Register a Company in Italy – Best business structures.

  • ilaria
    Ilaria
    ilaria began providing accounting services in 1999 following an excellent academic career that included two semesters at the European Business School in London and one summer session at the Berkeley University of California. She is a certified accountant both in Italy and in the UK (ACCA). The principle services that ilaria provides, includes tax accounting, bookkeeping, real estate taxation, business legal consultancy, auditing and company evaluations/due diligence.

Client Testimonials

Below is a list of recent client testimonials received from previous clients, obtained via Wufoo client survey platform:

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    Cheryl, Seville
    female
    Monday, May 28, 2018
    Miguel was helpful and kind. We will use his service in the future.
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    Caroline R, Barcelona
    female
    Tuesday, April 24, 2018
    Miguel has been great!

    His English is excellent, he explains everything clearly, emails when he says he will, and is very efficient in the service he provides.

    I'd definitely recommend him to ...friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    SH, England
    Friday, April 20, 2018
    Very satisfied with the service provided. Miguel was approachable and prompt in replying.
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    A. Kavanagh, Glasgow
    Thursday, March 15, 2018
    Miguel provided a great service and fully explained to me about the procedures with tax & business registration. My emails and questions where always answered straight away with an immediate response ...or solution.

    Very helpful and very friendly I would definitely recommend to anyone considering using Advocate Abroad
  • Default Avatar75
    A.Kavanagh, Glasgow
    Friday, March 09, 2018
    Rosa was exceptional at helping me setting up my business abroad.

    This was a big move for me and Rosa fully explained everything to me in detail so I had a full and clear understanding of the lega...l side of things as well as always promptly responding to any emails or questions I had.

    I couldn’t of asked for a better lawyer and I would 100% recommend Rosa to anyone who is deciding to move abroad.

    Great service could not be happier.
  • Default Avatar75
    Gavin Jones, UK
    Monday, February 19, 2018
    It was a real pleasure to have Miguel working on my behalf to file my non-resident taxes. He was extremely helpful, gave reassuring advice and I had a high level of confidence in the transactions.

    ...Miguel is now acting as my fiscal representative in Spain and I plan to continue to use his firm's services for all my tax requirements.
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    Ali Hashemi, Alicante
    Wednesday, February 14, 2018
    Rafael was extremely helpful, accommodating and understanding. He couldn't have done more.
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    Richard Quick, Estepona
    Sunday, February 04, 2018
    I was particularly impressed by Miguel's approachability & professionalism, excellent service!
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    Francis Dale, Marbella
    Thursday, December 21, 2017
    Very helpful, quick to respond and very knowledgeable.
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    Bart Cuyvers, Belgium
    Wednesday, December 20, 2017
    The service we received was perfect!
  • Default Avatar75
    S Crawford, Alhaurín El Grande
    Wednesday, November 22, 2017
    Miguel was quick to respond to questions, professional, personable, knowledgeable. Very Satisfied with the service.
  • Default Avatar75
    Bruce and Susan Moore, England
    Tuesday, October 31, 2017
    Great responsive and assured service
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    Hugh and Ann Morgan, Palma de Mallorca
    couple
    Monday, October 30, 2017
    His command of English is First Class.

    He demonstrated the highest level of professionalism and efficiency and l would have no hesitation in using him again or recommending him to any of my collea...gues or friends

    Competent, capable value for money FIRST CLASS and a credit to the organisation
  • Default Avatar75
    Anthony Bennett, Barcelona
    Thursday, October 19, 2017
    Anna provided the best possible solution for me in my situation, and helped out as much as she possibly could. I would recommend her services to anybody seeking legal or financial advice.
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    Carlos Pelaez, London
    Monday, July 03, 2017
    She was friendly and attentive at all times, quick answers on whatsapp app and always up to help and answer my questions. I'm pretty satisfied with her service.
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    Amy Wahba, Barcelona
    female
    Monday, March 06, 2017
    She was understanding and tried to maintain positive always even when doors closed in our face. She is always smiling and tried to find solutions to my problems which kept me always at rest.
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    Richard Whiteside, Lucena
    Monday, February 20, 2017
    Miguel has provided an excellent service, helping me sort out my tax and social security obligations as an ‘autonomo’.

    He is always prompt with his answers to my questions, he offers timely adv...ice and always makes sure that I am prepared in advance.

    His English level is excellent and I will continue to use his service in the future.
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    Robert Toth, Ireland
    Thursday, February 09, 2017
    Anna was very, very helpful, always happy to assist and also approachable and professional. I was very satisfied with the legal services.
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    Saeid Aboutalebian, Iran
    Wednesday, February 08, 2017
    Everything is good about Anna. She is very friendly. And I definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.
  • Default Avatar75
    Fiona Murie, UK
    female
    Wednesday, November 09, 2016
    Miguel has always been extremely approachable, helpful and given sound advice. He has kept us informed at every stage and quickly answered questions to help us make informed decisions.

    We feel like... we have had value for money and will definitely use Miguel as our only lawyer for all Spanish business.
    He has been fantastic! Very professional
  • Default Avatar75
    JS, Barcelona
    Friday, May 20, 2016
    Miguel is extremely helpful, couldn’t have done more. He is also responsive, transparent and informative.
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    Sharon Janet, Stoke-On-Trent
    female
    Wednesday, April 06, 2016
    Miguel was always available to discuss any issues we had.

    Excellent service more than happy and will be going back to him with and future legal issues. I would advise anyone to deal with this pract...ice more than accommodating.
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    AJH Platino Servicios, S.L., Tenerife
    Tuesday, March 31, 2015
    To date these are routine services but he appears to be up to date with the latest legislation and the advice we have received thus far has appeared sensible to me. As we begin to explore what our com...pany might do I am sure we can make it a little more challenging for him!
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    Marian O’Dwyer, Alhama Granada
    female
    Monday, March 30, 2015
    Prompt, professional, friendly, explained everything clearly, went above and beyond the necessary to make things easy.
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    Kevin Neylon, Poland
    Monday, February 23, 2015
    Jaime was very responsive, represented value for money and was very professional and helpful. I was very satisfied with his advice.
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    P.T., Benalmadena
    Thursday, January 15, 2015
    All tax returns are handled online, so I don't need to go anywhere to accomplish my tax obligations in Spain. Although the service is provided mainly by internet, Jaime met me when necessary, and I ca...n always contact quickly him or his team by phone, email, skype and even whatsapp.

    Jaime and his team have been really helpful during the setting-up process of my business.
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    Nikolay Denev, Cádiz
    Thursday, November 20, 2014
    I was very satisfied with the short time it took to set-up my documents and register me as autonomo initially.
    Now I'm happy with the service, and if I have any questions I have them answered quickly... and the answers are always easy to understand.

    The service represents excellent value for money.
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    H R Crowther, Huddersfield
    Monday, November 10, 2014
    Prompt response followed by confirmatary e-mails. Very approachable, and inspired confidence. Good value for money. Very satisfied and would definitely use the service again.
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    Florian Burkart, Barcelona
    Friday, September 05, 2014
    What we like about the service from Advocate Abroad: - Very knowledgeable and competent - Very friendly and helpful - Very good English and reasonable prices - Not trying to rip us off
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    B Clarke, Jayena
    Friday, February 14, 2014
    Jaime was extremely helpful and professional. He was happy to meet all of our requests and made our transaction extremely simple. Everything was explained clearly and all of our questions were answere...d.

    We also felt that the service provided to us, offered great value for money and we would highly recommend Jaime to other individuals.

Assuming you have already decided on the type of business you want to run and where in Italy you wish to locate it, then the main decision you will need to make is whether you should set it up as a limited company or as a sole trader.

This can be extremely important as you can save a considerable amount of money depending on which option you choose. Both have benefits and drawbacks. Here we will look at the differences between the two so that you can decide on which is the most appropriate – and cost effective – for your business in Italy.

 

Sole Trader v Limited Company

Sole traders in Italy are known as ‘autonomis’ and those who are just starting-out and where the income is likely to be low tend to choose this route.

Why?

Mainly because it is less complex and more economical to both set-up and  run. Accountants will normally charge 50% to manage compliance and tax returns in comparison to a limited company, given the lower administrative requirements.

 

Fiscal Obligations

As in other countries, whether your business is classed as ‘autonomi’ or as a limited company there are a number of fiscal obligations that the owner of a business in Italy will have.

Most larger businesses will have an obligation to make VAT (in Italy this is called IVA) and Income Tax returns. Of course if you decide to create a limited company then you will also have to make a company tax return (impuesto de sociedades) as well as file the annual accounts with the Company’s Register.

A company will need to retain up to 15% of any invoice presented to it by a professional/autonomo and file a return.

These extra obligations mean that the cost of maintaining the company are higher than where a sole trader is concerned.

 

Income/Corporation Tax

For sole traders, the income tax rate varies depending on income (from 23% to 40%). For small entities with revenues up to about 30.000 euros (the limit may vary according to activity) you can opt for a special regime called forfettario which allows you to pay just 15% tax and do not apply VAT (IVA in Italy).

As for limited companies, two different taxes apply, with a different tax base. The first one called Ires is now 24%, the second one called Irap varies between 3,9 to 5%. It is quite a complex system, with a lot of special cases and exceptions.

 

Social Security Obligations

As an autonomo or sole trader you will need to register with the local social security office and pay contributions each month. These contributions tend to be significantly higher than in other northern European countries with a current minimum of approximately €2800-3000 per year payment for commercial activities (for example shops, agents, manufacturing etc), or a fixed rate on income for consultants/professionals that varies each year and is currently approx. 26%, .

There are some reductions for those under 30 years of age or a temporary discount for example where the person has been unemployed and has decided to become self-employed.

In the case of a limited company there is an obligation to make social security contributions on behalf of an employee of 24% of their income. Where there are no employees of the company i.e. a single director company then that director must register as an autonomo and pay those social security contributions.

 

Liability

Just as elsewhere, one of the major differences between the two forms of business is that creating a limited company ensures limited liability to the owner of the company. If as a result of the operation of the company a financial liability should arise, then often this is limited to the amount of capital in the company.

As a matter of law in Italy the minimum level of capital that any company can have at any time is set at €3000 though this is sometiimes disrgarded by less scrupulous business owners.

One of the major drawbacks of registering as an autonomo is that you will be personally liable for any debts or losses incurred by your business and any personal assets could be at risk if your business is in financial trouble – either as a result of damages owed to a client or failure to pay due taxes and social security contributions.

If you would like to discuss your business plans in Italy in greater depth, contact us on or telephone +39 066 810 0089 (Italy) or 0800 098 8033  (UK), or via the email form below.

 

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