Our law firm in Italy can provide numerous legal services that can be requested by both local and foreign investors, but also by natural persons interested in any civil matter. Persons interested in starting a business in Italy can request from our Italian law firm in-depth legal advice and legal representation on various matters pertaining to the commercial law, such as the procedure of opening a legal entity, the legislation one has to respect when engaging in a commercial activity, choosing a suitable business form or corporate tax advice.
Our lawyers are also prepared to assist companies during the liquidation procedure, but investors may also receive professional assistance when deciding to change the legal entity of their company. Foreign persons may also address to our team of Italian lawyers, who can represent them in a wide range of civil matters; thus, our English speaking lawyers in Italy may offer information on how to immigrate in this country, the conditions necessary for obtaining the Italian citizenship orpurchasing a property for personal or commercial purposes.
Persons interested in receiving legal services can address to our law firm in Italy in the case they need legal representation in front of an Italian court. Foreigners canbe represented by our team of Italian lawyers on a wide range of legal matters that are addressed to both corporate structures and natural persons.
Legal services for opening an Italian company
As Italy has started to recover from the financial crisis, more and more foreign investors begin to place Italy among their favorite countries to open companies in. By requesting the legal services of our Italian law firm you will benefit from a reduced time frame for the registration and licensing proceedings related to company formation. You can find out below the basic legal services that can be provided by our Italian lawyers, in matters related to the incorporation of a legal entity:
legal assistance in selecting one of the legal entities prescribed by the Italian legislation, which will be chosen based on the investment plans of the businessmen, the available capital, estimated number of employees and others;
legal representation in selecting the services of a virtual office in Italy, which is the simplest way to obtain a business address in this country;
legal aid in case of bankruptcy procedures and legal advice in merger and acquisition procedures;
assistance in drafting the company’s statutory documents and step-to-step advice regarding the registration formalities with the local institutions.
Considering these are only a few of the corporatelegal services provided by our English speaking lawyers in Italy, you can get in touch with them in order to find out more information about additional services. Investors can also request information on the legislation regulating the registration of an Italian business.
Legal advice in selecting a legal entity in Italy
One of the main decisions that should be taken when opening a company in Italy refers to the company’s business form and our team of Italian lawyers can provide an extensive presentation on the advantages and the obligations of each company type available here. Our team of lawyers can inform businessmen on the share capital needed for each business structure, on the type of accounting obligations necessary in each case, how to appoint directors or which are the tax obligations for the chosen legal entity.
Although the registration process is similar with the one available in other European countries, Italy has its own particularities and this is why it is advisable to request legal assistance from professionals who can offer up-to-date information on the applicable legislation. For example, in terms of taxation, a corporate entity (such as the limited liability company or the joint stock company) has different regulations compared to the sole trader.
These legal entities also differ in other matters, for example, on the accounting requirements. Our law firm in Italy can provide information on the accounting principles that must be respected based on the legal entity selected here, and can also offer advice on the steps for EORI registration, necessary for trading companies.
Legal assistance in civil matters in Italy
If you are considering to immigrate to Italy and need assistance with the visa application procedure you can rely on ourItalian solicitors. From information about the necessary documents to be lodged, to legal assistance on the actual procedure, you can request the legalservices of our lawyers.
They will inform you about the conditions you must fulfill based on your country of residence and will also advise you on any additional requirements. You can also refer to ourlaw firm in Italy for details on how to obtain the Italian citizenship and obtaining a golden visaas a foreign entrepreneur.
Our English speaking lawyers in Italycan provide legal assistance on the documents needed when applying for a visa as a foreign businessman or when the applicant is the employee of a foreign company, who needs to travel in Italy for business purposes. In the latter case, the visa can be obtained as long as the applicant received an invitation from an Italian company, with the purpose of attending meetings and events.
Besides these legal aspects concerning immigration matters as aninvestor in Italyor a foreigner relocating here, our legal services cover any aspect prescribed by the family legislation – marriage, divorce, maintenance of children, custody, the separation of family assets. These legal services in Italy can be obtained by persons who are Italian citizens married with other Italian citizens, but we can also represent foreigners who have married in Italy with Italian citizens or residents or with other foreigners.
It is also important to know that theItalian legislationhas prescribed legal rights for couples living in cohabitation and these rights are highly influenced on whether the couple has children – for instance, those who live in cohabitation and will separate must know that they generally can’t make any financial claims from the partner who has a more solid financial situation, unless exceptional situations occur.
Those living in cohabitation can register with a Civil Registrar, by submitting a self-declaration. This will grant specific rights, such as visiting rights in case of imprisonment or hospitalization, becoming the representative of one’s partner in the case in which the said partner loses his or her legal capacity and others.Our team of Italian lawyers can present more details on other rights you can obtain by registering with the Civil Registrar.
Also, starting with 2016, same-sex couples have the right or registering as a cohabitating couple or enter a civil union. The latter prescribes similar rights as the one gained by those who get married in Italy and in the case in which the couple wants to terminate their civil union, financial claims and other claims can be made; our Italian solicitors can present extensive details on this subject.
Legal representation in purchasing a property in Italy
Foreigners can receive legal assistance fromour team of Italian solicitors, who can assist them in the procedure of purchasing a property here. As a general rule, foreigners do not have many restrictions in purchasing properties in Italy. Persons who are citizens of the European Union (EU) can purchase a real estate property here following the regulations available for Italian nationals. However, in case of foreigners outside this region, a valid residence permit is necessary.
When starting this procedure, it is necessary to know that at least four parties have to be part of the transaction – the seller, the buyer, the real estate agent and the notary in Italy. It is also recommended toreceive legal advice from a law firm in Italy, where foreigners can be guided throughout the entire legal procedure.
The purchase of an Italian property is bound by the payment of several taxes and fees, which must be paid by the seller and the buyer. At first, the parties will sign a preliminary contract, which will be followed by the due diligence procedures regarding the respective property.
If the selling procedure will be accepted by both parties, then the rest of the process can be continued, which refers to paying the transfer taxes and the registration of the new owner with the local authorities. The main taxes imposed on properties in Italy are presented below:
the stamp duty – the tax is charged at a rate ranging from 2% to 9% from the cadastral value of the property that will be bought here;
the rate will vary based on the residency of the person buying the property (the 2% rate is charged to those who spend at least 6 months in a 12 months period in Italy, while the 9% rate is charged to those who are not permanent residents and who use the property as a second property);
still, it must be noted that the stamp duty will always have a value of at least EUR 1000, but the tax can also be charged at a much lower value, of only EUR 200 if the sale was done through an Italian tax registered legal entity;
buyers will also have to pay the land registry tax, which is charged at a fixed value of EUR 50 to EUR 200 – the same applies in the case of the mortgage tax, another type of tax that can be applied when purchasing a property;
the sale of properties can also be charged with the value added tax, which can be applied at rates such as 4%, 10% or 22%, depending on the type of property purchased;
the capital gains tax – is charged only to those who have been owners of a property for less than 5 years, situation in which the tax will be charged at a rate of 26% on profits obtained from the respective property.
As a buyer, you should also expect to pay notarial fees, which are generally charged at a fixed value of minimum EUR 1,000 or 1% from the value of the property transaction. In the case in which the property is purchased through a real estate agency, you should also consider the fees charged by the agency, which can vary from 1% to 5% from the value of the property; our Italian solicitors can present additional details on the tax system applied in this case.
Legal services on corporate taxation, offered by our law firm in Italy
Italy has a very flexible taxation system and our lawyers can help you benefit from all tax advantages. Our legal services imply tax planning solutions for both private individuals and companies operating in Italy. Foreign enterprises setting up subsidiaries or branch offices in Italy will be able to find out what their tax benefits are according to the country’s double taxation agreements and what incentives or governmental programs they can access in order to maximize their profits.
According to the Revenue Agency, the standard corporate tax is charged in Italy at a rate of 24% and the liability to pay this type of tax is imposed on almost all company types that are prescribed by the Italian legislation, such as: joint stock companies, partnerships limited by shares, cooperative companies, public and private entities in Italy, foreign companies developing commercial activities in Italy and others.
Businessmen interested in opening an Italian company must know that their companies will be liable to the payment of the capital gains tax, municipal tax, the stamp duty and the transfer tax, the regional tax on productive activities and the withholding taxes charged on the distribution of dividends, interest or royalties and the rates can vary depending on the tax treatment stipulated by a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation. You can refer to our English speaking lawyers in Italy for information on a specific double tax agreement.
Legal assistance in opening an Italian branch office/subsidiary
Our team of Italian lawyers have the necessary expertise in registering branch offices and subsidiaries in Italy, considering that these entities represent one of the most common manner of expanding a foreign company on the local market. The registration for each of these vehicles is different, as the branch office does not have a legal personality, while when establishing a subsidiary, the investors will have to select a legal entity and register it with the local authorities.
A subsidiary is generally registered as a limited liability company and in this case, it is legally required to sign the deed of incorporation and draw the company’s articles of association. The company also needs a value added tax (VAT) number, obtained from the National Tax Office, but this is also necessary for an Italian branch office.
We invite you to watch a short video about the legal services we provide for international clients interested in doing business in Italy:
Our Italian lawyers provide customized legal services to foreign citizens and investors coming to the country, so if you want details about the current investment programs do not hesitate to contact us. Foreigners can also refer to our English speaking lawyers in Italy for advice on inheritance matters or any other legal aspect deriving from the family legislation. If you need legal services in other countries, such as USA, we can put you in contact with our partners in Los Angeles who specializes in personal injuries caused by motorcycle accidents.
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Francesco Dagnino is the founding partener at Lexia Avvocati and he is specialized in corporate law, securities regulations, investment services, asset management and regulation of financial institutions. He has an extensive expertise on mergers & acquisitions, private equity, real estate and venture capital transactions. Dagnino serves also as a vice-chairman of the Italian Shareholders' Rights Association (Associazione Italiana per l'Esercizio dei Diritti degli Azionisti - AIEDA). Contact us for details
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