Tax regulation of “innovative” start-up companies within the Italian legal system: an overview

Index:

1. Introduction: the regulatory framework and its evolution. 2. Innovative start-ups: definition and requirements. 2.1. Cumulative requirements. 2.2. Alternate requirements. 3. “Temporary” nature of the “facilitated regime” for start-ups. Other accomplishments. 4. Tax incentives to the investment in start-up companies. 5. Tax reliefs on the remuneration of employees and directors. 6. Tax credit for the employment of highly qualified staff. 7. Innovative start-ups and “shell companies” regulation. 8. Other reliefs and facilitations for innovative start-ups (hints).

1. Introduction: the regulatory framework and its evolution.

Articles 25 through 32 of Law Decree n. 179 of 2012 – the so-called “2.0 growth decree”1 – introduced, “for the first time ever in the Italian legislation, a consistent legal framework for start-up companies”2.

In the legislator’s view3, the new regulation aims at encouraging the creation and development of new “innovative” companies4, granting them several advantages under different points of view (tax facilitations, simplifications for company law purposes, greater flexibility of employment