What is Italia Startup Visa?
Since 2012, Italy has implemented a groundbreaking Startup law to encourage the creation and development of innovative startups.
Already, it’s paying off.
This strategy is key to fostering sustainable growth, technological development and employment, especially for young people. This will promote a new entrepreneurial culture, encouraging greater social mobility and injecting innovation into our business ecosystem.
As a result, our country will become a global hub for international investment and talent.
The Italia Startup Visa policy is designed to help achieve this last objective.
It provides a streamlined process for non-EU talents to found innovative startups in Italy.
This, along with benefits provided by the recent law, including robust tax relief on seed and venture capital investments, pioneering equity crowdfunding provisions, cuts in red tape, substantial guarantees on bank loans are steps to make Italy a world leader for innovative enterprises.
The law refers specifically and explicitly to innovative startups to underscore that its target is not any and all new enterprises, but those whose business is closely and strongly linked to innovation and technology. To benefit from the support measures, the innovative startup must be a limited company, including a cooperative, under Italian law, or else a Societas Europaea, and must be domiciled in Italy under Article 73 of Presidential Decree 917 of 22 December 1986.
Its shares, or securities representing the capital, may not be listed on a regulated market or multilateral trading system. Moreover, the enterprise must:
a) be new or have been operating for no longer than 4 years;
b) have its head office in Italy;
c) have annual sales of less than 5 million euros;
d) not distribute profits;
e) be engaged solely or primarily in technological innovation;
f) not have been created from a corporate merger or division or following the
divestment of a company or line of business;4
g) meet at least one of the following additional criteria:
a. devote at least 15% of its expenditure to research and development (R&D) activity;
b. have at least one third of its team composed of PhD students or graduates, or of personnel who have been working in research for at least 3 years; alternatively, at least two thirds should hold a master’s degree;
c. be the owner, filer or licensee of a patent, industrial property right, or original software registered with the Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers – SIAE).
No restrictions are applied with respect to the entrepreneur’s personal circumstances, or the
startup’s sector or sphere of business, or the region of Italy where it will be located – all with
due respect for Italian and EU law.
The Italia Startup Visa policy is designed to help achieve this last goal.
It is the characteristics of the “system” (macro-economic, bureaucratic, fiscal) that determine a country’s reputation on the global stage of innovative entrepreneurship. The new equity crowdfunding model, the tax relief on seed and venture capital investments and a reduction of
red tape are just some of the measures introduced by the Startup Law. They are steps on the road to making Italy a more hospitable place for innovative enterprises, Italian and otherwise. These provisions can be made more effective by ensuring that any bureaucratic mechanisms
involved in issuing self-employment visas to talented non-EU nationals interested in establishing innovative startups in our country are quick and streamlined.