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Financing a Business in Italy

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Financing a Business in Italy

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Financing a Business in Italy

When looking for finance to start a business in Italy, your accountant and your bank can be generally the first port of call. A detailed and researched business plan in Italy will be necessary.

For specific investments in Italy there are various types of subsidies and tax relief aimed at supporting companies in need of financial support. These can be granted by:

  • the state
  • the regions
  • the provinces

Due to the complexity of the Italian incentives system research may take long and may require to establish an efficient local branch office. Online information and contacts are available at www.invitalia.it, the website of the government agency in charge of attracting foreign investments in the country.

For an overview of financing opportunities another useful link is The Institute for Industrial Promotions website (www.ipi.it) or the websites of the regional Chambers of Commerce. For more information it is a good idea to contact the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy. BCCI is in touch with its regional secretaries that are ready to provide the advice, insight and support needed.

Broadly speaking, the incentive programmes run by the Italy help sustain regional development and enhance local competitiveness by supporting business and promoting and sustaining research, innovation and training.

National investment incentives include:

  • the creation of new production plants and the expansion of existing ones (e.g. Development Contracts)
  • investments to revive industrial areas (e.g. Law 181/89)
  • technology research and innovation (e.g. Industria 2015, the Technology Innovation Fund FIT and the Research Incentive Fund FAR)
  • new investments and jobs creation (e.g. tax credits).

Law 181/89: an overview

Law 181/89 establishes a support mechanism for re-industrialising and revitalising industrial areas. The tool is entirely managed by Invitalia (www.invitalia.it) who handles all the stages of the procedure: it assesses business applications and defines project viability, manages aid disbursement and executes project monitoring. The following sectors are not eligible: activities in the primary production of agricultural products, fishery and aquaculture, coal, steel, ship building, synthetic fibres. Companies of all sizes operating in the mining and quarrying, manufacturing, power generation and service industries that invest in subsidized areas can take advantage of this mechanism. The subsidies consist of grants to cover up to:

  • 25% of eligible costs for the entire investment project in central and northern Italy
  • 40% of eligible costs for the entire investment project in the South.
  • Companies may also obtain subsidised financing covering 30% of eligible investments. It consists of a soft loan with a 10 year duration and pre depreciation in 3 years. The .pdf file containing a full list of the eligible municipalities and related gross grant equivalent may be downloaded on the www.invitalia.com.

Another source of funding can be:

  • the European Union (supporting competitiveness in specific territorial areas and research and development sectors). Browse the pages of this website: http://ec.europa.eu/grants/index_en.htm where EU-funded grants are order per sector.

Keep in mind that there are over 450 funding sources for reimbursable grants, aid schemes, individual fellow and traineeships, loans and guarantees in the EU. These can be awarded from such organisations like the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the European Investment Bank and others.

Helpful links are:

http://www.eubusiness.com/funding/eu-funding/european-funds/
and http://cordis.europa.eu/eu-funding-guide/finding-sources_en.html.

Other incentives

Zone Franche Urbane (Experimental Free Zones)

Zone Franche Urbane (ZFU) is a recent initiative of the Italian Government, which followed the successful French experience of the Zones Franches Urbaines. They are small local areas where starting up small business is tax-free. You will also be exempted by paying the income tax, IRAP and ICI up to 5 years. The funding of the Government amounts to €50 million and the incentives are available in 22 towns, mainly in Central and Southern Italy. For a map check: www.dps.tesoro.it/zone_franche_urbane/ZFU_22zone.asp

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