LEXIA Avvocati provides company incorporation and other legal services in Italy through its five offices and employs more than forty lawyers. LEXIA provides complete company formation services, as well as many other types of services, suited to all types of companies. Specialization is important and our team is dedicated to providing complete services in a number of areas including corporate, startups, tax, labor, insolvency, trust and asset protection as well as new technologies such as fintech.
| Quick Facts || |
| Types of companies || |
Limited liability company (S.r.l.)
Simplified limited liability company (S.r.l.s)
Innovative start up
Public limited company by shares
Minimum share capital
for LTD Company
Minimum number of
shareholders for Limited Company
there is no minimum number,
1 shareholder suffices
|Time frame for the incorporation || |
5-7 working days
|Corporate tax rate || |
24% corporate tax rate (IRES) +
3,9% regional tax rate (IRAP) = 27,9%
|Dividend tax rate || |
- dividends received from resident companies are taxed on a taxable base of 5%;
- dividends received from companies located in countries with a preferential tax system are fully taxable;
- dividends paid to companies based in member states of the EU and in members of the EEA that allow a suitable exchange of information with Italy are taxed at source (WHT) at a rate of 1.2%
|VAT Rate || |
- standard VAT rate = 22%
- reduced rates = 4% - 10%
|Are Shelf Companies Available? ||Yes |
|Do you supply a Registered Address/Virtual Office? ||Yes, at 1,200 Euro per year |
|Local Director Required ||No, unless the condition of reciprocity between countries is given. |
|Annual Meeting Required ||Yes. The annual meeting can also be held virtually or in the form of written resolutions. |
|Redomiciliation Permitted ||Yes |
|Electronic Signature ||Yes |
|Is Accounting/Annual Return Required? ||Yes |
|Foreign-Ownership Allowed ||Yes (percentage up to 100%), however subject to the condition of reciprocity between the respective countries. |
Awards and organizations we are part of
LEXIA lawyers received a number of distinctions and are also recognized partners for a number of organizations. We list them below:
• Top Legal Awards 2018: LEXIA Avvocati was nominated as a finalist for the law firm of the year in the innovation category and the law firm of the year, after its head, Alessandro Dagnino, was nominated as the best professional for litigation before the Supreme Court,
• Top Legal Awards 2016: LEXIA Avvocati was nominated for the Most innovative law firm in Italy in 2016.
• LEXIA Avvocati is partner of the Italian Stock Exchange “Elite Program” – in April 2018, the law firm became a partner of ELITE, a Borsa Italiana platform dedicated to Italian SMEs that will be listed with the Stock Exchange;
• LEXIA Avvocati is partner of “Invest in Lombardy”, the Government Agency of the Lombardy Region – the law firm became the legal partner of “Invest in Lombardy” in 2017 for the purpose of assisting foreign companies that want to operate in the region.
The company is also present on the International Comparative Legal Guides – a website offering comprehensive guides for fifty practice areas, in more than 180 jurisdictions.
LEXIA Avvocati is a also a member of The British Chamber of Commerce for Italy.
Below, our team describes the company formation process in Italy as well as the general conditions for company formation.
Steps for company formation in Italy
A limited liability company can be incorporated following a few steps:
Registration with Italian Tax Authorities – there is necessary to obtain a tax identification number (codice fiscale);
Execution of the articles of association with a public notary – this is an obligation for the shareholders and it can be done personally or through a power of attorney;
Obtain the VAT number – this is issued by Agenzia delle Entrate after an online request;
Obtain the certificate of incorporation – after filing all the documentation required;
Open a bank account for the company.
How to open a company in Italy
Our company registration agents in Italy
can assist you throughout the company incorporation procedure. The first step for company formation in Italy
is preparing and drafting the necessary company documents, such as:
- the articles of association,
- specimen signatures of the company directors,
You will also need to open a bank account for the company, where the minimum required share capital will be deposited. The business start-up costs
can vary according to the type of company and the materials and equipment required for your specific business activity. Your company will also need an accountant that will make sure you comply with the requirements for accountancy in Italy. Our company formation experts can help you with professional accounting services
Types of companies in Italy
- the limited liability company, which can be traditional of simplified;
- the joint-stock company, also known as public limited liability company;
- the general partnership, which must have at least two members called partners;
- the limited partnership, which must be formed by a general and a limited partner;
- cooperative, which is not exactly a type of company, but more of an organization employed by those who want to operate in the agricultural industry;
- sole proprietorship, which is the simplest form of doing business in Italy.
The limited liability company
is a business type preferred by investors who want to start a small or medium scale business. This is the most popular business form in Italy. The new company registered in Italy will be managed by a director or a board of directors who will follow the company’s articles of association. The financial issues will be managed by statutory auditors and the representatives in charge with financial business will keep a list of financial statements and balances.
The joint stock company is chosen by those investors who want to run a large business. The minimum share capital for this legal entity is 50,000 EUR and at least a quarter of this amount must be paid upon incorporation. The joint stock company is managed by a director or a board of directors. The shareholder’s liability is limited to the number of contributions made to the share capital.
Business forms available for foreign companies in Italy
Foreign companies are encouraged to choose company formation in Italy by registering one of the following types of structures:
- branch offices
which are legal entities depending entirely on the parent company;
- light branch offices which can only be found in Italy and which allow for certain activities;
- subsidiaries which are independent entities can which can be created as limited liability companies;
- representative offices which are not legal entities, but can help foreign companies determine if the Italian market is suitable for them.
Our company registration advisors in Italy
can help the representatives of foreign companies
choose the right structure for their companies.
We invite you to watch a video about how to register a company in Italy:
The company incorporation procedure in Italy
The company incorporation procedure in Italy is not very difficult and is similar to those in other countries. An application for registering the company must be made at the Italian Trade Register and, after the application is processed, a registration certificate is issued for your new company.
Another obligation for the foreign investor in company formation in Italy
is to execute a public deed of incorporation at the notary office, buy the corporate and accounting books and pay a government grant tax.
The investor must also submit an application to the Register of Enterprises in order to obtain a tax identification number and a VAT number
. The company must also be registered with the Social Security Administration. In order to hire employees in Italy
, an entrepreneur will need to observe the provisions of the Labor Law and announce the employment to the Labor Office.
Our company formation agents in Italy
can give you detailed information about the steps required to set up a company in Italy
. We can provide you with complete assistance and advice if you want to start a business.
Opening a company bank account in Italy
One of the most important aspects of opening a company in Italy is related to the establishment of a corporate bank account. This account is needed for depositing the share capital and for conducting commercial activities.
- submitting the company’s incorporation documents with the chosen bank;
- completing the necessary paperwork issued by the Italian bank;
- appointing a company representative who will keep in touch with the bank;
- choose the services which best suit the need of the Italian company.
Apart from the company bank account, a business can also create merchant accounts for accepting online payments. These types of accounts are mostly used by e-commerce companies
, such as online stores, in Italy.
Our Italian company formation representatives can help foreign entrepreneurs choose the right type of structure for their businesses here and can represent them in the procedure for opening the bank account.
Common questions about the company registration process in Italy
Italy is very appealing to foreign enterprisers who usually have many questions related to the requirements and process related to company formation in Italy. Among these questions are:
Can I register the company as a sole shareholder, even if I am a foreigner?
Yes, full foreign ownership is possible in Italy even for single shareholders. Among the types of structures, foreign enterprisers can use are the sole proprietorship and the private limited liability company
What is the minimum amount that I need to set up the company?
It depends on the type of company you want to establish: in the case of the private limited liability company, you will need 1 euro, while in the case of a public company, the new requirement is 50,000 euros.
Can I register my company remotely?
Yes, remote company registration is possible in Italy, however, you must appoint a local representative and grant him or her power of attorney to complete the process.
Does an Italian company need a resident director?
No, the law no longer requires for resident directors in Italian companies.
How long does the company registration process take in Italy?
The usual procedure for setting up a company in Italy
takes about a week, however, this timeframe will depend on how much time it takes for the documents to be prepared.
What are the main taxes applicable to businesses in Italy?
Companies performing commercial activities in Italy are liable to taxation. A company can be taxed in Italy as long as it has a place of management or a main business activity developed in this country. Companies are liable to value added tax, corporate income tax and others as long as they have been operating in Italy for at least 183 consecutive days (in this case, the company will be seen as a permanent establishment in Italy).