Business entities in Italy
Healy Consultants will assist our Clients with setting up the optimal corporate structure. There are several ways of doing business in Italy, the most common being the setting up of an LLC. Alternatively, foreign companies can also incorporate a Branch Office or a Representative Office.
The Italian limited liability company (SRL)
- The Italian LLC is commonly used to setup an SME. An LLC must appoint at least 1 director and 1 shareholder, who can be of any nationality. Please note that corporate directorship is also permitted;
- Furthermore, minimum paid-up share capital of €10,000 will be required to complete the incorporation process.
The Italian publicly limited company (SPA)
- This business entity is recommended when the promoters intend to publicly list the company. Such a company requires a minimum capital of €120,000 for incorporation. Furthermore, only 1 shareholder and 1 director must be appointed, whom can be of any nationality;
- It is not mandatory for a PLC to list on a stock exchange in Italy. However, it will still be required to go through an annual audit. To give your company a marketing edge, Healy Consultants recommends our Clients establish an Italian PLC instead of an LLC.
European stock corporation (Società europea)
Two EU based companies can choose to setup as a European Stock Corporation. A minimum paid up share capital of at least €120,000 will be required. The main advantage of this business entity is that our Clients will be exempted from setting up a complex network of subsidiaries under different national laws.
Italian Corporate law stipulates that a branch office can be 100% foreign owned. The scope of operations for this entity will be defined by the parent company. Also, the branch office will have an independent management team and corporate bank account based in Italy.
Representative office (Ufficio di rappresentanza)
While the Italian representative office can be 100% foreign owned, it is not allowed to pursue production-related or commercial activities. Consequently, this entity can only engage in i) market research and ii) promoting the business of the parent company.
Table of comparison between Italy entities
|Also known as:||SRL||SPA||Succursale||Ufficio di rappresentanza|
|How long to set the company up?||2 weeks||4 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks|
|How long to open company bank account?||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Wholly foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum paid-up share capital?||€10,000||€120,000||€0||€0|
|File annual tax return?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corporate bank account?||Intesa SanPaolo||Deutsche Bank||BNP Paribas||Barclays|
|Does our Client need to travel?||No||No||No||No|
|Resident director required?||No||No||No||No|
|Resident shareholder required?||No||No||No||No|
|Minimum directors allowed?||1||1||1||1|
|Italian resident company secretary required?||No||No||No||No|
|Corporate shareholders allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate director(s) allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Italy corporate tax rate1?||27.5%||31%||31%||0|
|Annual financial statements required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Statutory audit required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to issue sales invoices?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to sign contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to import and export goods?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can rent an office in Italy?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can buy Italy property?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can own equity in other Italian companies?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Total Italy business setup costs in Yr. 1||€12,150||€14,650||€14,150||€12,150|
|Subsequent annual costs (excl. accounting and tax fee)||€3,950||€3,950||€3,950||€3,150|
|Sample engagement fee invoice|
1Regional corporate tax inclusive
Frequently asked questions
Will I have to travel to Italy for Italy company setup?No. Healy Consultants does not require our Clients to travel for Italy business setup. We will complete all tasks on our Clients’ behalf. Our Clients can simply email or courier the documents to us.
What is the minimum share capital required for Italy LLC setup?In order to setup an Italian limited liability company, our Clients must have at least €10,000 as paid up share capital.
How to setup an LLC in Italy?Healy Consultants will assist Clients to start a business in Italy, by taking care of all the legal incorporation requirements. The incorporation procedure involves i) company name reservation ii) signing incorporation forms iii) opening a corporate bank account and depositing at least 25% of the share capital iv) register for tax, social security and employee retirement plan.