Company Registration in Italy - Business Starting & Setup

Italy-SAS
Italy-SrL

General Information

Italy is located in Southern Europe. The total area of the country is 301,340 sq. km, with a population of 61,261,254 (2011). The capital of Italy is Rome. The national currency is Euro (EUR) which equals approximately 0.75 USD.
The climate of Italy is predominantly Mediterranean.
The hottest month of the year in South of Italy is August; the average maximum temperature is +38°C; in north of Italy – July with the average maximum temperature of +35°C.
The coldest month is January; the average minimum temperature is from 0 to +13°C depending on the region.
There are five main climatic zones:

  • the Alpine zone: harsh winters with plenty of rain and snow, and very mild summers;
  • the northern Italian plain: the continental weather conditions with fairly cold, snowy winters, but warm, mild summers. Northern cities such as Torino, and can become very cold, damp and foggy with temperatures falling to 0-7ºC in winter. Most rainfall occurs in the first half of the year;
  • the Tyrrhenian area: on the west side of the country is the Tyrrhenian region where the weather brings cool winters, warm summers and sufficient rain. Temperatures in fluctuate between a low of 5 – 6ºC in winter, and a high of 26 – 30ºC during the warmer months;
  • the Adriatic coast: bears cold winters. Conditions improve to comfortably warm in the summer;
  • the Mediterranean zone: includes all the southern areas of Italy, rainfall is often in the winter months, leaving the summer months arid and hot.

The time difference from Moscow is -2 hours; the international dialing code – 39.
The official language of the country is Italian. The Italian population includes the following ethnic groups:

  • native Italians;
  • German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north of Italy;
  • Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south of Italy.

History

Italy (in translation from Greek, meaning “land of young cattle”) was part of Roman Empire. The medieval period of Italy is the history of various city-states with their own governmental systems and political regimes.
Italy is famous for the fact that the first banks appeared in its territory and for the highly capitalistic economic system.
The movements for territorial unity were established at the end of the 18th century.
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor Emmanuel II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito Mussolini established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.
Government Type
Italy is a democratic Republic. The Head of Government in Italy is the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. The main executive authority is the Council of Ministers proposed by the Prime Minister and nominated by the President of the Republic.
The representative of the legislative authorities is the bicameral Parliament (Parlamento) consists of the Senate (Senato della Republica, 315 members) and the Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati, 630 members).
The highest judicial authority of Italy is the Constitutional Court (Corte Constituzionale) and the Supreme Court of Cassation (Corte Suprema di Cassazione).

Economy

Italy has a diversified industrial economy.
The country is divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, agricultural south.
The most developed sectors of Italian industry include: engineering industry (machinery construction);
metallurgy;
chemical industry;
petrochemical industry;
light industry;
food industry.
The crop sector is predominant in Italian agriculture.
A significant contribution to national wealth is generated by products 'made in Italy'.
The production of the following produces are wide spread in Italy: wheat, maize, rice, sugar beat, citrus plants, tomatoes, grapes, olives.
The tourism is high-developed in Italy as well. According to the statistics data more than 50 million people visit it every year.
Italy belongs to the Group-of-Eight (G8) industrial nations, the European Union (EU), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
One salient feature of the Italian economy is its propensity toward entrepreneurship - seen in the very high number of small and medium-sized businesses: 98% of the over 4 million companies employ fewer than 19 persons (the average is 4 employees per company).
GDP per capita rank is 45 (est. 2011).
The unemployment rank in Italy is 10.7 % (est. July, 2012).

Corporate Information

Legal System

The legal system of Italy is referred to Continental/Civil Law.
Italian law is based on:

  • Roman Law (particularly its civil law);
  • French Napoleonic Law (itself based on the Roman model).

One of the important distinctive features of Italian legal system is the presence of Codes systematized the separate branches of law.
Besides the Codes, there are innumerable Statutes that integrate the Codes and regulate areas of law for which no Codes exist.

Types of Entity

Basic provisions on companies are established by Civil Code (Fifth Book – V title).
There are two groups of Companies in Italy:

  • Corporations (Capital Companies):
    Società a Responsabilità Limitata, S.R.L. – Limited Liability Company;
  • Società per Azioni, S.p.A. – Joint Stock company;
  • Società in Accomandita Per Azioni, S.A.P.A. – Limited Partnership Constituted by the Issue of Shares;
  • Società a Responsabilità Limitata Semplificata, S.R.L.S. – Simplified Limited Company;
  • Partnerships:
    Società in Accomandita Semplice, S.A.S. – Limited Partnership;
  • Società in Nome Collectivo, S.N.C. – Unlimited partnership;
  • Società Semplice, S.S. – if the activity is not classified as a business.

S.R.L. is the most popular type of company in Italy because it fits to small and medium enterprises.

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