Investing in Italy, company formation in Italy, setting up a company in italy
Investing in Italy, company formation in Italy, setting up a company in italy

Investing in Italy

Investing and relocating to Italy is becoming increasingly attractive: setting up a company and Investors’ VISA options.
Avv. Francesco Dagnino
partner LEXIA Avvocati

1. Open a company in Italy.
Compared to the recent past, it is becoming increasingly attractive to open companies in Italy for non-EU and EU residents. In fact, the time frame for the incorporation of a company (including obtaining VAT and opening a bank account) is around 5 working days from the day in which we start the incorporation procedure. Unlike other countries, in which the incorporation of a company might take only one day, in Italy the incorporation process takes a little longer but, at the end of it, no further steps are necessary. VAT number is obtained before the company is even incorporated and it only takes a couple of hours to open the bank account. In the UK, for example, a company is incorporated in one day, but it can take several weeks to obtain a VAT number and opening a bank account can be quite difficult for a foreigner.

Please note that there are two main types of private limited liability companies under Italian law:

Traditional società a responsabilità limitata (S.r.l.);

Simplified società a responsabilità limitata semplificata (S.r.l.s.).

Please note that Simplified S.r.l. have the following restrictions compared to Traditional S.r.l.:
  • the shareholders of a Simplified S.r.l. can be only individuals and not other companies;
  • the initial share capital of a Simplified S.r.l. cannot be more than Euros 10,000.00;
  • Simplified S.r.l. can only adopt the standard model articles of association by-laws provided by Italian law and no amendments to model articles are allowed (i.e. you cannot tailor-make the company’s by-laws).

There is no nationality requirement to be a shareholder or a director of an Italian company. Neither do you need to have an Italian partner. Any foreign company or foreign natural person can hold shares of an Italian company.

There are no minimum legal capital requirements for the incorporation of the company (i.e. the share capital can be any amount starting from Euro 1.00).

The corporate tax has been lowered to 24% from 27% of the past years.

The shareholders of the proposed company shall execute an incorporation deed in front of an Italian public notary, but the incorporation deed can be executed by distance if the shareholders of the proposed company grant us a power of attorney duly notarized and apostilled (or notarized and legalized with the local Italian Embassy or Consulate). Therefore, the client’s presence is requested only to open the bank account.

Our incorporation package generally includes:
  • register the director(s) and shareholder(s) of the proposed company with the Italian Tax Authorities (i.e. obtain a codice fiscale);
  • draft all the relevant documents required (Memorandum and Articles of Association, Power of Attorney etc.), collect from the client all the necessary documents and information, and execute on behalf of the client all the necessary documents;
  • obtain a certified email address and the VAT number of the company;
  • assist the client with bank account opening (the bank account will be opened on the same day).

Other services for which we receive many inquiries and mandates from foreign clients are:
  • establishing branches or representative offices in Italy for foreign companies;
  • drafting commercial agreements;
  • obtaining licenses in Italy for regulated businesses (e.g. financial institutions, financial intermediaries, insurance companies, gaming companies, travel agencies etc.);
  • debt collection;
  • company liquidation;
  • registration of "innovative start-up companies" pursuant to the recent Italy’s start-up legislation package;
  • consulting for immigration law and investors’ visas;
  • consulting for employment law issues;
  • trademark registration in Italy.

For more information visit our dedicated website or our main firm website

2. Corporate and HNWI immigration options.
Italy is a very interesting destination for entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals that want to have free access to the EU. In the past few years it has become increasingly difficult for non-EU individuals (especially from certain jurisdictions in Asia and from India, Iran, Russia and the Middle-East) to obtain entry visas and residence permit in the EU.

We can offer our clients several ways to obtain a resident permit in Italy. The main options to obtain an Italian long-term residence permit are:
  • Establish an Italian limited liability company owned by the client’s local company or an Italian branch or representative office of the local company; this would allow the client to apply for an infra-company transfer residence permit;
  • Establish an Italian company that meets the requirements to qualify as an innovative startup company with the commitment to invest at least 50,000 € in the company; this would allow the client to apply for an Italian start-up residence permit;
  • Establish an Italian company and apply for the European Blue Card as a ‘highly qualified’ worker with at least a three-year university degree that certifies a specialized qualification recognized in Italy.
Furthermore, the Italian government has recently introduced a specific discipline within immigration law, the so-called "Investors Visa". The new Investors visa allows the entry and residence in Italy, notwithstanding the entry quotas established annually by the government, to foreigners who wish to:
  • invest at least € 2 million in securities issued by the Italian government, to be held for at least 2 years;
  • invest at least € 1 million in equity instruments of a company incorporated and operating in Italy, to be held for at least 2 years;
  • invest at least € 500.000 into an existing Italian innovative start-up company;
  • make a philanthropic donation of at least € 1 million to support a public interest project, in the fields of culture, education, immigration management, scientific research, recovery of cultural and landscape assets.

For more information visit our dedicated website or our main firm website

3. Italy’s resident non-domiciled package.
The Italian government has, also, recently implemented a tax package and fast-track VISA procedure to attract wealthy individuals that intend to relocate to Italy. This package includes a € 100,000 flat tax on all foreign income for individuals who become Italian resident after at least a 9-year period of residence outside of Italy. This flat tax is paid on an annual basis for a maximum of 15 years.

The tax package is integrated by a fast-track visa procedure for investors and their relatives.

According to the Res Non-Dom Regime, eligible taxpayers can choose which country or countries income to tax with the substitutive flat tax (the so-called "cherry picking" principle). Any income sourced in the "non-chosen countries" (if any) is excluded from the Res Non-Dom Regime (as well as the Italian sourced income) and, therefore, is subject to ordinary Italian taxation and will benefit from tax credit on taxes paid abroad (under ordinary limitations) and from relevant tax treaty protection (if any).

For more information visit our dedicated website or our main firm website

4. Rewarding scheme for "highly-qualified" workers to move from abroad to Italy and to carry out their activities in Italy.
The Italian government has recently implemented incentives for "highly-qualified" workers whom move from abroad to Italy to carry out their activities in Italy.

Below, we list the available tax benefits and the necessary requirements:

The rewarding system consists in a lowering of the personal income tax base to the extent of 50% and it applies from the tax year in which the transfer of tax residence in Italy occurred and for the next four taxing periods. Please note that "tax residence" requires compliance with at least one of the following conditions for most of the tax period: (a) registration in the Italian population register; (b) centre of vital interests in Italy (family etc.); (c) physical presence on the Italian territory.

The "lavoratori impatriati" lose the tax benefits if the residence in Italy is not maintained in the two years after the transfer, with consequent obligation of return the unpaid taxes together with penalties and interests.

The rewarding system applies to the following subjects, who transfer their fiscal residence in Italy:

1. workers (employees or self-employed - Italian citizens or foreigners):
  1. non-residents in Italy in the five previous tax years;
  2. who commit to stay in Italy for two years after the transfer of residence;
  3. who commit to carry out their business operations mainly in the Italian territory;

1.1 Additional conditions are required for employees:
  1. they must have leadership roles or they must be in possession of highly-qualified requirements;
  2. the work must be carried out in a company residing in Italy by an employment relationship.
EU citizens, or citizens of non-EU States with which Italy adhered to treaties against double taxation or agreements for the exchange of information on tax matters, that:
  1. have graduated and have carried out continuously abroad, in the preceding 24 months, an employment, self-employment or a business activities; or
  2. carried out a study activity earning an undergraduate or postgraduate specialization.
For more information visit our dedicated website or our main firm website

The Best Italian Handmade Gifts
Direct From Italy

Investing in Italy, company formation in Italy, setting up a company in italy

More Details

New Horizons

Would you like a fresh start in Italy?

Italy From The Inside

What is life really like in Italy?

Business Opportunities
Compared to the recent past, it is becoming increasingly attractive to open companies in Italy for non-EU and EU residents.
Map of Italy
Facts & Figures
Area: 301,225 km²
Population: 60,157,214
Capital: Rome
Currency: Euro (€)
Calling code: +39
Internet TLD: .it

Current local time in
Rome, Italy
Italian Flag
Italian Coat of Arms
Euro Exchange Rates
Exchange Rates
Other pages you might like
The Italian Flag
Umberto Eco
Italian Classical Architecture