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Starting a business in Italy: recent reforms to cut time and costs

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  • Roberta Occhilupo

Abstract

Regulatory complexity and bureaucracy inefficiencies increase the time needed and the cost of starting a business and therefore reduce the competitiveness of a country. Since the early 1990s Italy, in the same way as other developed countries, has tried to introduce some reforms to boost the efficiency of public administration and reduce administrative burdens. The results have been limited. In 2010 two new reforms were introduced. The first allows an entrepreneur to start a business by electronically filing a form (named SCIA, Segnalazione Certificata di Inizio Attività) he declaring that the firm complies with all the legal requirements. The SCIA replaces the ex ante with ex post public administration controls. The second reform improves the local one-stop-shops regulation (the SUAP, Sportello Unico per le Attività Produttive). This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the two reforms. The time required and the cost of starting a business can be effectively reduced only if the administrative simplification tools are coupled with other reforms that eliminate unnecessary regulatory barriers, rationalize regulation, and reorganize the public administration.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberta Occhilupo, 2012. "Starting a business in Italy: recent reforms to cut time and costs," Mercato Concorrenza Regole, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 39-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:jhpfyn:doi:10.1434/36772:y:2012:i:1:p:39-68
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    Keywords

    JEL: D73; H7; K2; KEYWORDS: time and cost for starting a business; entry regulation; public administration control; administrative simplification;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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