Several public and private bodies offer personalised information to business owners. Assistance can be given on a local, regional and European level. The assistance can cover the setting up, expanding, merging and acquisition of companies, including also incentives and business promotion.
Business owners who are members of business associations can receive assistance and obtain information from these organisations.
The Italian General Confederation of Trade, Tourism, Services, professional occupations and SMEs (Confcommercio) is the leading organisation representing Italian companies. It provides specialized information and assistance for business development, both nationally and internationally.
Confartigianato is an organisation that represents, safeguards and promotes the interests of the crafts sector and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Confindustria (Confederation of Italian Industry) is the leading organisation representing the manufacturing and service industries.
The Italian Confederation of Farmers operates in Italy, Europe and worldwide, promoting agriculture and safeguarding farmers' rights. It represents agricultural business owners and those with a permanent link to the agricultural world.
Public and private organisations
The Camere di Commercio (Chambers of Commerce) organise training courses for business owners in various sectors: food, manufacturing, agricultural, ecological businesses, service providers and energy. Courses are also aimed for freelance workers, aspiring business people and entrepreneurs wishing to set up a new business.
Some courses are funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). Some require a registration fee; business owners can consult local authorities to find out how they can be partly refunded with 'training vouchers' (refunds up to 80%).
Training vouchers are allocated by public authorities through regional or provincial notifications.
The Institute for Industrial Promotion (IPI) used to assist the Ministry for Economic Development in planning, defining and implementing policies and public actions designed to improve the Italian entrepreneurial system. The IPI has been abolished, and its functions have been transferred to the Ministry for Economic Development.
The Single Information Point for Production Activities (Suap), service of the head office department for production activities (available in town councils) aims to simplify the procedures for obtaining the necessary authorisations to carry out a business. Furthermore, many single information points promote commercial activities through information and consulting services regarding relocation opportunities for new businesses and financial incentives.
The National agency for inward investment promotion and enterprise development (INVITALIA) provides consultation services for companies and promotes investment programmes offered by established and start-up companies.
Access to finance is crucial for setting up and running a business.