How to start a company or a sole proprietorship in Italy
If you want to start a company/sole proprietorship in the provinces of Milan, Monza Brianza, or Lodi, you have to:
- Register your business in the Business Register at the Chamber of Commerce. The date of registration is not necessarily the same as the business start date, which can be postponed.
- Notify the Economic and Administrative Index (REA) at the Chamber of Commerce of the business start date. The notification must be made via the ComUnica website within thirty days of the start date.
- Get information on the requirements to start a business (available only in Italian).
- If you need authorization of the municipality before starting your business, you have to contact the Productive Activity One-Stop Desk, (SUAP, i.e. Sportello Unico Attività Produttive), the online desk where one applies for all the licenses and permits required by the law.
- Apply for a certified email.
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 that 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 alarge variety of types of companies an investor can register there. Our team of cartered Accountants in Italy can offer advice in choosing a business form suitable to the investors business plans.
Why start a business in Italy?
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 shareholders or directors), as there are no special requirements imposed in this sense. Our Chartered Accountants in Italy can help investors select the right type of company for incorporation.
What are the available types of companies in Italy?
One of the available company types that can be registered in Italy by foreign businessmen is the joint stock company (Società per Azioni, SPA), which is a type of entity that requires a larger capital, established at EUR 120,000; this business form is generally best suited for large companies. As a general rule, most of the local and foreign investors prefer to register a limited liability company, the most popular business form chosen for incorporation in Italy and the European Union (EU). Considering most foreign enterprisers are interested in setting up small and medium sized companies in Italy, the business forms they can establish are:
- limited liability company (Società a Responsabilità Limitata, SRL) – this business form requires a capital of EUR 1;
- partnership limited by shares (Società in Accomandita per Azioni, SAPA) – set up by at least two business partners – one has unlimited liability, while the other has limited liability; at least one of the partners has to act as a general member;
- general partnership (Società in Nome Collettivo, SNC) – the company can be set up by two partners, who can be natural persons or legal entities and, in this case, the partners assume full liability for thecompany’s debts;
- limited partnerships (Società in Accomandita Semplice, SAS) – established by minimum two partners(a general partner and a limited partner);
- cooperative (Società Cooperativa) – registered under the regulations provided by the Law 381;
- sole proprietorship (Imprenditore Individuale) – a business form available for the investors who want tostart a small business, with the mention that there is no legal distinction between the company and its investor.
Each type of company must be registered according to specific requirements. Among these are the share capital and the accounting requirements, on which our chartered Accountants in Italy can offer in-depth assistance, depending on the business structure chosen for incorporation. Our Consultants can also assist investors in obtaining specific incorporation certificates. If you want to open a company in another country, our lawyers can put you in touch with their local partners.