How to Start a Business in Italy

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Learn the pieces required to start a business in Italy.
Learn the pieces required to start a business in Italy. (Image: italy image by Yvonne Bogdanski from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Establishing a business in Italy is amazingly similar to creating a company in the United States. Business licenses can be easily obtained, and incorporating is also rather simple. The low tariff rate in Italy is a natural incentive for Italians to do business. After you have structured a solid business and marketing plan, you will be ready to incorporate your business in Italy.

Things You'll Need

  • Business Plan
  • Deed of Incorporation
  • Accounting and Corporate Books
  • Appropriate Tax Registration

Establish your bank account. At incorporation it is required to deposit 25 percent of the business' capital submitted in cash into a bank account. The capital deposit may be substituted with a bank guarantee for the same amount, or an insurance policy. It is, however, possible for the quota holders to pay the due amount at any time. If the capital is not rendered at the time of incorporation, the founding shareholders will have an credit against them for the outstanding portion. The directors possess the power to claim the payment at any point in time.

Draft the deed of incorporation. An “atto costitutivo” (public deed of incorporation) and the business' “statuto” (bylaws) must be drafted and activated in front of a public notary by the quota holders of the company or their authorized representatives. The public notary is responsible for drafting the bylaws and deed of incorporation for the company on standard forms, which are provided by the notary.

Within twenty days of incorporation you are required to pay registration tax. This tax will be collected by the notary, who will then give you the registered public deed of incorporation.

Buy corporate books and accounting books. The Italian Civil Code has specific recording and accounting requirements for companies based on their structuring. The equivalent of a limited liability company is called a “società a responsabilintà linitata” (SRL). These companies must keep minute books for their shareholders', directors', and board of Statutory Auditors' (Collegio Sindacale) meetings. These books are subject to authentication.

Companies that are designated as “società per azioni” or SPA (stock corporations) must keep a journal book and an inventory book for accounting purposes. According to Italian law, accounting books are not to be authenticated. These books are available in stationary stores and also can be obtained from a public notary.

Pay government grant tax to the post office current account. Italian law requires that a yearly tax be rendered from companies doing business in its country. The amount paid is based on the income of the company during the year being taxed.

Register with the Register of Enterprises. All businesses must register with the “Registro delle Imprese” (Register of Eneterprises) at the local chamber of commerce. Electronic filing of a single notice (called Comunicazione Unica) may be done, which includes tax identification number, “value added tax” (VAT) number, registration with the Social Security Administration, and filing with the Accidental Insurance Office.

Notify the labor office of employees. The Provincial Labor Office (called direzione proviciale del lavoro e della massima occupazione or DPLMO) must be contacted about the hiring of new personnel one day prior to the initiation of the labor relationship.

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