Non-resident starting a business in Italy? Here's everything you need to know about the Italian business world
Communication Team
Communication Team

January 02, 2023

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Non-resident starting a business in Italy? Here's everything you need to know about the Italian business world

Italy is a land of business opportunities and is one of the most business-friendly countries in Europe, with a progressive tax system and well-developed infrastructure. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership or establishment of businesses, and there are few customs requirements. In addition, Italy has a skilled workforce and strong export traditions. All these factors make Italy an attractive place to start or expand a business.

The best thing about establishing a business in Italy is that you can open your company entirely online. You do not have to really visit the country or travel to get your company up and running.

In order to establish yourself in Italy as a non-resident entrepreneur, you'll need to gather the appropriate documentation and set up your company in accordance with Italian law. The following overview provides key information about starting and operating a business in Italy.

Italian markets and growth prospects for foreigners

The Italian economy is the eighth largest in the world and the third largest in the European Union. Its economy has a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies and is driven by the manufacturing of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises.

In addition, Italy has strong commercial ties with Germany and France, and overseas entrepreneurs can benefit from a highly developed financial sector, a favourable business climate, and an efficient infrastructure.

In Italy, manufacturing, chemicals, automobiles, and textiles are some of the most important sources of income. Additionally, the fashion industry and tourism continue to contribute to the country's revenues. But the opportunities are not limited to this. With a population of more than 60 million people living in the country, there’s always a gap in the market to fill!

Also Read: Advantages of having a business in Italy

Tips to remember before starting a business in Italy as a non-resident

The following are some tips to help you when starting a business in Italy as a non-resident:

  1. Research the various stages of incorporation and taxation in Italy before making any decisions. There are several different types of companies that can be set up in Italy, each with its own specific requirements and costs. It is important to choose the type of company that best suits your business goals and objectives.

  2. Gather all your documents: There are certain documents that you will require in order to open a company in Italy.

  3. Research the Italian business environment: Italy is a country with a long history and traditions, so make sure that you are familiar with the culture and customs of this particular market before making any major investments.

  4. Understand Italian labour laws: It is important to acquaint yourself with all of the relevant employment law regulations in order to avoid potential problems down the line.

  5. Obtain comprehensive insurance coverage: Before setting up your company, it is highly advised to obtain comprehensive business insurance in order to protect yourself from any unforeseen risks or accidents that may occur during startup procedures

  6. Get a business account: To begin conducting business in Italy, you will need to open a business account with one of the leading banks in the country.

  7. Get a tax identification number (codice fiscale) and a VAT number (numero di partita IVA) from your local tax office.

  8. Once you have obtained all of the necessary paperwork and insurance documents, it is time to register your new company with local authorities. This process can be quite complex and requires some dedication on behalf of both yourself and your legal advisors, but ultimately it will provide assurance for investors that your venture is legitimate.

How to get a business up and running in Italy?

There are a few steps you will need to take in order to get your business up and running in Italy. These include acquiring the necessary paperwork, registering with local authorities, and implementing robust safety measures. Here's what the entire process would look like:

  1. Draft a business plan: First and foremost, you will need to create a business plan in order to outline your company's objectives and strategies. This document will help you secure funding, make strategic decisions, and assess the viability of your venture. Drafting a business plan will help you figure out the following:
  • The opportunities for your business in the Italian market
  • Your potential network and connections
  • Understanding of your target customers
  • Knowing your target market
  • Your overall start-up expenses
  • Short and long-term objectives and plans
  1. Decide your company type: Next, you will need to decide whether your company will be a Sole Proprietorship (EP), Partnership (LP), Limited Liability or Public Limited Company.

  2. Obtain all the necessary paperwork: Once you have decided on your company type and drafted your business plan, it is time to obtain all required documentation. You will have to draft your articles of association and memorandum of association. As part of the registration process, the notary will register your business with the Universal Company Register. In addition to the notary fees, you will also have to pay the expenses for both the Chamber of Commerce and the Register of Enterprises.

  3. Set up a corporate business account: A business account will enable your company to receive payments from suppliers, make outgoing payments and access important banking facilities. Note that, Italian banks are strict with their policies and requirements and are less willing to do business with foreigners. However, there are alternatives like wamo that provide you with faster and better financial solutions, plus saving you a lot of money that you would generally spend on banking procedures.

Related: How do I open a business account in Italy?

  1. Register for taxes: In Italy, there are five main types of taxes: income tax, corporate tax, VAT or sales tax, tax on services, and excise tax. As a foreigner operating a business in Italy, you will most likely be eligible to pay corporate taxes and VAT. Make sure you register for all relevant taxes before you start your business. In addition, if you employ Italians, you will also need to pay social security and health insurance contributions.

In all, opening a business in Italy is an easy process given you have the right resources and guidance. Once you’ve set up your company in Italy, you’ll be ready to start making business transactions. You can open your business account in Italy with wamo, which just takes 10 minutes to register. All you have to do is go to the wamo website or download the wamo app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

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