+39 02 366 38 610


+39 02 366 38 610
Company Formation Italy



Start a Business in Italy as a Foreigner

Updated on Thursday 04th March 2021

Rate this article
5 5 1
based on 2 reviews

Start a business in Italy as a foreigner.jpgItaly is a great business destination for foreigners who want to enjoy a great tax system and a strategic geographic location for future operations. Starting a business in Italy as a foreigner requires attention in terms of company formation, tax registration, and more. With the help of our company formation agents in Italy, you can start the activities fast and rely on the support offered in matters of documents and other important formalities. 

What type of company can I open in Italy?

Starting a business in Italy as an American, for example, requires attention in terms of procedures and requirements and the first step is to choose the appropriate form of business that suits most the future activities. A limited liability company or SRL, for instance, might represent the proper option due to many advantages, among which, the lack of complexities at the time of registration. A SRL can be registered by at least one shareholder, and a minimum share capital starting from 1 EUR and not exceeding EUR 9,999 if one chooses the simplified limited liability company. A registered office in Italy is required for the limited liability company, alongside a set of statutory documents, like the Articles of Association that must be incorporated with the Italian Company Registrar.
Starting a business in Italy as a foreigner might implicate other types of business forms, like joint stock companies for large activities, general and limited partnerships, cooperatives in the agriculture field, branches and subsidiaries, and sole proprietorships by foreigners who want to be single business owners. Regardless of the chosen business structure you decide on, we suggest you send your inquiries to our company formation specialists in Italy and let us handle all the formalities on your behalf.

Can foreigners open holding companies in Italy?

Yes, starting a business in Italy as an American might involve the incorporation of a holding company in Italy. This is often the choice of entrepreneurs looking for tax minimization options and protection from this point of view. For instance, holding company owners in Italy will only pay 5% of the total dividend tax applicable to this business form. In terms of registration, the limited liability company is the most suitable structure for holding companies in Italy and the most representative. You are invited to talk to our specialists in company incorporation in Italy and find out more about starting a business in Italy as a foreigner.

Branches and subsidiaries in Italy

Branches and subsidiaries are available for registration in Italy and are dedicated to large entrepreneurs who want to establish their operations in different sectors of interest. There are big differences between the two entities. While a branch is dependent on the parent company, a subsidiary enjoys 100% flexibility and a level of independence. Both entities can run under the rules of a limited liability company, respecting the general rules of incorporation. Starting a business as a foreigner in Italy might involve the incorporation of a branch or a subsidiary, aspects that can be entirely covered by our specialists.

Making investments in Italy

Italy hosts a large number of companies with foreign capital, and the country provides a proper business environment for those interested in generating profits in this part of Europe. The real estate sector, tourism, food industry, and agriculture represent the most prosperous fields for business in Italy, as many companies already thrive and enjoy a wide range of benefits. A skilled workforce, the ease of registering companies, the appealing tax regime, and the stable economy are a few of the solid points of the business climate of Italy. Starting a business in Italy as an American, for instance, is not complicated, considering the business and trading agreements signed by the two countries during history. We present you a few facts and figures that underline the business and economic direction of Italy:
  • More than USD 445 billion represented the total FDI stock registered in Italy in 2019.
  • Most of the FDIs in Italy are absorbed by sectors like manufacturing, financial and insurance services, IT, or wholesale and retail trade.
  • More than 12,000 companies in Italy are established with foreign capital, according to the Italian Trade Agency.
  • Italy ranked 58th out of 190 economies in the world, according to the 2020 Business report issued by the World Bank.
If you would like to know more about starting a business as a foreigner in Italy, we suggest you contact our company incorporation agents in Italy.

Meet us in Rome and Milan

Francesco Dagnino mic.jpg

Call us now at +39 023 663 8610 to set up an appointment with Francesco Dagnino, one of our lawyers in Rome and Milan, Italy. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Italy.

As a LEXIA Avvocati client, you will benefit from:

  • - 24 hour response time guaranteed
  • - cost- efficiency  
  • - dozens of articles and free information on the best Italian structures.
Contact us