How can non-residents open a business bank account in Italy?
Communication Team
Communication Team

November 18, 2022


How can non-residents open a business bank account in Italy?

With its gorgeous scenery and rich history, it’s no wonder Italy has been a tourist magnet for centuries and has over 90 million tourists annually.

Not just that, with the advancements and demands in the market, Italy has become a popular destination for blooming in the automobile, tourism and fashion industry. This has initiated the growth of local and foreign businesses in the country and many entrepreneurs have started considering Italy as one of the most favourable options to run or expand their businesses.

While Italy has one of the most centralised banking systems in the world, it also has long processes and strict documentation requirements if a foreigner wants to open a business account. So, if you are a foreigner with a business idea in mind and want to open a business account in Italy, we'll walk you through the best options to prepare you well before you step into the Italian market!

Related: Mistakes to avoid when applying for a business account in Italy as a foreigner

Why is Italy a great place to start a business?

There are various reasons why foreigners and businesses choose to open an Italian business bank account, which includes:

  • Investment friendly: Italy is the 10th largest economy in the world (by nominal GDP) and the 3rd largest euro area economy after Germany and France. The free economy of Italy welcomes investors and has implemented significant reforms, such as setting up a high-level committee under the Ministry of Economic Development, to gain the trust and confidence of investors.

  • Robust Anti-Money Laundering Regulations: Italy has some of the most robust anti-money laundering regulations in Europe, meaning your business can easily safely conduct transactions with clients and vendors.

  • Strategic logistics hub - Italy's strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea gives businesses a strategic door to consumers across the European Union, Northern Africa and the Middle East. The economy and a well-developed network of ports, airports, motorways and railways make it an ideal location for businesses looking to export or import goods.

-Tradition of innovation - Italy is the fourth-highest investor in R&D in Europe, spending over 25 billion euros annually. Digital technologies are being more and more integrated into its manufacturing base's production procedures.

Related: Your guide to opening a business in Milan

Ways to open a business account in Italy as a non-resident

There are a few ways for non-residents to open business bank accounts in Italy.

Option 1: Italian High-Street Banks

There are numerous Italian high-street banks that offer business bank accounts to foreign non-residents. Requirements for opening a business account with an Italian high-street bank will vary depending on the specific bank, but typically you’ll need to provide your company name, full contact details including email and telephone numbers, as well as confirmation of your corporate existence from a recognised authority such as an embassy or consulate. Once you have completed these simple steps, most Italian high-street banks will take care of all the administrative formalities for you – ensuring that your business is able to carry out its operations. Some well-known banks are

  1. Unicredit
  2. Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL)
  3. Intesa Sanpaolo

It should be noted that Italian high-street banks are well suited for customers in the following categories:

  • New arrivals with proof of residence in Italy;
  • Those who are looking for fully-fledged financial services (such as overdrafts, investments, credit cards, etc.) and are willing to pay more for them.

Additionally, it's important to know that these banks can generally be stricter with their guidelines and new businesses can sometimes face difficulties to open a business account.

Option 2: Opening a Non-Resident Bank Account with a Digital Bank

Another way to open a business bank account in Italy is through a digital bank. These digital banks offer their services at a fraction of the price and through a user-friendly mobile app or web interface and are commonly known as fintech companies that operate without a full banking licence.

Some of the well-known digital banks are

  1. N26
  2. Bunq
  3. Revolut

Option 3: Opening a business account with financial service providers like wamo

wamo is not a digital bank, but a holistic financial service management platform running as an EMD agent of Railsbank and regulated by the Bank of Lithuania and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The platform is specifically designed for small business owners to make every aspect of starting, running and growing a business as smooth as possible. With wamo, you can manage all your financial accounts in one place, move money between different currencies and seamlessly run your remote borderless business in Italy.

Unlike traditional banks, wamo has a vast set of services at much lower fees and enables you to open a business account with more ease and flexibility.

The registration process takes just 10 minutes and your application will be processed within 24 hours.

To get started with wamo, download the wamo business app from Google Play or the App Store, submit your required documents, open a business account and set up your international business in Italy right away! It’s that easy.

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