Requirements For Doing Business In Italy

Author:TMF Group
Profession:TMF Group

How do you establish a company in Italy? Pay staff and taxes? Register property? Read on to find out.

Italy is the third largest economy in the Eurozone and although its Economic growth (GDP per head) has picked up since 2014, in comparison to other European economies this pace appears weak and its debt to GDP remains at over 130%. Italy's unemployment rate is currently 11%, down from a peak of 13.1% in 2014, but double the 2007 low of 5.8%.

At the time of writing this article, law professor Giuseppe Conte is prime minister of what is referred to as "Government of Change", formed between the centre-right Lega Nord and radical Five Star Movement. Their promised agenda includes overhauling EU laws relating to budgets and immigration, cutting taxes and increasing welfare spending.

Previous Italian governments have encouraged foreign investment by offering foreign-owned entities the same incentives - such as subsidised loans, cash grants and tax credits - that are available to entities owned by Italian nationals. They have also granted financial assistance to foreign investors depending on the geographical location of the investment, the size of the investing company and the sector in which the company is investing. There is no indication as yet that this will change.


Italy's strategic position in the Mediterranean gives it easy access to southern, central and northern Europe, making it an excellent location for product distribution. The 'made in Italy' brand is one of the most iconic in the world. From pasta to Prada, Ferrari to Fellini, Brunello to Benetton the country is overflowing with globally recognised talent in many different industries.

Establishing a company

Starting a business in Italy takes six procedures, which take around twenty days. This ranges from depositing the company's capital contribution in a bank, getting the power of attorney from the shareholder(s), getting a public notary to authorise your deed of incorporation and company bylaws, registering the company with the tax authorities through to notifying the relevant labour office that you will be an employer. All processes which a local partner could guide you through.

Labour laws and employment contracts

Italy has no minimum wage set and employees are assumed to work 40 hours a week, but no more than 48, including overtime. Public institutions, such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, trade unions and employers' organisations play an important role...

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