It is said that it can be very profitable to start your business in Italy, even if you are foreigner. Italian economics is mostly oriented to export. So, the country takes the 9th position in the world trade market. Italy takes the 2nd favorable position in EC for small business development. Do you have an idea to start your business in Italy?

Innovative Startups

First of all you should learn the law about startups that is valid since 2012. According to this, all foreigners that want to start their business in Italy, get special conditions to provide their commercial activity. What is innovative startup? Innovative startup is enterprise that meets following requirements:

Founded more than 4 years ago;

Money circulation is no more than €5 million;

It is the subject of taxation in Italy;

It was not founded by means of corporate blending or absorption.

Make Your Startup

The company must not be Italian (it can be European) with the head office in Italy. What is more, if you want your project to be approved as innovative, it must be corresponded to one of three additional criteria:

1) minimum 15% of company expenses are expenses for research and innovations;

2) minimum the third part of your company consists of people with PhD or people that are involved in progressive research activity for three years or more;

3) the company has a patent for scientific or industrial property or original software.

Thus, Italy is favorable country to scientific development. Actually, this is popular European tendency to support innovative startups. The main requirement is high technologic level of your project. What sphere do you want to develop? There are no concrete requirements. There is just free play for starters. It is also worth saying that about 80% of all startups are included in the sphere of useful services: information and communications, scientific researches and others. About 18% are included in the commercial production. Social projects are also in high demand.

Startup Visa

There are two ways to get Italian visa for your startup. It is called Italia Startup Visa, or ISV. So, you can get it from your own initiative or according to the professional business support from one of certifies business incubators in Italy. Actually, these two processes are similar by different parameters. One way or another, you should initiate a request to the Ministry of Economic Development in Italy.

To get successful start, it is necessary to have the set of documents, including your release with the full description of your startup: describe the project, point the number of your co-workers, patents, financial abilities. This declaration can be replaced by another document – Undertaking by incubator to your startup.

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Financial Support

One of the most popular financial sources for your startup is bank credit. Of course, if you are going to take bank credit, your company is obliged to give guarantee to pay debts. To get such a guarantee, you have to ask for help for the Central Guarantee Fond of Small Enterprises (Fondo Centrale di Garanzia). If your startup was approved as innovative, there is a simple procedure to get financial guarantee from the fond. What is more, the fond can support about 80% of your credit sum.

There is another popular way to get money for startup development: stock trading. Of course, this part of business is not as developed as in France or Germany. Just few companies get enough money from stock trading for start. This is not the way you have to keep in mind and central idea to get money for your business development. The sum can be miserable.

Italian entrepreneurs get the big part of investments from big angels – businessmen and companies that are ready to give their money to your company, considering all risks. The big angels can give you a good financial support even in the early stage of your project (€300 000-€800 000).

using iphone 6 on business meeting

Business Incubators

There are more than 36 certified business incubators in Italy. The most of them are also startups. They can help you to get Startup Visa and give money for work and education (€15 000-20 000) for profit from your future startup.

Digital Magics

This is incubator that gives support to digital startups. It offers information technologies, strategy consulting, management education. Specialists give competent support to your business in form of analyzing, new technologies, talented managers). Experienced trainers speak about the business rules and innovative products and processes. What is more, there are many campuses and work spaces for your use.


This incubator is situated in the city provinces. You are offered to spend 4 months to meet potential investors – H-Farm partners, take part in the interesting competition of innovative projects and business ideas.

Working Capital-TIM

This is not one company but the chain of daughter incubators, located in the main Italian cities. You are offered to hire a car in Catania and go to Milan, Bologna and Rome. These cities offer you to get educational three months program for your project (master-classes, lectures), investments fair and 10 grants for €5 000 to the most successful projects. Of course, it takes you some time to travel from city to city for conferences.

Toscana Life Sciences

This research center and business incubator is located in Toscana. The organization works with the scientific startups: bio technic, pharmaceutical, cosmetology, medical equipment. You can find equipped laboratories, offices, expert help and support for attractive prices.

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Broad Opportunities

If you have no business idea yet, but you want to make the startup in Italy, you can send your declaration to participate Teach Peaks program. Teach Peaks is also support but not for startup, for people. The company is situated in the little city Treno, where people from different countries come for 6 months to create new business ideas, get skills and pick up the team. If your idea is great, it can be realized right here. Teach Peaks and partners from the Europe and USA can help. The program gives you financial support and help to get Startup Visa.