Italy: Team Member Nationality Requirements

According to The Florentine, “In principle, a foreign person who is not a resident of Italy or the European Union can only set up a company in Italy if an Italian citizen can set up a company in the non-EU country where that foreign citizen comes from. If an Italian encounters limitations or restrictions to invest in a foreign market, the citizen of that foreign country will face the same limitations in Italy.” Verification of the condition of reciprocity can be done through the “Country Reports” issued by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE). (Source).

Note that verification of the condition of reciprocity is not necessary when the foreign investor:

  • is a citizen of a Member State of the European Union;
  • is a citizen of one of the States of the European Economic Area (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway);
  • is a citizen of a country that has an international agreement with Italy (e.g. agreement governing international investment, treaty of friendship and trade, or other such agreements). It should be noted that Italy has such agreements with most of the countries.
  • has a refugee or stateless person status.

Also note that the reciprocity condition has almost always already been met for U.S. citizens, while for Australians and Canadians this is not necessarily the case.

To live in Italy and manage your business from Italy, if you are a non-EU resident, you need an Italian visa. “The procedure to obtain this visa is tricky and the paperwork required varies depending on whether the person intends to be self-employed or to set up a company and hold an executive position. With a few exceptions, self-employment visa applications are subject to the same quota limits established by the “Decreto Flussi” for subordinate work visas. These visas are in less demand, so it may be possible to “obtain a spot” even a few months after the “Decreto Flussi” has been published. The self-employment visa application process can be found at Be warned; the application for a self-employment visa can take several months.”(Source)


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