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Open a Company in Italy

Open a Company in Italy

Updated on Tuesday 09th May 2017

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Italy is a pillar of the European Union’s economy due to the large number of foreign investors it attracts every year. The Government is also aware of the importance foreign investments play in Italy’s economy which is why it provides numerous tax incentives to businessmen all over the world.
 
Among the incentives provided by the Government, the most notable are in the tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and foodstuff sectors. Italy does not only provide diversity in terms of the investment sectors, but it offers a large variety of types of companies an investor can register there. 
 
As a consequence of the attractive incentives provided by the authorities, Italy has become a relevant business destination for both European investors, as well as for businessmen carrying investment activities outside European Union. It is also necessary to mention that in Italy foreigners can easily become associated in a local business (as a shareholder or as a director), as there are no special requirements imposed in this sense. 
 
Our lawyers in Italy can help investors select the right type of company for incorporation.
 
We invite you to watch a short video about how to open an Italian company:
 

What are the available types of companies in Italy?

Considering most foreign enterprisers are interested in setting up small and medium sized companies in Italy, the business forms they can establish are:
 
joint stock companies (Società per Azioni, SPA),
limited liability companies (Società a Responsabilità Limitata, SRL),
partnerships limited by shares (Società in Accomandita per Azioni, SAPA),
general partnerships (Società in Nome Collettivo, SNC),
limited partnerships (Società in Accomandita Semplice, SAS),
cooperatives (Società Cooperativa),
sole proprietorships (Imprenditore Individuale).
 
Each type of company must be registered according to some requirements. Among these are the share capital and accounting requirements, on which our attorneys in Italy can offer in-depth assistance, depending on the business structure chosen for incorporation. 
 

Private limited liability companies in Italy  

 
The most common way to start a business in Italy refers to the incorporation of a limited liability company. In Italy, there are two main types of private limited liability companies, as follows: 
 
traditional limited liability company (società a responsabilità limitata- s.r.l);
simplified limited liability company (società a responsabilità limitata semplificata - s.r.l.s). 
 
In a s.r.l.s, the commercial legislation stipulates that the company’s shareholders can only be represented by natural persons and not other legal entities, which can be the case of other business forms available here. 
 

What are the main requirements to open a company in Italy?

 
When opening a company in Italy, the investors should know that the incorporation procedure can be completed in a fast manner, as the process can last approximately five working days.
 
One of the highlights of the incorporation procedure in Italy points out that a foreign businessman can obtain a VAT (value added tax) number prior to the incorporation of the company, a regulation which is not applicable to other European jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom. 
 
When setting up a business in Italy, one must take into account the minimum share capital required. According to the Italian Commercial Code, joint stock companies and limited liability companies are required to deposit a share capital before the company is registered with the Commercial Register in Italy
 
In order to deposit the minimum share capital, the businessmen will need to open a corporate bank account, a procedure which can be completed in a matter of hours.  
 
Joint stock companies are required to have minimum share capital of 120,000 euros, while limited liability companies must have a minimum share capital of 10,000 euros of which only 2,500 euros must be deposited prior to registration.
 
In the case of a simplified limited liability company, the company’s share capital is established in an amount of maximum EUR 10,000. 
 

Company registration procedure in Italy

 
In order to register a company in Italy, the next steps must be followed:
 
draft the company’s memorandum and articles of association and notarize them;
purchase the corporate and the accounting books;
deposit all documents with the Register of Enterprises.
 
As a general rule, the company’s statutory documents can be modified depending on the investor’s business plans (however, this can only be done in accordance with the applicable legislation). In the case of a simplified limited liability company, the businessmen will not be allowed to include further provisions, as they are required to sign the standard model for the company’s articles of association
 
Also, when notarizing the company’s documents, the investors will also need to sign an incorporation deed. Our team of Italian lawyers can offer legal assistance in this case. At the same time, our lawyers can represent the foreign investors in front of the Italian notary if they receive a power of attorney
 
Together with the certificate of incorporation, the company will also receive a tax identification number and a VAT number.
 
In Italy, all companies performing commercial activities are required to register for taxation purposes. At the moment, the Italian authorities apply a corporate tax at the rate of 24% (this is a newer rate, as in the past companies were imposed with a tax rate of 27%). 
 
Once the company is registered, there are a few more steps to follow before commencing operating:
 
registration with the Social Security Administration and the Accident Insurance Office;
notification of the Labor Office for the employment of workers.
 

Legal assistance in Italy 

 
It is important to know that our law firm in Italy can provide legal assistance on matters such as: 
 
assist local and foreign businessmen in drafting all the company’s relevant documents and, at the same time, the lawyers can represent the businessmen in these procedures;
register the company for taxation purposes;
offer assistance on the procedure of opening a bank account (which can differ, depending on the bank with which the investor wants to collaborate);
assist on the commercial contracts that are established with other Italian companies;
obtain business permits which can be necessary for specific business activities;
assist on litigation cases, such as recovering a debt from a legal entity or a natural person;
advice on the intellectual property legislation and the registration of a trademark
legal conseling on the Employment Law
 
For information about business start-up costs or other corporate services, you may refer to our Italian law firm.
 
 

 

Comments

  • Jan Afridi 2014-12-30

    Helo,i want to establish SRL company in Italy please guide me

    Hello Jan, you can send us your request at office@lawyersitaly.eu and one of our Italian lawyers will answer you as sson as possible.

  • Debby 2015-06-17

    Helo,i want to establish SRL company in Italy please guide me

  • Hussam 2017-02-03

    Hello my name is Hussam, I'm Syrian citizen, I live and work in China now over 8 years and now I'm planning to move to Italy and get the resident card. Can you help me with that by someway like opening a small company?

  • Betty 2017-05-09

    Italy is one of the most important economies of the EU, so I suppose it provides an attractive business environment.

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