Setting up a business in Italy

Once you have chosen the structure that you wish to have for your activity the next stage is to actually go through all the legal and bureaucratic issues so that you can then start trading. Here we will deal with the important issues for setting up as a sole trader and as an srl.

What you need...

Documents Needed: For a sole trader, all that is needed is an identity card (passport will do), a codice fiscale, permesso di soggiorno (non EU citizens only) and, if necessary a license for the activity you wish to carry out. Further documents needed for the setting up of a company might include bank statements from your country of origin and residency certificates. S.I.T. can assist in the obtaining of some of these documents


Initial Capital: When setting up an SRL in Italy, you need to deposit the working capital in the bank account of the company. Prior to incorportaion, however, you need to prove to the notary that these funds exist. For companies with more than 1 shareholder this amount is equivalent to 25% of the declared capital (minimum requirement is 10,000, therefore minimum deposit is 2,500) but for companies with only 1 director/shareholder the full amount must be available. The most common way to prove the existence of funds is to have a cheque or bank draft in the name of the new company, drawn on the account of the shareholder(s).


Company Directors:  The company must also appoint one, or more, administrators, basically a CEO. At least one administrator should also be a fiscal resident of Italy, though it is sometimes not the case. The Administrator is responisible for signing off the accounts at year end and is also responsible for the bank account. S.I.T. can act as an administrator for companies whose directors may not be resident of Italy but prefer to do so for a limited time only and will reserve the right to do this on a case by case basis.