Italy Company Formation

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Company Formation and Related Services



Buying a European shelf company with VAT number

Whenever you need to start doing business immediately in a European country and you need a company with a VAT number, you don’t have to wait for the bureaucratic procedures.

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Partner Law Firms

We encourage you to contact our partner law firms in Bucharest: Rolegal and E&C, both part of our legal network.

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Tax Minimization Structures

BridgeWest is specialized in special corporate structures designed for tax minimization. No matter where you want to incorporate your company, you will need to consider how you can legally minimize costs.

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Company Formation in Italy


Regulations for company incorporation in Italy:

− shareholders of an Italian company can be natural persons or legal entities;

− the directors of Italian companies must be EU citizens or residents;

− the company must have a local registered office and BridgeWest offers this type of service.

The first step when deciding to open a company in Italy is choosing the name. Each shareholder and director must obtain a fiscal code (codice fiscale) which is an identification number. The shareholders must present identification papers copies, passport copies are usually required and recent utility bills that prove the residential address of the owners. For legal entities, a certificate of good standing or the incorporation certificate will be required.

The certificate must be notarized, bear an apostil and must also be translated into Italian. Other information to be provided upon incorporation are:

-    the description of the company’s activity,
-    the authorized share capital and its division among shareholders,
-    a financial plan for the first two years of the company,
-    whether the company will hire personnel and
-    what countries it will be doing business with.

It must be noted the same documents are required for opening a bank account, but other specific documents may be required also.

Once the fiscal code has been obtained, all documents must be signed by the shareholders and directors, notarized by an Italian public notary and submitted with the competent authorities. If desired, the owners of the company may appeal to a representative who will act on their behalf, through a power of attorney.

Once all notarized documents have been submitted with the Italian Trade Register and approved, the company must also obtain a tax ID. Additionally, if the company will hire personnel, the Labor Office must be notified. The notification can be sent via e-mail.

Bridgewest provides the following services for company incorporation in Italy:

- drawing up the articles of association that can be signed through power of attorney (Italian laws require powers of attorney for any public notary proceedings);

- drawing up documents for company incorporation in Italy: specimen signatures, identification papers copies, fiscal number, application forms required for company registration;

- arranging public notary proceedings (all procedures for company incorporation are done in front of an Italian public notary);

- providing a registered office in Italy on demand; the registered office serves as headquarters for the company in Italy and it will be made public;

- setting up a bank account for the company in Italy; BridgeWest will help in setting up the share capital bank account, as well as a current bank account once the company is incorporated.

- recommending an Italian accountant, as accounting services are needed for new businesses in Italy.

Types of companies in Italy


The limited liability company in Italy (Societa a Responsabilita Limitata - SRL)

The Italian limited liability company is chosen by foreign investors wanting to start small businesses. The minimum share capital required when opening a limited company in Italy is 10,000 EUR and at least a quarter (2,500 EUR) must be deposited upon incorporation. However, if the company has one shareholder, the start-up capital must be deposited in full. The capital can be in cash or kind, but the capital in kind must be evaluated by a registered auditor. The Italian limited liability company must have at least one shareholder.

The share capital of each shareholder is measured in quotas according to their contributions. The company must have one director, two or more directors with independent powers or a board of directors, as mentioned in the articles of association. Italian limited companies must also have a board of statutory auditors and their own accounting systems that will maintain all the transactions, balance sheets and financial statements.

The joint stock company in Italy (Societa per Azioni - SpA)

The Italian joint stock corporation is usually employed by large enterprises. The minimum share capital for an Italian joint stock corporation is 120,000 EUR and a quarter of it must be deposited before the company is incorporated. In case of a single shareholder, the start-up capital must be paid in full before incorporation.

The shares of a joint stock company can be related with limiting voting rights or shares offered to employees. The shares can also be represented by share certificates. The capital contribution can be made in cash or in kind. Contributions made in kind must be evaluated by a registered auditor.

In order to incorporate an Italian joint stock corporation, at least one shareholder is necessary. Shareholders are required to have an ordinary meeting once a year in order to approve the financial statements. The joint stock corporation must have its own accounting system that will be supervised by a board of statutory auditors. The company is also allowed to appeal to an external auditor.

The management of the joint stock corporation can be:

− traditional, formed by a single director;

− a board of directors appointed by the shareholders’ meeting;

− a management board appointed by a supervisory committee. The supervisory committee is elected by the shareholders.

The Italian branch, subsidiary and representative office

Foreign companies are allowed to set up separate enterprises from the parent company, where the foreign company will be a shareholder in an Italian company. Foreign companies can also open extensions of the parent company in Italy.

Taxation in Italy


The standard VAT rate in Italy is 22%. Reduced rates of 10% and 4% are applied to certain products.

The corporate tax in Italy is set at 27.5%.

For foreign companies, the dividend tax is set at 20%, but reduced rates apply if any taxation treaties are enforced.

BridgeWest is also able to offer ready-made Italian companies and VAT registration.

Please contact us for more information and prices.


Articles on Company Formation in Italy

Types of Italian Companies

Italy is a location preferred by foreign investors from all over the world, as the government offers investment incentives in certain areas. Those who wish to establish a company in Italy can choose from the following business entities in accordance to their requirements: Forming a General Partners ...

The Trade Register of Italy

The institution in charge with company registration in Italy is the Register of Enterprises of Italy, regulated by the Chamber of Commerce. Its main scope is to register different legal entities storing information into databases permanently accessible to the public. Providing a good communication b ...

Open Company Branch or Subsidiary in Italy

Foreign entrepreneurs, owners of companies who wish to expand their business investing in Italy often choose to open a company branch. This business type is regarded separately from the parent company. The parent company is fully liable for the liabilities of each branch it owns. The incorporation p ...

Shelf Company in Italy

A way to engage in business in Italy is acquiring a shelf company, and adjusting it. An Italian shelf company represents a quicker and more efficient way to start a company, as it is already established and registered in Italy with all required institutions. Therefore the time needed to start activi ...

Paying Taxes in Italy

1. What is the corporate tax in Italy? Italian Tax Law requires companies and individual entrepreneurs to pay a 27.5% corporate tax, which is a State Tax called IRES in Italy. In addition there is another tax, called IRAP which is a regional tax of 3, 9% bringing the total taxation amount at ...

VAT in Italy

1. What is the VAT in Italy? In Italy, VAT is levied on the supply of almost all types of goods and services, as well as importation from outside the European Union. The general VAT rate in Italy is 20%. In some cases, the VAT has a reduced rate of 4% or 10% that may apply on basic products, while e ...

Company Law in Italy

The main legislation that refers to all types of companies in Italy is the Italian Civil Code. In addition to that, companies are also regulated by the Legislative Decree 58/1998, also known as the Consolidated Financial Act. This act was subject to a reform in 2001 by the Law 366/2001. Also, Consob ...

Setting up a Limited Liability Company (SRL) in Italy

A limited liability company in Italy is known as a Societa a Responsabilita Limitata or SRL. This type of company is usually intended to meet the needs of a small business. Due to the company law reform, limited liability companies in Italy became rather flexible and easy to run. This is why this ty ...

Setting up a Joint Stock Company (SpA) in Italy

Joint stock corporations in Italy are known as Societa per azioni or SpA. The capital can be divided into several types of shares, such as related shares, redeemable shares, shares with limiting voting rights or shares offered to employees. The company law reform brought some changes in the governan ...

Lawyer in Italy

  Lawyers in Italy are entitled to practice legal profession all over the country, no matter where they passed the bar exam. A lawyer in Italy must be aware of the professional code of conduct in order not to break its rules. Attorneys in Italy are divided into ordinary lawyers and lawyers qual ...

Italian Public Notary

The Italian public notaries are civil law public notaries who act as public officers with jurisdiction over voluntary private law. Their main activities are the authentication of documents. A public notary in Italy plays an official role in the Italian legal system. The first legal mentioning of pub ...

Power of Attorney in Italy

A power of attorney in Italy grants a person the right to represent another individual and act on behalf of their interest in all needed circumstances. If one cannot be present during negotiations of a transaction or for the signing of documents, it is necessary to appoint a third party that represe ...

Company Liquidation in Italy

BridgeWest handles all steps required for company liquidation in Italy. Please contact us via email or phone for appointing a liquidator to carry on the company dissolution, submitting the required application forms, dealing with the Court, closing the company's bank account or any other n ...

Open a Representative Office in Italy

Are there any special requirements for creating an Italian Representative Office? A representative office in Italy (known as “Ufficio di Rappresentanza”) is opened exclusively for promotional and research reasons by the foreign companies willing to open branches and perform economic act ...

Guide to Company Incorporation in Italy

1. What is the minimum share capital of an Italian SRL (Limited Liability Company)? An Italian Limited Liability Company may be incorporated by one or more shareholders who must provide a minimum capital of EUR 10.000. Usually the shareholders' contributions are made in cash, unless the act of incor ...

Nominee Director in Italy

 The front person, or the nominee director,  is an entity, individual or corporate body, who acts as a non-executive director on the board of directors of a firm, in the name of another person or firm such as a major shareholder, a bank or a lender.  A resident in a tax haven is named ...

Set up a Company in Italy

Italy represents an interesting place to set up a new company due to the profitable environment for business development and to its well-organized business infrastructure. Italy is characterized as having a stable economy and most important, the state encourages foreign investment. The main economic ...

Open Business in Italy
We guarantee a cost-efficient solution for full company setup, bank account and VAT registration

Meet us in Milan or Rome

Call us now at +44 203 287 0408 to set up an appointment with our lawyers and accountants in Milan and Rome, Italy. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Italy.

As a BridgeWest client, you will beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Italy.