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Starting A Business In Italy

Starting a Business in Italy

Many people harbor dreams of moving to Italy, renovating a villa, and toasting the sunset with a glass of chianti. The Italian “pull factors” are indeed numerous. Throw in government incentives and the oft-repeated “one-euro home for sale” scheme (read the fine print!), and it’s easy to come up with many convincing reasons to move to Italy.

As a pillar of the G7 and a European economic mainstay, Italy has much to offer a foreign prospective business owner. Thinking of starting a new business in Italy? A little research goes a long way.

Reasons to Start a Business in Italy

A KPMG report recently stated that “Made in Italy” is the third best-known branding in the world. Of course, this rings true for those thinking about food and fashion, but there are other notable Italian brands in the Automotive sector as well as emerging markets By establishing your startup in Italy, you will have the chance to leverage Italy’s most celebrated sectors, add value to your products and scale up your business. Compared to more celebrated global innovation hubs, Italian talent is available at reasonable costs.

All Roads lead to (or through) Rome

At the risk of sounding clichè, it is pretty much true. Strategically situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, Italy represents the main thoroughfare linking Southern Europe to Northern and Central Europe by land. With the second highest road network and the fifth largest rail network extension in the EU to say that Italy is interconnected is an understatement. It is pretty much the center of the world, and for international businesses a convenient way to manage global timezones and communications across borders.

For those with distribution-driven business models, Italy is a gateway to 500 million consumers across the European Union and 270 million more in North Africa and the Middle East. Not to mention access to the domestic market, with 60 million residents, and to unique export know-how.

Startup Visas and Access to Capital

Corporates, business angels and VCs investing in Italian innovative startups can benefit from the second-highest tax relief in the European Union. Your startup can raise capital in exchange for shares through dedicated online portals, protected by an establish legal framework. In fact, Italy is the first country worldwide to introduce a specific set of regulations for equity crowdfunding and Italian startups benefit from flexible, tailor-made employment law.


Turin is rapidly emerging as a world-class destination in Italy for technology-based ventures.

The concept of reciprocity is a cornerstone of Italian international business. A foreign national who is not a resident of Italy may establish a new company in Italy only if an Italian citizen can likewise in the other country. If an Italian is restricted from investing in a foreign market, the citizen of that foreign country will correspondingly be restricted in Italy. An Italian attorney or notary can verify entrepreneurial reciprocity between the two countries, but this step is not necessary if the foreign investor is an EU citizen or if they hold a valid permesso di soggiorno in Italy. Reciprocity usually exists for U.S. citizens while for Australians and Canadians, this is less often the case.

Take the Next Steps for Starting a Business in Italy

There is a lot to love about Italy. The bureaucracy and administrative proceedings is definitely not one of them. With the advantages of setting up shop in this blue-ocean market, comes an equal amount of challenges. For those that are really looking to for a work-life balance, however, Italy is certainly top-notch. Not only can Italy serve as your next home-base, it can also be a great launching pad.

Dig-deeper into relevant topics about starting a business in Italy, and connect with qualified Advisors who can address your questions along the way.

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