Italy: Requirements For Doing Business In Italy

Last Updated: 7 June 2018
Article by TMF Group

How do you establish a company in Italy? Pay staff and taxes? Register property? Read on to find out.

Italy is the third largest economy in the Eurozone and although its Economic growth (GDP per head) has picked up since 2014, in comparison to other European economies this pace appears weak and its debt to GDP remains at over 130%. Italy's unemployment rate is currently 11%, down from a peak of 13.1% in 2014, but double the 2007 low of 5.8%.

At the time of writing this article, law professor Giuseppe Conte is prime minister of what is referred to as "Government of Change", formed between the centre-right Lega Nord and radical Five Star Movement. Their promised agenda includes overhauling EU laws relating to budgets and immigration, cutting taxes and increasing welfare spending.

Previous Italian governments have encouraged foreign investment by offering foreign-owned entities the same incentives - such as subsidised loans, cash grants and tax credits - that are available to entities owned by Italian nationals. They have also granted financial assistance to foreign investors depending on the geographical location of the investment, the size of the investing company and the sector in which the company is investing. There is no indication as yet that this will change.


Italy's strategic position in the Mediterranean gives it easy access to southern, central and northern Europe, making it an excellent location for product distribution. The 'made in Italy' brand is one of the most iconic in the world. From pasta to Prada, Ferrari to Fellini, Brunello to Benetton the country is overflowing with globally recognised talent in many different industries.

Establishing a company

Starting a business in Italy takes six procedures, which take around twenty days. This ranges from depositing the company's capital contribution in a bank, getting the power of attorney from the shareholder(s), getting a public notary to authorise your deed of incorporation and company bylaws, registering the company with the tax authorities through to notifying the relevant labour office that you will be an employer. All processes which a local partner could guide you through.

Labour laws and employment contracts

Italy has no minimum wage set and employees are assumed to work 40 hours a week, but no more than 48, including overtime. Public institutions, such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, trade unions and employers' organisations play an important role in governing the company – employee relationship. This includes employee working conditions and industrial relations processes.

Construction permits and registering property

Dealing with construction permits is arduous, taking 12 procedures and around 230 days. Various municipal agencies, the water and fire department as well as independent engineers, topography experts and a soil test are all part of the process. For their administrative process, Italy ranks 96th on the World Economic Forum's Doing Business Survey.

Registering a property takes an average of 16 days and four procedures. Having local expertise to guide you through property and construction bureaucracy is essential.

Tax requirements

Italy ranks 112th for its tax process in the World Economic Forum Doing Business Survey. In TMF Group's 2018 Financial Complexity Index, Italy is ranked 4th most complex out of 94 jurisdictions for financial – accounting and tax – compliance.

There are 14 different tax payments required in Italy, and the total tax and contribution rate is 47% of profits. For example:

  • VAT is 22%
  • Corporate income tax is 24%
  • The tax on interest is 26%. 

From 2019, e-invoicing will be mandatory for all B2B and B2C supplies of goods and services between parties established or VAT-registered in the country.

Accounting and tax is one of TMF Italy's core areas of expertise and our team would be happy to help you navigate your local obligations.

Cross border trading

Interestingly, Italy ranks first for ease of cross-border trading in the World Economic Forum's Doing Business Survey. Documentary and border compliance for both inbound and outbound trading is minimal. A waybill, packing list and commercial invoice are all that is required.

Talk to us

TMF Italy has the local knowledge to help you identify and face any challenge or opportunity for your business. Make an enquiry with us today.

Whether you want to set up in Italy or streamline your Italian operations, we can help you nagivate the rules and regulations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions