Several and different options are available in order to conduct business in Italy, thanks to many reforms made to streamline and simplify the procedures required to start and operate a business in Italy. A business may be operated either as a sole trader or as a company. Both entities are governed by the Italian civil code.
A person may conduct a business either as an individual, or through the setting up of a new company or through the purchase of shares/quotes in an existing company. Such opportunities are available both for European and non-European citizens.
A wide range of choices of legal forms for setting up companies is available and the main types are:
- S.r.l. (Società a responsabilità limitata) – limited liability company;
- S.p.A. (Società per Azioni) – stockholding companies (company limited by shares).
The partnership does not have a legal personality although it is still a form of company under Italian law. The main types are:
- S.n.c. (Società in nome collettivo) - general or unlimited partnership;
- S.a.s. (Società in accomandita semplice) - limited partnership.
In 2017 almost half of all the limited liability companies launched in Italy were of the simplified type: the simplified limited liability company (S.r.l.s.) is a form of “S.r.l.” introduced to encourage young entrepreneurship thanks to a minimum share capital of € 1, up to a maximum of € 9,999.99, the absence of notarial fees and a shorter constitutive process.
Download the guide: Doing Business in Italy