Maybe you don’t know it, but Italy has a dedicated program for non-EU innovators who wish to establish here their innovative startup. The Italy Startup Visa & Hub program attracted in 2019 up to 481 candidates from 49 countries and approved 250 applicants representing 35 different countries. Incubators play an important role in the ISV program: 45 applications were backed by a certified incubator. 

Startup Visa

Applications are open all year long and the process is easy and quick:

  • it never takes more than 30 days;
  • the applicant can communicate with the Italian public offices through a single contact point;
  • the procedure takes place entirely online;
  • applications are in Italian and in English;
  • no fees required.

You just need a business model and a 50,000 euros in financial resources for your innovative startup. Furthermore, the future company will have to qualify as an innovative startup as defined by Decree 179/2012 and be engaged solely or primarily in technological innovation.

Italy’s Startup Law has set up a vast range of tools to help entrepreneurs establish their own innovative business, including:

  • no fees are due for the fulfillment of bureaucratic procedures:
  • variable pay depending on the company’s performance;
  • you can remunerate workers and consultants with stock options, taxed only in the event of capital gain;
  • robust tax relief (30%) on investments fueling startups;
  • possibility for innovative startups to raise money through equity crowdfunding portals;
  • free, fast-track public guarantee on bank loans covering 80% of the sum;
  • A fail-fast mechanism in order to help entrepreneurs move on quickly to the next startup in case things go wrong.

Investors Visa

The ISV program also addresses non-EU citizens who wish to become shareholders and play an entrepreneurial role in an innovative startup incorporated by third parties. They can apply for a specific 2-years “visa for investors”. In fact, the law contains several other incentive measures, mainly of fiscal nature, specifically designed for individuals who intend to transfer their residence to Italy. 

An investor visa can only be issued for a single investment in:

  • Government Bonds issued by the Italian Republic
  • Companies incorporated and operating in Italy
  • Innovative startups
  • Philanthropic donation

You may read more here: 

If you’re interested in the Italy Startup Visa & Hub or in the Investor Visa, you can reach me at selva@execstarpro.com Just drop me a short message and I’ll be happy to support you in your journey to Italy!

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