New Italian Legislation on Startups

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Drawing from the Restart, Italia! Report, the Italian Startup Act (executive summary) represents a sound package of tools affecting all stages of business life cycle, creating the enabling conditions needed for a quick go-to-market and scaling up of high-tech startups.

In brief, innovative startups can profit by a vast array of benefits for five years, including:

  • Exemption from fees normally due to the Chamber of Commerce;
  • Possibility to remunerate workers and consultants through stock options and work for equity schemes which are tax deductible;
  • Possibility to raise capital in exchange for shares through equity crowdfunding portals;
  • Robust tax incentives by up to 27% on seed and early-stage investment amounting up to 1.8 million Euros (if you are interested in such incentives, please read circular 16/E by the Italian Revenue Agency);
  • Streamlined, free-of-charge access to public guarantees by 80% on bank loans amounting up to 2.5 million Euros. 

Recently, our country has launched the Italia Startup Visa programme, thanks to which extra-EU citizens intending to establish a high-tech company in Italy can obtain an entrepreneurship visa within 30 days, following an online and streamlined procedure.

The Italian Startup Act is an ongoing process that draws from the analysis and evaluation of its empirical impact through a structured monitoring system involving the National Statistics Institute (if you want to have more statistics, please see the Annual Report).

Thanks to the mentioned legislation, the Italian innovation ecosystem is growing rapidly: to date it counts more than 3,700 highly-innovative tech startups (average weekly increase by 40) and involves more than 15,000 partners and employees (+2,000 just in the last quarter of 2014 - please see the updated list of Italian innovative startups). 


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