Italy has traditionally a good reputation in sectors like Fashion, Food and Tech, but unfortunately investing or opening a company in Italy has always appeared very difficult to a foreigner: lots of red tape, a byzantine bureaucracy, few funding opportunities.
Since few years though the situation is changing and several measures has been taken to help local and foreign startuppers both for opening and funding their ventures. The first and most effective was the introduction of srls companies, an entity very similar to uk ltd with a minimum share capital of 1 €, no notary fees and a reduced, for Italian standards, cost of incorporation.
This new type of company allows now to operate on the Italian market at a fraction of the previous investment required.
Furthermore since 2014 there’s a funding program of Invitalia, the Italian development agency, named Smart & Start; it aims to stimulate investments in innovating companies operating in Italy (thus also local branches of foreign companies).
The aid consist in a free-interest loan up to 80% of the project value and if the company is set up in southern Italy (from Abruzzo to Sicily and Sardinia) 20% is non-repayable.To reduce the timing Invitalia guarantees the evaluation of the startup’s project within 60 days, and a visa program for extra-eu entrepreneurs is also available.
With such stimulus is much easier to develop and try products in a country that represent the state-of-the-art especially in sectors as Food tech, Fashion and Tourism.