Studio Rigato Elisa

How to start a business in Italy...
Are you a foreign entrepreneur wishing to start a business in Italy?

Starting a business in Italy

Starting a business in Italy may seem difficult...

As you know, Italy is a very beautiful country with great economic opportunities but, in terms of bureaucracy, employment and taxes, it is very complicated. 

It is impossible to try to go it alone because you run the risk of choosing the wrong tax regime, and are likely to end up with one that is too complicated to manage, or too expensive to run. 

Italian administrative intricacies are extremely complicated to understand for many who live and work here, so to foreigners who have never lived in Italy, they are largely incomprehensible and an incorrect classification can severely jeopardise your chances of success.

Don't worry!

Starting a business in Italy is possible!

At Studio Rigato, we have accountants that speak English and, if necessary, we can bring in interpreters and legal translators and interpreters in various languages, from Russian, to German, Chinese and Arabic. 

Our wide experience across a range of economic sectors, coupled with our constantly up-to-date knowledge and understanding of Italian tax and employment regulations, enables us to advise you in all aspects and to suggest the most suitable structure for your company and your particular requirements – either in person, or via online consultancy meetings. 

We avoid over-structuring companies; we prefer to equip you with the tools you need and to help you evolve organisationally and administratively as you grow.

Don’t venture into Italian tax and bureaucracy alone!

Make an appointment with Rigato Studios by choosing a suitable date and modality below. Let us help you find the right solutions in terms of company structure, tax and employment models for your business and requirements.


 frequently asked questions

The first step to start a company is getting an Italian fiscal code.

After COVID tax offices receive only by appointment so we can secure you an appointment for your fiscal code.

If you don’t understand Italian you need an interpreter because few Italian officers understand or want to understand foreign languages.

In Italy taxes don’t depend on the legal form of your company. Whenever you want to withdraw profit to your personal bank account you will have to pay taxes. The only difference for the different companies are the tax deadlines.

Sole proprietorship (ditta individuale).

If you do business alone you can create a sole proprietorship (ditta individuale).

A sole proprietorship is good for a small business without risks and when you withdraw all the money you earn.

Unlimited partnership (SNC -SocietĂ  in Nome Collettivo)

If you know all your partners very well and you withdraw all your earnings you can create an SNC.

With an SNC you have to pay taxes even if you don’t have any actual earnings in your bank account, and if something goes bad you also risk your house and your personal capital.

However, some people choose an SNC because they spend less money on accounting.

LLC (Limited Liability Company), called an SRL (SocietĂ  a ResponsabilitĂ  Limitata) in Italy

If you have high risks, you should create an LLC (Limited Liability Company), called an SRL in Italy.

If you have a good business with high profit, an LLC allows you to postpone tax payments. For example if you invoice at least € 120,000 you can create an SRL. With an SRL the company pays 24%+3.9% of taxes and when you withdraw your earnings you will pay 26%; but if you don’t withdraw money, you don’t pay this 26%.

With an SRL you don’t have any risk: if something goes bad your risk is only to lose the capital you have invested in your company.

An SRL is necessary if you create your company with capital partners that you don’t know so well.

  • Your identity card and your passport.

  • Italian Fiscal code (TAX number)

It will also be necessary to obtain an Italian Fiscal code (TAX number). We will prepare all the paperwork you need, and we will secure you an appointment in a tax office.

  • Notary- certified documents

For most kinds of companies, you need a notary to certify certain documents and actions.

If you don’t understand Italian you also have to do the notary deed in two languages: Italian and your language.

Few Italian notaries speak foreign languages.

You also need a witness.

Our office can provide an interpreter and a witness.

The interpreter can also translate the documents you need for your notarial deed.

  • Company documents

You also need an accountant who helps the notary to write the company documents and do all the tasks you need to do with the Receiver of Revenue and the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Legal address

If you want to form an Italian company, you also need an Italian legal address.

Our office offers this service for € 600 a year.

We will receive your post and contact you to inform you when any post arrives.

  • An encrypted/secure email address (PEC)

Companies need a registered secure e mail address.

This is an electronic mail address where you will receive all important communication from: the Chamber of Commerce, the Receiver of Revenue and other Italian state offices.

To open your company, you need between € 600 and € 1,200 depending on the kind of company you choose.

You will need other money for stamp duty or administrative costs again depending on the kind of company you start.

The notary will cost a minimum of € 2,000.

For your annual accounts you need a minimum of € 1,400 for a sole proprietorship and a minimum of € 4,000 for an SRL. The accounting fee for an SNC is a minimum of € 2,000.

Notaries in Italy are very, very important.

Very few people can be notaries it’s a position with limited numbers.

Notaries are public officials.

You can’t find notary in a bank or in a legal studio. Notaries have their own studios.

The tariffs of Italian notaries are higher than foreign notaries’.

Without a notary you can’t:

  • transfer the title of property.

  • start a company.

  • change the legal address.

  • change your company rules.

You can’t start immediately.

You have to inform the Italian Chamber that you are starting your business.

There are businesses that require special authorizations and have professional and moral requirements.

You have to meet the basic requirements and send documents about them to the Italian Chamber and then the Chamber will authorize you to start your business.

There are types of company that don’t have any requirements. For these companies you can start working once you have the notary documents.

You can only open your bank account once you have the Chamber documents called “VISURA”; so after your notarial deed you have to wait for the Italian Chamber.

You can invoice when you have the documents that say that you have started your business.

You have to buy electronic invoicing software.

You need a special official code to send your invoice via the Italian revenue authority’s platform.

You have to communicate this code to the tax office.

You also have to ask the Italian revenue authorities to archive your invoices and for the ability to consult these invoices because the Italian privacy laws are very strict so it’s necessary to request it.

In Italy only a few types of paper invoice are valid. If an invoice isn’t electronic it doesn’t exist according to Italian tax laws.

What are the most important rules I have to respect about running a company?

If you start an SRL, irrespective of your sales volume, you are required to adopt “ordinary accounting” (contabilità ordinaria), i.e. you have to register all costs and earnings, bank balance, credits and debits.

All invoices (receivable or payable) and any documentation related to other costs and earnings have to be registered.

So you have to detail your balance sheet and profit and loss account.

Each year you have to submit your balance sheet and profit and loss account to the Chamber, so all Tax and State Offices know how your company is doing.

If your SRL closes the financial year with a loss there are specific requirements: if the loss is higher than the nominal capital invested, you have to return to the notary and restore the nominal capital. This means you also have to spend another € 1,500 like when you started your company.

Another thing you have to know is that if you need to withdraw money from the company you have to wait for the approval of your financial statements.

At a simplistic level, you could pay yourself a salary but this will result in paying double the retirement taxes and other administrative complications.

Is it true that in Italy company data is not private?

Yes, in Italy company data is not private.

Tax Agencies can read your invoices at any time because we have implemented electronic invoicing.

Tax Agencies can read all your bank transactions because once a year all banks have to transmit this data to the Tax Offices.

Tax Agencies can also read all your insurance data because once a year the insurance companies have to transmit data to the Tax Offices.

Tax Agencies can read all your company balance sheets and all your financial sheets.

The Social Security Service/State Pension (INPS) and the State Workers’ Compensation Fund (INAIL) can also read your balance sheets and financial sheets.

In Italy we have very strict anti-money laundering rules, so if you exceed the cash limit your accountant also has to report this to the Tax Agencies.

A company also needs company books where you have to record the business partners’ decisions and what the administrators decide about the company’s operations.

These books are very, very important.

Your accountant has to prepare these books.

These company books have to be submitted to and authorised by the Chamber before you commence operation.

There are also other taxes and duties to be paid to the Chamber.

If the company defaults these are the first things the liquidators will ask for.

Do you have any other questions?


Keep in touch!

Viale del lavoro, 22
35020 Ponte San Nicolò Padua Italy


Viale Castello, 46
35028 Piove di Sacco Padua Italy


48 Burj Gate, 10th Floor, room #1001, 
Downtown – Dubai – EAU
phone: +971 4 321 6260