How To Take Advantage Of An Undoubtedly Profitable Marketplace

Author:Mr Carlo Fossati, Franco Tofacchi and Maria Clavarino
Profession:Ichino-Brugnatelli e Associati

Italy normally reminds you of not worrying, being happy, easy life-style, and, if anything, holidays. It is still a destination reached by people from all over the world either for business or for leisure or, possibly, for both. Furthermore, it has one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe, especially in its most affluent regions. Sounds like you can be optimistic in Italy, despite the crisis. However, from 2011 data reported by official sources such as World Bank, it does not seem the easiest place where to do business. And yet, there are many successful stories of overseas Companies investing in Italy: the ingredients for a perfect recipe are a few aspects to be borne in mind, and some local people you can rely on.

Firstly, globalization has not made business etiquette standards alike everywhere. In Italy, they are not always predictable, and they may vary depending on the region, even if the whole Country territory is not so wide. Having said that, the 80th position out of 183 economies, where Italy is ranked by World Bank with respect to ease of doing business, might not be final. It could vary depending on the actual context in which a foreign Company is planning to invest. Therefore, before implementing any action in Italy, it is worth considering the actual area where to establish and the achievable mutual understanding with future local associates, suppliers, and customers. Of course those are variables strongly impacting any enterprise success, yet even more so in a Country stretching from the Alps to North Africa latitude.

As regards to the hardest problems you may face in Italy, according to World Bank ranking for the year 2011, enforcing contracts and paying taxes are the most critical aspects lowering Italy's score compared to other economies. Indeed, a company will have to rely on the guide of a good consultant before - or contextually to - drafting any agreement: it cannot be taken for granted that any fair and reasonable contract under international standards is bound to be enforced swiftly in Italy. As regards paying taxes, again, tax consultants are needed for any forecast as well as for complying with tax regulations.

There is good news, though. A new tax regime, to the benefit of foreign enterprises investing in Italy, allows EU-resident companies to...

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