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Open a Business for Selling Food, Beverages and Tobacco

Open a Business for Selling Food, Beverages and Tobacco

Italian cuisine is an epitome of quality ingredients and refined taste. It is popular throughout the world and the food sector is one of the most important in the country, employing a large number of people and contributing enormously to the domestic and export sales.  

Investors who open a business for selling food, beverages, and tobacco enter a dynamic market and one that offers various opportunities for development. Investors may choose to focus their business on all three categories and become an essential part of a larger chain of distributors or they may choose to focus on the sale of just one of the three items.

When opening a company in the food and beverage industry, entrepreneurs are required to follow the general procedure for company incorporation in Italy.

What are the requirements for companies in the food and beverage sector?

Companies that sell food and drinks need to comply with the local regulations for the origin of these products as well as shelf life, labeling, and packaging. One of the agencies that oversee compliance is the Ministry of Health. The Directorate General for hygiene, food safety and nutrition (DGISAN) controls the food production health and safety as well as the marketing of primary products. It provides the operational guidelines for official controls on imported food, manages issues like nutrition labeling, additives, food flavorings and handles many other issues, including those concerning the hygiene and safety of exported food.

The steps required to open a company in Italy that sells food, beverages, and tobacco are the following:

  1. Choose a legal entity type: in most cases, investors will open a S.r.l or the Italian equivalent of the private limited liability company.
  2. Select a company name: investors can use our name check tool and they should propose three names for the company.
  3. Draw up the documents: the Articles of Association will include all of the relevant information about the company, its activities, and its founders.
  4. Register the business: the new company is to be registered with the Italian Business Register; certain fees apply during this step.
  5. Others: the founders will need to open a bank account and register the company for VAT purposes. 

Once the business is set up, the company owners will need to conclude the relevant agreements with other companies that supply some or part of the goods. They will also need to purchase or rent a property that will be suitable for selling the products (this can be the same as the registered office or it can be located at a different address). 

Investors can reach out to our agents who specialize in company formation in Italy for more information about each of these steps. 

What requirements are applicable to companies that sell tobacco in Italy?

Special authorizations are required before a tobacco product can be sold in Italy. These types of products, including e-cigarettes, are also under the regulations of the Ministry of Health and a new product also needs to receive approvals from other governmental agencies before it can be introduced on the market.

Italy follows the European legislation on tobacco products and this refers to the labeling and packaging, the standards for emission of harmful substances as well as certain prohibitions on the sale of these types of products. 

Business owners who wish to open a company in Italy that will sell cigars, cigarettes or e-cigarettes need to comply with all of the requirements for the distribution of these particular products. 

The Food and Beverages industry in Italy is one with the highest performance, as highlighted by the following report:

  • – the revenue in the sector is projected to amount to approximately 469 million USD in 2019;
  • – this is a 22.1% revenue increase on a year-on-year basis;
  • – the revenue is expected to have an annual growth rate of 14.5%;
  • – the projected market volume by 2023 is approximately 806 million USD.

As seen in this article, the requirements differ according to the chosen type of product that is sold by the company. Business owners, who sell both foodstuffs and beverages, as well as tobacco, will need to comply with all of the requirements for these types of items. We recommend reaching out to our company formation agents in Italy before commending the registration procedure in order to determine the exact steps for obtaining the permits and licenses.

We invite you to contact one of our accountants in Italy and benefit from the services offered by them. There is a need for payroll services in a company, audits, preparation of annual financial statements, bookkeeping, tax registration, and administration of human resources. We are certified accountants and have experience in the fields mentioned above, so do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact us if you are interested in starting a business for selling food, beverages, and tobacco. Our agents can provide complete information about the requirements in each field and about the general company formation steps.