Access to finance - Italy
Access to EU finance
This site will help you to apply for finance supported by the European Union. To access EU finance, click on your country to locate banks or venture capital funds that provide finance supported by the EU:
National sources of finance
The Directorate-General for incentivising business activities (DGIAI) of the Ministry of Economic Development coordinates and manages contributions for supporting businesses.
The DGIAI grants and provides financial assistance to businesses, aimed at supporting important objectives of fiscal policy, e.g. technological research, development and innovation activities, contributions in industrial crisis situations, assistance in less developed areas and support for access to credit for SMEs.
Actions taken by the Italian government in support of business include a series of legal and implementation instruments:
Anti-crisis measures (Small Business Act and development law):
Other actions in support of businesses include:
The credit guarantee fund for SMEs is aimed at businesses in all sectors for all kinds of financing operation within the scope of their business activities. This state fund guarantees a sum of up to EUR 1.5 million, making access to credit easier.
Mezzanine finance is not very common in Italy and is not specifically regulated by Italian law. In fact, there are compatibility problems between this type of financing and the provisions of Italian law in that the applicable interest rates exceed the legal maximum.
There are four main financing schemes available for businesses. These are designed for: new businesses, existing businesses, international expansion, and research and innovation.
To access funds, investors must apply to INVITALIA, the National agency for inward investment promotion and enterprise development. The Agency provides consulting services to businesses.
Invitalia has six different financing schemes:
- Tax relief for specific initiatives (Programme Contracts);
- Investments for industrial revitalisation;
- Incentives promoting the creation of new production units and the upgrading of existing ones (Self-entrepreneurship);
- Incentives for the unemployed or those seeking first jobs and wishing to start up a small business (Self-employment);
- Financial support for those wishing to buy stakes in other companies (Investment Funds).
The funds support entrepreneurial development and are designed for entrepreneurs wishing to start up a business or expand existing companies.
The Ministry of Economic Development provides businesses with different types of State financing and incentives. Financing may be in the form of tax credits (financial incentives supporting business development).
The Globus website of the Chamber of Commerce is an important tool for finding out about the different types of financing and tax relief offered.
The Chambers of Commerce help businesses find out about the different types of incentives and tax relief schemes available. There is a full list of local offices on the Chamber of Commerce website.
Research and innovation financing are granted via European, national and regional programmes and are supported by Financing Funds.
The Agency for the Promotion of European Research (APRE) provides information, support and assistance on EU research and technological development programmes.
Contributi.it provides structured and organised summaries of useful information on how to obtain easy-term loans, forgivable loans and tax credits. The information covers different types of businesses, industrial sectors and business activities.
Legge488 is the gateway providing information on notifications, grants and easy-term loans.
Access to EU funding
State, regional and Chamber of Commerce subsidies can also be funded by Community funds called Structural Funds. The Structural Funds are allocated according to the 2007-2013 National Strategic Framework Programme for regional development, agreed between Italy and the EU. The aim is to enhance competitiveness and social cohesion.
General information on business financing granted by the EU is available on the European portal for SMEs. Various programmes, their objectives and the type of activities they support are shown on the website in addition to detailed information and useful contacts for obtaining additional information and assistance in different EU countries.
An up-to-date list of all grants available on an EU level is available on the Commission's Europa website.
Companies may use banks to apply for loans to finance their activities.
Bonds are negotiable instruments, i.e., loans provided by investors for companies (or for a state, government or international organization). When issuing a bond, the issuer commits to:
- Repayment of the capital at on expiry of the loan;
- periodic interest payment at a predetermined rate.
A mortgage for SMEs is a form of financing for fixed assets and covers expenses such as construction or renovation of real estate and purchasing plants and machinery. It is normally accompanied by a class 1 mortgage indemnity guarantee (the asset does not have to have been mortgaged already) and stipulates a constant fixed rate of repayment for the whole period. Repayments can be monthly, quarterly or half-yearly.
The Italian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (AIFI), promotes, develops and represents venture capitaland private equityactivities in Italy. There is a list of organisations active in the Italian venture capital investment market published on the association's website.
Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.
Website for INVITALIA, the national agency for inward investment promotion and enterprise development: