Starting a Business in Italy as an Expat, InterNations says how

Pubblicato il 05 Mag 2014

InterNations is the first international community for all people living and working abroad. Founded in 2007 by three young entrepreneurs from Germany (former expatriates themselves), it has become the biggest expatriate network worldwide.

InterNations now unites more than 1 million expats and global minds in all countries around the world. As a network based on trust it helps it’s members to find other expatriates in a similar situation, with comparable interests and needs including the support to create and develop companies. Startupbusiness asked to InterNations a vision on how expat can open a company in Italy.

Has it always been your dream to open a business in Italy, but you don’t know where to start? All you need is an idea. It should be something that you’re passionate about. Your business idea should also be in a field in which you already have at least several years of expertise. It’s hard enough to open a business in a foreign country in the first place; you don’t need to be worrying about learning a new skill on top of everything else.

Make sure to do your research before making definite plans. Decide where in Italy you want to move and then see what products or services are lacking in that area. Your business idea needs to be unique and offer something to the consumer market that doesn’t already exist in abundance. So for example, don’t open a gelato shop in Italy.

Before you move, do as much research as possible. Learn about the local business climate, the economic conditions and the local life. Consult a guide for expats in Italy on opening a business there. If you can’t already speak the language, start taking Italian classes.

Of course, no matter how much you try to prepare yourself ahead of time, there are some things that you just have to learn on the ground as you go along. After you arrive in Italy, or maybe even before your departure, one of the most important steps is to find a business advisor you can trust. You will also need an accountant, and maybe even an attorney.

Don’t try to navigate through all the red tape of Italian bureaucracy on your own. Find someone who speaks English or your native language, and make sure he/she really understands what you’re trying to achieve with your business and so they can be a good advocate.

Join a business networking association, preferably of fellow expats. When you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, talking with people who have already established their business in Italy can keep you going. You can share your successes and frustrations with them, as well as exchange tips and ideas.

Once you successfully make it past all the red tape, doing business abroad can be a very rewarding experience. There are many examples of expats who have opened successful businesses in Italy. These range from agriturismo establishments offering authentic Italian cuisine and cultural experiences, to travel concierge companies that plan tailor-made trips and activities for tourists to companies who help people find property in Italy, whether to buy or to rent while on vacation.

These are just a few examples, with many other great business ideas waiting to be explored. Expats who already run successful businesses in Italy will tell you not to be discouraged if your company doesn’t make a profit in the first couple years. Putting down roots and building up a solid customer base take time. The hardest part is probably taking that first step, but once you start seeing satisfied customers and the fruits of your hard work, you’ll be glad that you pursued your dream of opening a business in Italy.

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