Home of architectural wonders and artistic masterpieces, Italy is home to over 60 million people and a major exporter to countless countries around the world.

Naming all the perks and benefits of incorporating in Italy would make an exhaustive list. Instead, let’s highlight the main investment opportunities in the 3rd largest economy in Europe.

Given the high value and prestige attached to the little inscription ‘Made in Italy,’ it doesn’t come as a surprise that this boot-shaped peninsula country in Southern Europe is the 2nd largest manufacturing force in the continent.

Not only is Italy a world leader in sectors such as fashion, design, food and machinery, it is also conveniently located close to Africa and the Middle East for easy export.

Italy isn’t just a fashionable, unforgettable travel destination (although the Italian tourism sector is a lucrative investment too!), it also has a long academic tradition. Industrial innovation, life sciences and engineering are some of the fields Italy is renowned for.

CompyCo helps you leverage Italy’s strategic location, manufacturing infrastructure, and favorable business environment to guide you to business success!

Forms Of Companies In Italy
  • SRL “Societa a responsabilita limitata”—limited liability company
  • SPA “Societa per azioni”—joint stock company
  • SNC “Societa in nome collettivo”—collective partnership
  • SAS “Societa in accomandita semplice”—limited partnership
  • SAPA “Societa in accomandita per azioni”—partnership limited by shares
What is the difference between Italy’s most common company forms, SRL and SPA?

SRL and SPA are the most common company choices for foreign investors looking to start a business in Italy. While both these company types have a lot to offer interested business owners, some of their key differences are listed below.

To start an Italian SRL company, a minimum share deposit of EUR 10,000 and at least 1 shareholder are necessary. If your SRL company has more than 1 shareholder, you must pay at least EUR 2,500 from this total amount upon incorporation. In the case that your company has only 1 shareholder, you must deposit the entire sum at once. Your SRL company must have at least one director and a board of statutory auditors to be incorporated in Italy.

The minimum investment to start a SPA company is EUR 120 000. Just as with SRL companies, at least 1 shareholder is required to get the company started. However, unlike SRL, SPA requires you to hold mandatory shareholder meetings often.

Both company types require a statutory audit board.

If you can’t decide which company type is ideal for your business activities, consult with our experts and they’ll guide you on the best course of action for you!

Fundamentals Of A Limited Liability Company

Corporate Tax in Italy

VAT in Italy

24%

22%

Fundamentals of limited liability companies in the Italy
Limited liability companyTraditional S.R.L., Simplified S.R.L.
Minimum Share capital10 000 EUR, in some cases 2 500 EUR
Registered office requiredYes
Physical office requiredNo
Min. number of Shareholders1
Min. number of Directors1
Local Director requiredNo
Other requirementsSocial security number needs to be obtained for every director
Bank signatory must travelYes
Timescale for company formation10 days
Timescale for bank account opening1 day
Timescale for obtaining VAT number2 days
Statutory audit requirementsYes
Shelf companies availableNo
How can I set up my company in Italy?

If you’re a foreign business owner looking to invest in Italy’s lucrative market, we can help you establish your presence in the country.

As a business owner setting up outside your jurisdiction, you can avail remote company registration processes in some cases with the help of a local representative and Power of Attorney. Regardless of whether you travel to Italy to set up your company or do it remotely, CompyCo can assist you every step of the way.

In Italy, registering a new company is straightforward. The entire process can be done within 15 days as long as all the requirements are met, and the correct documentation is submitted.

The first step is to obtain a codice fiscal, the tax number from Tax authorities for all the directors and shareholders. Then we can draft a public deed of incorporation, a document that includes all the important information about your company, including its name and address. You’ll have to get this document notarized for a fee. At this stage, we have to submit a registration tax that must be paid within 20 days.

After your Italian company has been registered with Register of Enterprises, the accounting books are issued. SRLs must also keep a minute book of board of directorial meetings and a book of board of statutory auditors.

After an in-depth consultation, our experts will gain insight into what you expect from your foreign venture, what your business activity will need to succeed, and which processes are necessary for you.

Once we’ve established your company’s legitimacy in the Register of Enterprises, we’ll take the next step to obtain the necessary licensing and registration requirements.

Leverage CompyCo’s extensive network of contacts in Italy to provide you the professional advice and assistance you need as you’re setting up your company. By building strong relationships with experts in the financial sector, HR services, lawyers, and other business professionals, we offer you unparalleled insight into establishing a company in Italy.

Each of our custom solutions at every step of the process is tailor-made for your business’s success. Whether you’re deciding which company structure is ideal or need a license to hire employees, CompyCo’s full-service solutions are here for you.

Bank Account Opening

An Italian corporate bank account is essential to get your business up and running. CompyCo’s financial advisory experts have contacts in all the leading international and local banks in Italy, ensuring you have several options when deciding where to open your bank account. Instead of limiting you to a few banks, we increase your likelihood of getting the bank’s approval by connecting you with various financial institutions.

In some instances, certain banks will allow you to open an account remotely through the help of a representative. However, your country of origin, bank of choice, and business activities will determine whether you need to travel to set up your account.

Regardless, some of the general requirements for your account will be:

  • A valid address for your Italian company
  • Proof and details of your tax registration
  • Some form of identification, such as the company director’s passport
  • Company’s certificate of registration
  • Your tax number (referred to as the codice fiscale)

Do you have any questions regarding your bank account opening? Please visit this page.

Accounting & Taxation

Once you set up your company in Italy, these are some accounting and taxation-related considerations to keep in mind:

  • The tax year is the calendar year in Italy
  • Any profits that are made from trading, investments, or selling assets for more than their original cost are liable for taxation.
  • Every type of business has to keep an accounting book to record their transactions
  • In Italy, the corporate tax is known as ‘imposta sul reddito sulle società’ or ‘IRES’, and is 24%.
  • Companies are also subject to a regional tax called the ‘imposta regionale sulle attività produttive’ or ‘IRAP’ with a rate of 3.9%.
  • Italian companies are issued VAT numbers with the format of the country code IT followed by a 9-digit number which ends with a letter. In Italy, the current VAT rate is 22%on most goods and services. Exceptions apply.
How can you employ staff in Italy?

Commitment to high quality services, skilled expertise, and unwavering work ethic are some of the reasons hiring employees in your Italian company is a viable option.

When you’re setting up outside your jurisdiction, it’s essential to work with a talent pool that’s familiar with the regulations and functioning of the markets and businesses in the region.

Italian employment laws are often considered complex, especially for a foreigner who isn’t familiar with them. Working with CompyCo will relieve the pressure of figuring out these ever-changing regulations while you focus on your business’s success.

Our HR experts take care of all the pre- and post-incorporation processes. We assist you with all employer registrations, write legally-compliant employment agreements, recruit talent, and manage the payroll on your behalf.

If you’d like a better understanding of your obligations and requirements as an employer, we will set up an account for you with our software and give you the insight and deep understanding you seek.

Have any questions? Please take a look at our HR services page for more information about our International HR services!

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