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Types of Companies in Italy

Updated on Tuesday 09th May 2017

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Investors who want to start a business have several types of companies in Italy from which to choose from. The country has one of the most iconic and historically rich lands in Europe and offers numerous possibilities for investments. Small and large corporations alike have begun their economic activities here, in a country that has raised some of the most iconic brands in the world.

When foreign investors choose to open a company in Italy they must be informed about the basic principles of doing business and managing a company in this country. Our company registration agents in Italy have worked with numerous foreign investors and are prepared to help you throughout the company formation procedure.

Legal entities in Italy

The types of companies that are available for incorporation in Italy are the following:

  • - limited liability company;
  • - joint stock company;
  • - partnership limited by shares;
  • - general partnership;
  • - limited partnership;
  • - cooperative;
  • - sole proprietorship;
  • - branch or representative office.

The private limited liability company is one of the most popular business types in Italy, especially for small and medium sized companies. The liability of its members is limited to the amount invested in the company: contributions which can be made in cash or in kind, if so agreed by the shareholders. This type of company requires a minimum share capital of 10,000 EUR.

Foreign investors must know that there are two types of private limited liability companies according to the Italian Company Law:

  • -          the traditional limited liability company (società a responsabilità limitata ,S.r.l.);
  • -          the simplified limited liability company (società a responsabilità limitata semplificata, S.r.l.s.).

The simplified S.r.l. is subject to the following restrictions compared to the traditional S.r.l.:

  • -           the shareholders of a simplified S.r.l. can be only individuals;
  • -           the initial share capital of a Simplified S.r.l. cannot be more than 10.000 euros.

The simplified S.r.l. can only adopt the standard model articles of association by-laws provided by Italian law and no amendments to model articles are allowed.

There are no nationality requirements related to being a shareholder or a director of an Italian limited liability company. Foreign investors may also set up this type of company without an Italian partner. Any foreign company or foreign natural person can hold shares in an Italian company.

 The joint stock company is more suited for large companies. The shareholders are liable only to the extent of their contributions made, to a minimum share capital of 120,000 EUR. The capital is divided into transferable shares. This company must observe more strict requirements for accounting and reporting.

The partnership limited by shares has two types of shareholders those with limited liability and those with unlimited liability. The limited partnership also has two types of partners: the general ones who are jointly and severally liable and have management responsibility and the limited partners who do not participate in the management of the company and have limited responsibility. The general partnership in Italy has no legal personality and all of its partners are jointly and severally liable.

The sole proprietorship is the simplest business form in Italy. The entire liability for the business falls unto the individual running the business.

Our company registration agents in Italy can give you detailed information about all the types of companies in Italy, including branches and subsidiaries.

Company incorporation in Italy

Companies in Italy need to be registered in the Business Register. The company must then apply for a VAT number. Our experts can help you prepare and draw up the necessary documents for incorporating a company such as the Articles of Association. We can also help you comply with the taxation rules in Italy.

Our company formation services in Italy cover:

  • -           the registration of the director(s) and shareholder(s) of the company with the Tax Authorities;
  • -           the preparation of all the relevant documents such as the Memorandum and Articles of Association and the power of attorney etc.;
  • -          the gathering of all the necessary documents and information from the client and the preparation of the documentation to be filed with the authorities;
  • -           obtaining a certified email address and a VAT number;
  • -           helping the client with the bank account opening which takes no more than one day.

For more information about the legislation for foreign investments please contact our company registration agents in Italy.

 

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