrypted and electronically signed.
  • Certification of the submission: when a certified e-mail is sent from a CEA address a receipt of verification is received by the service provider, confirming the date and hour of submission to receivers.
  • Certification of receipt : the receiver's services provider sends to the sender a receipt confirming that the message has been delivered. Even in this case the message contains the date and hour of delivery.
  • Legal value: the certified e-mail message has a full legal value and receipts can be used as proofs of submission, also for contents and attachments. Most important information are stored by the service provider for 30 months and can be used as well as proofs against third parties. It is important to underline that the submission is considered certified e-mail only if both sender and receiver have a certified e-mail, even if provided by different service providers. If one of the two e-mail addresses involved is not a certified one, the system can provide the receiving (or sending) confirmation coming from the sender's provider but not the receipt of delivery.
  • Simultaneous delivery of the same message to different receivers with lower costs compared to the ordinary hard-mail services.
  • Immediate access from every computer connected to the internet to sent or received mail storage.

3. New communication's comp-ulsory fulfilments to the Companies Registrar

Article 16, paragraph 6, of the Law Decree no. 185 dated November 29th 2008, converted with modifications in the Law no. 2 dated January 28th 2009, states that Companies must communicate their certified e-mail address to the Companies Registrar.

In particular for

  • New companies and new legal entities (ROs and Branches) the certified e-mail address i compulsory since their incorporation and has to be notified to the Companies Registrar together with the application form (usually submitted by the incorporating Notary).
  • Companies and other legal entities incorporated before November 29th 2008 the certified e-mail address has to be communicated to the Companies Registrar within November 29th 2011.

The missed communication implies a suspension of the registration process and in case of missed regularization the registration will be denied.

The communication of the certified e-mail address has to be submitted via an application form named "S2" usually used for every communication to the Companies Registrar.

The communication and any subsequent modification are exempted from duty stamps and registrar's secretary charges.

4. New communication's comp-ulsory fulfilments for sole entrepreneurs

Sole entrepreneurs are not obliged to have a certified e-mail address, however they need to include a certified e-mail address in all forms submitted to public authorities in case some modification occurs in previous information submitted.

If those changes are notified authorities through an intermediary professional, the certified e-mail address can be the one of the professional itself.

5. New communication's comp-ulsory fulfilments for professionals and Public Administrations

Professional registered in professional bodies incorporated under a state law, had to notify their respective bodies within November 29th 2009.

Professional Bodies have to publish a list available on the internet all details related to their members and the related certified e-mail address (article 16th, paragraph 7, of the Law Decree no. 185/2008).

Public administrations have to obtain a certified e-mail address of every protocol register and they to ask for their publication in a list made available on the internet (www.indicepa.gov.it).

Communications between companies, professionals and public administrations that have acquired a certified e-mail address, can be sent without a formal acceptance by the receiver for the use of the same CEA (in fact article 16, paragraph 7 of the Law Decree no. 185/2008 repeals article 4, paragraph, 4 of Republic Presidential Decree no. 68/2005 related to the declaration of explicit will of acceptance to receive a certified e-mail by the company).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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