top of page
  • Writer's pictureRoberto Nicolini

Foreign Direct Investment in Italy

For direct investments in Italy by individuals and companies from the People’s Republic of China, it is necessary to ascertain the condition of reciprocity. It exists in light of the bilateral treaty of 28 January 1985, in force since 28 August 1987.

Therefore, Chinese nationals in Italy can safely set up companies in Italy and also take up positions in those companies. However, for natural persons who are not legally resident, taking offices in specific companies is allowed only if it is connected with the investment. The same applies to companies in the People’s Republic of China.

Similarly to what happens for any subject, natural person or legal entity, whether Italian or in any case belonging to the European Union, Chinese subjects must be provided with an Italian tax code: to obtain it, it is sufficient to request it from the Revenue Agency. This Italian tax code will be used in all operations, documents, transactions, which will concern them.

In addition, there are stringent anti-money laundering regulations in Italy and in Europe. In particular, I refer to the Fifth EU Directive 2018/843, which has enhanced the prevention system of member states in line with the 2012 G.A.F.I. recommendations.

Specifically, the financial intelligence units have an increasingly central role also in the context of the obligation of automatic exchange of reports on cross-border transactions from which some indication of dangerousness is detected.

Therefore, in relation to the direct type of investment from the Chinese side that one wants to make in Italy, one should carefully consider the activity of the company that one wants to acquire or the type of investment that one wants to make, in order to understand which anti-money laundering regulatory requirements should be complied with.

For the Italian regulations, reference should be made to Legislative Decree 231 of 21 November 2007.

About the Author

Avvocato Roberto Nicolini graduated at the University of Bologna before joining the Advocates Board (Ordine degli Avvocati) of Verona in 1992, and later, in 2013, he was admitted to plead before the Court of Cassation and the Higher Courts in Rome. He specialises in commercial law, banking law, private international law and procedure, as well as property law. He represents foreign companies, in particular assisting German and other foreign countries’ undertakings develop their businesses in Italy, and Italian firms in their relations and litigation overseas, working in both German and English. Avvocato Nicolini also provides consultancy on the subject of compliance and Legislative Decree no. 231/2001, as well as acting as a Supervisory Body. He also assists clients with international inheritance and succession issues. He is the Vice President of AEA International, a network of advocates and a member of DVEV – Deutsche Vereinigung für Erbrecht und Vermögensnachfolge eV – the German association for the law of inheritance and estates.

Languages: Italian, English and German.


bottom of page