Crowdfunding refers to a new manner of raising capital for a business project that does not need the intervention of a banking institution, which, until recently, represented the main way of obtaining funds for a given purpose. Crowdfunding activities, in Italy or elsewhere, are concluded through crowdfunding platforms, operating in the online environment.
Currently, Italy represents an attractive market for opening a crowdfunding company, as crowdfunding operations have increased in the last years. For example, at the level of 2018, the Italian crowdfunding platforms raised a total value of EUR 36 million, a sum that is three times higher compared to the crowdfunding activities carried out in 2017. Businessmen are invited to receive in-depth legal advice on how to start a crowdfunding company in Italy from our team of Italian lawyers, who have the necessary expertise in providing assistance for opening this type of enterprise.
Table of Contents
What does crowdfunding in Italy refer to?
As presented above, crowdfunding refers to a means of raising capital by using crowdfunding platforms. Crowdfunding can be used by both natural persons and legal entities interested in financing a project, an idea, a product or a service by obtaining financial resources from various parties. Crowdfunding is an independent form of financing and it does not need the intervention of banking institutions.
In order to obtain money from third parties, a company or a natural person promoting a product or a service has to create an account on the crowdfunding platform and present the idea that needs to be financed. It is also necessary to present the goal that needs to be attained. As a general rule, almost each type of entity can participate in a crowdfunding campaign, which is basically created on a reward based system.
This means that parties which have entered a given project can obtain different types of benefits once the idea becomes operational, depending on the value that was invested in the crowdfunding project. Our law firm in Italy can provide more details on the legal understanding of crowdfunding operations.
Are there any regulations for Italian crowdfunding activities?
Although crowdfunding in Italy represents a new type of industry, as it is the case in other European jurisdictions, in this country, the sector benefits from a solid legal framework, which can be detailed by our team of Italian lawyers. At the moment, there are several rules of law that are already applicable to crowdfunding operations, but it is necessary to know that new laws are prepared to further regulate this new industry. The main crowdfunding rules of law are presented below:
- • small and medium-sized companies and investment funds can raise capital through crowdfunding platforms, as prescribed by the Law 33/2015;
- • any crowdfunding platform is legally required to start its operations within a period of maximum six months since the moment it has obtained a license;
- • the issuance of licenses for crowdfunding platforms falls under the supervision of the Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa (CONSOB);
- • the development of crowdfunding activities is recognized by the Bank of Italy, under the Resolution 584/2016, taking into consideration crowdfunding activities carried out by both natural persons and legal entities.
What are the main categories of Italian crowdfunding activities?
Businessmen who want to open a company in Italy operating as a crowdfunding platform should know that there are several types of crowdfunding activities that can be developed in this country. For example, crowdfunding can be developed on a reward-based system, as we presented above. Such platforms can also accept donation based operations and these types of crowdfunding activities started to develop in Italy in 2005.
However, in the last few years, the crowdfunding activities diversified and Italy also recognized crowd-investment, which is defined by lending and equity based activities. These two types of operations are strictly regulated under the Italian legislation. For example, equity crowdfunding is applicable to just several categories of entities, such as: innovative companies (registered as start-ups or small and medium-sized companies), investment companies that use their resources for further investing in innovative companies or collective investment undertakings. Our Italian law firm can offer more information on any other regulations applicable to equity crowdfunding.
Businessmen are invited to contact our team of Italian lawyers for further advice on the legislation concerning the registration of a crowdfunding platform in this country. Our law firm in Italy can represent investors in any matter related to the incorporation of a company and can also assist in obtaining the business permits necessary for this business sector.