If you don’t know how to start a business in Italy, here is a simple and quick guide providing you with all the information needed.

Registering a business in Italy is not a complicated task, but it is mandatory if you are planning on undertaking a business activity in the country.

​It’s no secret that the process is lengthy and incorporates a lot of red tape but, due to recent government provisions and incentives, starting a business in the country is becoming increasingly attractive.

Moreover, the industrial triangle of Italy, consisting in the cities of Milan, Turin and Genoa, are favorably positionated near the rich lands of Rhone-Alps and the Rhine-Ruhr region, which is the heart of the heavy industry in Europe.

So are you thinking about starting your own business in Italy? Let’s see what you need to do it!

How to Start a Business

First of all, you have to write your business plan. It is a detailed plan, which contains information, forecasts, strategies and objectives of the activity you want to set up.

The business plan is a real general project, necessary to have clear the various steps to follow: from administrative, fiscal and bureaucratic formalities to marketing techniques, and so on.

Writing an effective business plan is not easy, especially if you do not have experience in the field of entrepreneurship.

In this first phase, it is better to join one or more professional figures, depending on the type of company you have in mind.

The business plan is also useful to clarify the economic issues and understand how much budget you need to start the business.

Nowadays, there are a number of incentives for entrepreneurship, with soft loans, at zero or even non-repayable rates.

Choose The Company Type

It’s also important to determine the legal business form that will be incorporate and registered with the autorities.

You can operate either as an individual or as a company. The type of company you choose to open depends on its size, function, and on your budget.

  • SpA (Public Limited Company) where the minimum paid-up capital is €50,000;
  • SrL (Limited Liability Company) where the minimum paid-up capital required is €10,000;
  • SrLs (Simplified Form), this type of company is meant to stimulate young entrepreneurs. The minimum share capital is €1, and the maximum is €9,999.99. If you’re launching a SrLs, you can count on a shorter bureaucratic process and a lack of notary fees.

Prepare The Company Papers

To get your company registered, you must first put together all the necessary documentation and paperwork.

This process is quite complicated; you should get an accountant who’s familiar with the system to help you with.

The Italian Registro Imprese provides a set of documents that can be directly used by foreign nationals as they are issued in English.

This is a service that is being offered as a preemptive manner to any situations or business misunderstandings that may occur when selecting information from another EU member state register or in all cases where the individual requesting the information is not an Italian national.

Red Tape

You must draft a memorandum and articles of association as well as your company by laws and have them notarized.

The notary public will register the company with the Universal Company Register.

In addition to notary expenses, be ready to pay fees for both the Register of Enterprises and the Chamber of Commerce, who will both be involved in the registration process.

You’ll also have to pay a fee to get corporate and accounting books authenticated by the Trade Register.

The VAT registration number

The VAT number is the essential tool to issue an invoice and have regular receipts in a legal manner. It consists of 11 digits, which uniquely identify the business owner.

To open the VAT number there are no costs, nor do you have to wait for a long time. The operation is carried out digitally, via the website of the Revenue Agency, and takes only a few hours.

In any case, during this operation, it is recommended to have an accountant or an expert in the field of taxation at your side.


The ATECO Code is a code that identifies the type of economic activity that you will be carrying out.

Each VAT Number is associated with a specific ATECO Code.

Choosing the correct ATECO Code is essential, as it depends on aspects that will influence the development and management of your company.

Final Passages

To finish the procedure you have to send all the paperwork you have drawn up to the Chamber of Commerce for the finished registration.

You also have to send to your council the notice of the start of your activities to inform them.

In the end, in the case of recruitment you have to open some positions via INPS and INAIL to protect your employees.

To find out a very useful tool to start a business in Italy we suggest you to read what’s SWOT Analysis.