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Italy as location for your Start-up

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The aim of this program is to foster technological development and employment specifically among young people.

Italian startup visas were created to foster growth by attracting innovative entrepreneurs from other countries outside the EU. The most popular programs for foreign entrepreneurs that want to relocate to Italy for business are the Startup Visa and the Startup Hub.

The major difference between the two programs is that the Italian Entrepreneur visas were created for non-EU citizens that wish to start a business in Italy, while the Startup Hub was created for foreign citizens residing in Italy that want to take up employment or start a company for Italian businesses.

These programs were created to foster technological development and employment by attracting entrepreneurs from third-countries across the world. Investors and entrepreneurs interested in obtaining this document should know that the law clearly says innovation.

In this article, we’ll be giving you an in-depth guide on how to apply and obtain an Italian startup visa. By the end of this guide you should know everything there is to know about this document and if you qualify to obtain one.

What is an entrepreneur visa?

The Italian Start-up Visa program is a fast-track procedure for self-employment for non-resident entrepreneurs who wish to start business in Italy.

There are so many benefits attached to possessing a startup in Italy because the laws used to create this program has a lot of favorable conditions for people interested in opening and developing innovative businesses anywhere in the country.

Under the conditions stated in 221/2012, these startups encourage economic growth and employment especially among the youths and young people. There’s also a regulatory framework set up to meet the needs of everyone involved in the startup ecosystem.

If you want a European entrepreneur visa, I believe Italy is one of the best places to apply for one. According to the Italian Ministry of Economic Development 2017 report, the number of startups was almost doubled from what it used to be in 2015. The data proves that there were:

  • 7,398 innovative startups at the end of June 2017
  • 1,414 municipalities had at least one innovative startup
  • Milan recorded about 1,028 innovative startups
  • Startups in Italy had a high survival rate, only about 6% of all startup that started in 2014 ceased operation after three years.
  • 21.5% of the startups had young shareholders below the age of 35 years.

Lombardy is the area with the highest number of innovative startups, while Milan, Rome, Turin, Naples, and Bologna are among the provinces with the highest concentration of innovative companies in Italy.

What we liked about Italian start-up visas was the fact that they are free, fast, and independent of most government legislation and bans. It takes at least 30 days for your application to be reviewed by the Technical Committee Italian Start-up VISA (ISV Committee).

The Committee is coordinated by the Economic Ministry which is composed of important members of national innovation organizations. Every single procedure is completed online on the official website and free of charge.

Application eligibilities

There are a few conditions that you need to meet before you can be deemed eligible to apply for an Italian entrepreneur visa. Some of these requirements compel you to have:

  • At least one-third of its team must be made up of Ph.D. students, graduates, or people that have been working on a similar project/research for at least 3 years.
  • Foreign entrepreneurs must prove they have more than €50,000 for their innovative startups.
  • The company needs to be new and operational for no more than 5 years.
  • The company cannot be the result of a merger or split.
  • Allocate at least 15% of its expenditure on R&D.
  • The company must be involved in the production, development, or commercialization of innovative goods and services with important technological value.
  • To be the owner or licensee of a patent of the original software/product.
  • The company must have a branch or main office in Italy or any EU state.
  • The company must have an annual turnover of less than €5 million.
  • The company must be in an innovative sector.
  • The company must not be listed on the Stock Market.

How to apply for an Italian startup visa

The application for this start-up visa is filed directly or through a certified Italian incubator. A certified Italian incubator can help speed up your application process with the declaration of “availability to host” the applicant in the original startup program.

Once you submit your application, the Technical Committee Italian Start-up VISA will review it and give you feedback within 30 days. After that, you will receive the Nulla Osta for the incorporation of your business (Nulla Osta ISV) via email, Consulate, or police office addressed to you.

If you need more detailed information, you should check out the complete guide on how to apply for an Italian Startup Visa here.

The Italy Start-up visa is valid for two years but you can renew it and even add three extra years if you want to continue operating in Italy. After five years, you will be eligible to apply and obtain an Italian Permanent residence permit.

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