Business support - Italy
Several public and private bodies offer personalised information to business owners. Assistance can be given on a local, regional and European level. The assistance covers setting up, expanding, merging and acquiring businesses, and also includes incentives and business promotion, such as financial support instruments and subsidised loans.
Business owners who are members of business associations can seek assistance and information from these bodies.
The General Confederation of Trade, Tourism, Services, professional occupations and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Confcommercio) is the largest association representing businesses in Italy. It provides information and specialised assistance for the development of businesses both nationally and internationally.
Confartigianato is a trade 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 in Italy.
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 Chambers of Commerce organise training courses for business owners in various sectors: food, manufacturing, agricultural, ecological businesses, service providers and energy. Courses are also directed at freelance workers, aspiring business people and entrepreneurs wishing to set up a new business.
Some courses are financed by the European Social Fund (ESF). Some require a registration fee and 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 via regional or provincial notifications.
The Institute for Industrial Promotion (IPI) assists the Ministry of Economic Development in planning, defining and implementing policies and public actions designed to improve the Italian entrepreneurial system. It aims to strengthen all Italian businesses (SMEs in particular) by encouraging competitive production systems.
This institute has been discontinued as a result of Article 7(20) of Legislative Decree No 78 of 31 May 2010, converted with modifications into Law No 122 of 30 July 2010, the human resources and instruments of the IPI have been transferred to the Ministry of Economic Development.
The one-stop shop for production activities (Suap), head office department for production activities (based in town councils) aims to simplify procedures for obtaining the authorisations needed to do business. Many one-stop shops also promote business activities through information and consulting services which offer relocation opportunities for new businesses and financial incentives.
The National agency for inward investment promotion and enterprise development provides consulting services to businesses and promotes investment programmes offered by established and start-up companies.
Access to finance is crucial for setting up and running a business.
Check also the legislation on this topic in: