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Doing Business in Italy


The Italian Constitution was approved in 1948. The government of the republic is administered on a national, regional and local basis. European Union citizens can benefit from the same rights as Italians and non-EU nationals.

Over the last years, the Italian business law has been significantly improved.
In fact, the legal framework has been enhanced by the Italian Legislator, by introducing important innovations concerning the structure of the commercial companies and simplifying the procedures for setting up a business. On the other side, new rules have been introduced about the corporate governance and liability.

Foreign companies that wish to set or to develop their investments in Italy can choose from different structures of limited liability companies. The recent reforms introduced new rules for the groups of companies in terms liability, transparency and publicity. Foreign investors can benefit of the same legal protection of intellectual property rights (including patents, trademarks, copyright, and designs) granted to the Italian companies.

The real estate market has experienced a notable trend. The residential property is still the driving sector of the real estate market. The recent transactions are marked by the entry of new foreign investors, attracted by important "securitization" and "real estate fund" operations.

On January 1, 2004, a brand new tax system entered into force in Italy introducing new rules on corporate groups, reducing corporate income tax, and abolishing regional taxes, as well as cutting individual tax rates to two bands. One of the aim of the new rules is to instituting a favourable tax environment for domestic and foreign investment.