It cannot be any newly established company. In order to qualify for an investor visa, the company needs to be established meeting conditions of Law 221/2012 and registerd in a special section of Registro Imprese (Companies House).
What kind of start-ups qualify for the Italian investor visa?
I want to apply for an Italian investor visa by investing 500,000 euros in a start-up business my friend established in Milan two years ago. However, I heard that not all start-ups qualify as an acceptable investment for this type of visa. What are the requirements for a start-up to qualify for the investor visa?
Start-up companies that can qualify for the investor visa are the so-called innovative start-up companies, i.e., the ones referred to in art. 25, par. 2, of decree-law no. 179 of 18 October 2012, converted with amendments by law no. 221 of Dec. 17, 2012, and subsequent amendments. The official list of innovative start-ups, which is updated every week and accessible free of charge, is available on the portal administered by the Italian Chambers of Commerce system. As a general guideline, innovative start-ups shall satisfy a number of criteria, among which are being of high technological value, having been operating for less than five years, having a turnover of less than 5 million euros per year and falling under the definition of “innovative” company set forth by the above-mentioned laws.
The start-ups qualifying for the Italian investor visa must have a "corporate purpose" whose production or marketing is related to high technological value. If you want to apply for an Italian investor visa by investing 500,000 euros in a start-up business your friend established two years ago, you have to hurry, as the investment should take place by three years from its setup.