Investment Incentives

Together with reforms Italy has introduced numerous financial incentives aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the country as a FDIs destination, encouraging R&D operations, supporting industrial crisis areas, and fostering the growth of new innovative enterprises.

investment incentives



  • Tax credits on assets
    Companies investing in tangible and intangible capital goods accordingly to the Industry 4.0 national strategy can benefit of a wide range of tax credits from 15% (intangible assets) to 20-40% (tangible assets). Companies investing in ordinary tangible assets can benefit of a 6% tax credit.
  • Tax credit for Special Economic Zones
    Companies investing inside the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicily (seaports, inland ports, airports, production areas, logistic platforms and intermodal freight villages) until the end of 2022 and for a maximum investment of  € 50 MLN, can benefit of a tax credit of 25% (large), 35% (medium) or 45& (small).
  • Tax credit for South Italy
    Companies investing in Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicily, Molise and Abruzzo within the end of 2020, can benefit of a tax credit of 25% (large), 35% (medium) or 45& (small).
  • Tax Credit on expenditures (personnel, tangible assets depreciation charges, consultancy, etc.) related to:
    • R&D (12%),
    • Technological innovation (6%),
    • Technological innovation for Industry 4.0 (10%),
    • Aesthetic conception (textile, footwear, fashion sectors) (6%).
  • Patent Box
    It consists of a 50% tax deduction for incomes arising from direct use or licensing of qualified intangible assets. It regards reduction of corporate income Tax (IRES) and Regional production Tax (IRAP).
  • Industry 4.0 Training
    The aid aims at stimulating companies investments regarding training paths about Industry 4.0 “enabling technologies” (automation, cloud, etc.). It consists of a 40% tax credit of the expenses related to the personnel employed in eligible training activities.
  • ACE - Help for Economic Growth
    The incentive aims at encouraging the capitalization of companies through the possibility of deducting from the net income, up to the amount of the same, an amount (notional yield) determined as an increase in equity. The applied tax rate on company revenue (IRES) only for this specific amount is 1.3%.
  • Employment bonuses
    Several bonuses available for the hiring of people under 35, women, men and women over 50, workers/teachers/researchers residing abroad, etc.


  • "Nuova Sabatini" Law
    Government grants are available for SMEs that want to buy new machineries, plant or equipment in order to partly cover interest on bank loans relating to the investments made. Companies can also access the public tool of loan guarantees.
  • Guarantee Fund for SMEs
    The Fund aims to facilitate access to financial sources (loan/grant) for SMEs through the granting of a public guarantee that works alone or together with other collaterals and securities.Thanks to the Fund, companies have the chance to obtain loans without additional guarantees (and therefore no further costs) on the amount guaranteed by the Fund. The Fund does not offer cash contributions.


  • Smart&Start Italia
    Smart&Start Italia, managed by Invitalia, supports the creation and growth of innovative startups all over Italy. Projects must include expenses and eligible costs between € 100,000 and € 1.5 MLN. Projects must have a duration not exceeding 24 months after the contract sign. The aid finances the creation and growth of innovative startups, established for no more than 60 months, that
    - have a strong technological dimension;
    - operate in the digital economy;
    - enhance research results (spin-offs from research).
    Interest-free loan up to 80% of the total investment (10 years repayment schedule). The percentage of funding may rise up to 90% if the startup is composed exclusively by women or young people under the age of 35, or if it includes at least one Italian PhD who is working abroad and wants to return in Italy.
    Startups based in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily, will repay only the 70% of the loan amount.
    More info at
  • Innovative startups
    Italy has been working on a legislation to support an ecosystem of innovative startups with high technological content. Here the main criteria that an innovative startup must meet:
    - new or established for less than 5 years (60 months);
    - HQ in Italy or any EU member, as long as one branch is in Italy;
    - yearly turnover under € 5 MLN;
    - not listed on a regulated market;
    - do not distribute profits;
    - are not the results of a company merger split up and selling off;
    - make a clear character of technological innovation.
    Plus at least one out of the 3 following criteria:
    - 15% of annual costs devoted to R&D;
    - 1/3 of its workforce are PhD students/graduates or researchers, or 2/3 hold a Master's degree;
    - owner, depositary or licensee of a patent, or owner of a registered software.
    Examples of benefits for innovative startups:
    - Smart&Start Italia (financial incentive by Invitalia);
    - Italia Startup Visa;
    - Cuts to red tape and fees;
    - Flexible corporate management;
    - Easier to clear systematic losses;
    - Exemption from regulations on dummy companies;
    - Tax options and work for equity schemes;
    - Tax credit for highly-qualified staff.
    More info at:
  • Invitalia Ventures
    Invitalia Ventures manages the first public-private co-investment Fund to support the venture capital industry and innovation in Italy. The company is fully owned by Invitalia.
    Established at the end of 2015 to boost and encourage the development of Tech startups and innovative SMEs, Invitalia Ventures is now positioning as a one of the large early-stage VC operator in Italy.
    Thanks to its powerful investors network, Invitalia Ventures provides not only smart capital but also know how and network to support business development of the Italian startup.
    More info at:


  • Development Contract
    The Development Contract Program, managed by Invitalia, supports large and innovative investments in manufacturing, tourism and environmental protection for greenfield and expansion projects of more than € 20 MLN (€ 7.5 MLN for food processing) presented by one or more companies also in joint form. It consists of one or more connected and functional projects (R&D projects included). The investment type and company size will define the aid intensity (company of any size can benefit of higher incentives if they invest in Southern Italy).
    The incentives consist of grants and soft loans for an amount up to 75% of the total eligible expenses. The final amount will be the result of the negotiation process managed by Invitalia, the National Agency for Inward Investment and Economic Development.
    Projects presented by foreign companies, providing an investment at least equal to € 50 MLN or more, gain access to the Fast-Track procedure (time shortening evaluation, ad hoc resources, jump of the queue).
    More info at


  • Law 181/89

This incentive, managed by Invitalia, aims to increase industrial development and employment growth in areas affected by complex and non-complex industrial crisis (as defined by the Government). It provides funding - grants and loans up to the 75% of the eligible expenses - for investment projects of at least € 1 MLN, presented by companies of all sizes, aimed at:

- revitalizing industrial activities;

- safeguarding employment levels (an increase in the workforce to be completed within 12 months is required);

- attracting new investments;

- environmental redevelopment and restoration.


Projects presented by foreign companies providing a strategic investment of at least € 10 MLN, in compliance with the National Smart Specialization Strategy, can access to the Fast Track procedure:

- possibility to jump the queue;

- ad hoc resources.


The incentives provided by Law 181/89 operate in specific areas across Italy with different rules and timing for proposal submission. Check the following website to know more:


1) Projects concerning industrial research and experimental development activities (new products, processes or their improvements), in one of the following sectors:
          - Smart Factory;
          - Agrifood;
          - Life Science;
R&D projects must include expenses and eligible costs between € 5 MLN and € 40 MLN.  The incentives consist of grants and soft loans. The final amount will be the result of the negotiation process

2) Projects concerning industrial research and experimental development activities (new products, processes or their improvements), in one of the following sectors:
          - Italian digital agenda: projects in the field of electronic information and communication technologies;
          - Sustainable industry: smart, sustainable (resource-efficient, greener, and competitive) and inclusive growth, to develop an economy based on knowledge and innovation.
R&D projects must include expenses and eligible costs between € 5 MLN and € 40 MLN.  The incentives consist of grants and soft loans. The final amount will be the result of the negotiation process


  • Energy Efficiency National Fund
    • The fund has a budget of € 310 MLN and supports energy efficiency investments on buildings, plants and production processes (district heating and cooling networks, cogeneration and trigeneration plants).  The aid consists in:
      - soft loan up to the 70% of the total eligible investment for a total amount between € 250 K and € 4 MLN;
      - guarantee on individual financing operation, up to the 80% of the investment, for a total amount between € 150K and € 2.5 MLN.