Do you want to start a business in Italy as a foreigner? If Yes, here are 50 best profitable small business ideas & investment opportunities in Italy.
Italy which is officially known as the Italian Republic is a European nation and a founding and leading member of the European Union and the Schengen States. The capital of Italy is Rome and it is the largest city in Italy. Italy has a population of 61 million people and it is considered to be the 5th most populous country in the whole of Europe. The official language of Italy is Italian and their currency is the Euro (EUR).
The Italian Republic is a highly developed and highly industrialized nation with a very large economy which can be considered as a capitalist mixed economy; as a matter of fact, Italy has the 8th largest economy in the world, the 3rd largest economy in the whole of the Euro zone and also it is the 6th largest manufacturing country in the world.
There are many sectors ( including both small and medium sized enterprises) the growth of the economy of Italy; some of the sectors are the Agric sector, the manufacturing sector, automobile industry, the service industry, creative arts and innovative industry, tourism sector, the fashion industry, et al.
As a matter of fact, Italy is noted as one of the largest producers of wines and perfumes and the 6th highest tourism earner in the world averaging estimated annual income of $43.9 Billion from tourism. So if you intend relocating to Italy or you live in Italy and you are looking towards becoming your own boss, then you can consider starting any of the 10 business listed below;
Top 50 Small Business Investment Opportunities in Italy
- Start a Makeup Artist Business/Studio
Makeup artists are individuals who use their talents and tools to makeover, transform, and improve another individual’s face (and sometimes their body). The works of these talented individuals corrects imperfections, highlights positive attributes, and remedies issues.
But whether they are highlighting cheekbones for a key event, perfecting the smoky eye for a photo shoot, or applying prosthetics for theatrical productions, makeup artists are truly artists in their own right. This is not just a passion but also a business since very good makeup artists command lofty fees and possess loyal clients.
- Open a Barber Shop
A barber shop is one of the small businesses that can be started in Italy. The barber shop business can be started from just about anywhere. It could be from a cubicle, a room, a kiosk, shop, or a gigantic building. All that is required of you is to make men and women look good with good haircut and trending hair styles. A barber is a person whose livelihood is mainly to cut, dress, groom, style and shave hair.
- Start Hotdog and Sausage Cart Business
A hotdog and sausage cart business is yet another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. Hot dog and sausage cart business can be set up in the corner of a busy street or on a mobile shop without breaking the bank for cash. At the same time, big – time investors can also leverage on the high demand for hot dog and sausage to set up their own carts in strategic locations all around key cities in Italy.
- Open a Bar & Grill Business
A bar and grill restaurant might not be entirely easy to start, but one thing is certain, it is a straight – forward business that can generate huge and steady profits if well positioned and properly managed. People often think that starting a bar and grill restaurant does not require any professional skills since it is a small scale business; in as much as it is true, you would still need to learn how to prepare tasty barbeques cum grills, good business skills and of course customer services skills.
- Open a Beauty Supply Store
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is a beauty supply store. It is important to point out that beauty supply store business can’t go out of fashion because of the role it plays in the society. Depending on the scale you want to start, the startup capital for this type of business can be considered to be moderate. As a matter of fact, you can start your own beauty supply store and then grow it big within a short period of time by reinvesting your profits back into the business.
- Open a Body Piercing Studio
If you are looking towards launching a small-scale business in Italy, one of your best bets is to launch a body piercing studio business. The right time to start such business is now because the body piercing and tattoo industry is presently at its growing stage.
Please be informed that starting up a body piercing studio business may not require huge startup capital, but it needs solid planning, and attention to detail in order to keep your business profitable. if you are diligent enough and if you have good business / marketing strategies, you can build the business from just one outlet to numerous outlets across different cities in Italy from the sale of franchise.
- Start a Car Leather Repair Business
Opening a car leather repair shop is another money-spinning business that an aspiring entrepreneur who is looking towards starting a small – scale business in Italy should consider starting. Most cars usually come with leather seats and interiors, and when these seats and interiors are exposed to sun or heat, there is the tendency for the leather to rip, have holes, stains, have drastic color loss, peel, become rough and cracked, hence the need for the services of a car leather repair shop.
One good thing about this type of business is that you can learn the technical skills from someone who is already in the business or from a technical school. All you need to do is to rent a shop in a good location and then setup your shop and advertise your car leather repair business. If you are lucky to be one of few car leather repair technicians in your community, you will make good money from this type of business.
- Christmas Tree Installation Business
One small scale business you can start in Italy is a Christmas tree installation business. Christmas tree installation companies are engaged in the installation, farming and maintenance of Christmas trees and other related decoration services.
Although the market for Christmas tree installation business is considered seasonal, but the business can fetch you additional income. This kind of business is suitable for those who are looking towards building multiple strings of income.
- Open a Cigar Lounge
Opening a cigar lounge is yet another small scale business that can be started in Italy. A cigar lounge or cigar bar is a place where smokers go to buy their preferred cigar brand and smoke freely without the fear of being embarrassed, arrested or fined.
It is now illegal to smoke in public places. The World Health Organization (WHO), in conjunction with Governments of various Countries are clamping down on smoking in public places in a bid to protect non- smokers from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke.
- Open a Coffee Café
Coffee café business is one of the small – scale businesses that an entrepreneur can successfully start in the corner of a busy street or on a mobile shop without breaking the bank for cash. Coffee café or shops can be located in any part of town as long as there are people living or working there. On the other hand, if you operate a mobile coffee shop, then there won’t be any restriction to the places you can sell your coffee just like the conventional food truck business.
- Open a Consignment Shop
A Consignment Shop is simply a shop where fairly used goods are sold at giveaway prices. It could be clothes, shoes and other fashion accessories, sport wares, automobiles, electronics, furniture, toys, books, tools, musical instrument, office equipment, machines and a host of other stuffs.
You can start this business without money because you would only be required to collect goods from people who are cleaning and clearing their wardrobes, houses, offices or garages at no cost at all. In other words, you would be automatically helping them get rid of the items they do not want and in turn make your profit.
- Start Dog Training Business
Another small-scale business that you can start in Italy is dog training business. Becoming a dog trainer isn’t so much of a huge task, as it does not require that you get a certification. All that is required of you is the love for animals, as well as being able to train dogs in various skill sets.
It is very enjoyable to start a dog training business, because it establishes a relationship between you and the dogs, and in the long run you smile to the bank. So, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the dog training business is a clear case of getting paid for what you love doing.
- Start Aerial Drone Photography Business
An aerial drone photography business is yet another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. You need to know a lot about drone technology before going into the busines. Therefore, if you have decided to start an aerial drone photography business, then you should gather all the available materials you can get on drones and ensure that you read them up.
Your research will provide you with information of where to attend training, how to source for aerial drone photography contract, the required tools and license for the business, aerial drone photography billing administration et al.
- Start a Dryer Vent Cleaning Business
As an aspiring entrepreneur who intends starting a small – scale business in Italy, you can comfortably start a dryer vent cleaning business without much stress. The truth is that, you don’t necessarily need to own a fully functional dry – cleaning business before you can make money from your dryer vent cleaning business.
You can start a dryer vent cleaning business and your services won’t just be restricted to dry cleaners but also to homes and offices where dryers are used. Most people find it difficult to clean the vents of their dryers; hence they require professionals to help them do it.
- Open a Feed Store
Have you ever wondered where livestock farmers purchase the food that their livestock eat? You need not wonder anymore; they purchase all their livestock feeds from a livestock feed store. A livestock feed store is a store that retails diverse animal feeds ranging from pet and livestock feed, to lawn and garden supplies and farm and ranch supplies.
This a small-scale business that is open to an aspiring entrepreneur that lives around farm communities or close to a food hub. All you need to get started is a well – positioned store, steady supply of animal and bird feed and of course, the in and out of retailing.
- Open a Frozen Food Store
A frozen food store is a retail outlet where different frozen foods are sold and it is a business that can be started in any location in Italy. A frozen food store is a very easy business to start and it is not so capital intensive. Getting the right products that people want to buy and good stock keeping records are the secrets of running a frozen food store. A frozen food store can be run offline in the conventional retail store or online on an online e-commerce retail site.
- Open a Gourmet Popcorn Shop
Gourmet popcorn shops can be located in any part of town as long as there are children and even adults who love popcorn around the location. Generally, gourmet popcorn shops are located in schools, parks, shopping malls, hotel lobby, railway stations, bus station, campuses, sport centers etc. as long as you have the approval to sell there.
- Start a Graffiti Removal Business
A graffiti removal business is another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. If you choose to start this business, it is very important that you analyze the existing companies in and outside your area. Know how many there are.
Also, you would be required to check the existing competition, as well as know their strength and weaknesses. Knowing the weaknesses of the existing graffiti removal companies around you, means that you would be able to learn from their mistakes and in turn come up with a better and more preferred service devoid of the mistakes and weaknesses of others.
- Start a Grocery Delivery Business
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is a grocery delivery business. A grocery home delivery business involves helping your clients shop groceries and get it delivered to them in their homes or offices or any location they want it delivered.
With this type of business, you can choose to own a grocery store if you have the financial capacity to or you can choose to operate without a grocery store. The bottom line is that you should know how to source for groceries and how to get them delivered to your customers.
- Open a Juice and Smoothie Bar
A juice and smoothie bar is yet another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. Juice and smoothie bars basically make and retail smoothies and freshly-made juices. Juice is one commodity that is consumed in all parts of the world and of course those that are in the business generate sales year in year out if the business is well – managed.
As a matter of fact, economic downturn hardly affects the consumption of juice because it is affordable and considered a healthy substitute for soft drinks.
- Start a Nanny Agency Business
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is a nanny agency. The truth is that, nanny agency services business is one of the businesses that an entrepreneur can successfully start small and perhaps with a functional home office without breaking the bank for cash.
the same time, established entrepreneurs can also leverage on the high demand for nannies by larger households in highbrow areas to set up their own well – organized nanny agency services in strategic locations within a residential and business district in Italy.
- Start a Party Planning Business
Party planning just like event planning is all about helping corporate organizations, government, groups and individuals plan and execute their parties from start to finish. A party planner ensures that they work with the stipulated budget of the organization or individual and ensure that they deliver a successful party as agreed.
In some cases, it is the responsibility of the party planner to draw up a budget for the host of the party once they get a brief of the nature of the party; it could wedding party, birthday party, end of year party or baby shower, et al.
- Start a Party Rental Business
Starting a party rental business is not as capital intensive as starting a banquet hall rental business. This is because all that is required of you is to purchase tables, chairs, flatware, linens, centerpieces, stages, tents, canopies and other items for public and private parties and events.
You will also need a warehouse facility or well secured space to keep the items and also a truck to take them to and fro event venues as requested by your clients. You can decide to rent out the truck or include it as a premium service to those who rent party items from you.
- Start a Pest Control Business
If you are thinking of starting a small-scale business in Italy that can guarantee you steady income, then one of your options is to consider starting pest control business. Pest control business involves removing or eradicating potentially harmful insects, rodent and reptiles from farms, commercial and residential properties.
It is important to state that before you can start a pest control business in Italy, you must apply for a pest control license and pass an exam to demonstrate your ability to properly handle chemicals and other means to exterminate pests properly.
- Start a Pet Cremation Business
Pet cremation business is rapidly gaining prominence in recent time, especially in developed countries. Some people who own pets would rather prefer that their dead pets be cremated as against burying them. Cremation of pet is convenient and generally accepted by pet owners if they are given the option.
The good thing about pet cremation is that it can either be done on the conventional crematories, or the crematories dedicated only for pets. The bottom line is that people who want a dignified way of caring for their death pets will be willing to pay for such services.
- Start a Post-Construction Cleaning Business
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is post-construction cleaning business. Post construction cleaning as the name implies is a form of cleaning that is carried out on a newly constructed building or structure. It is expected that after construction, before the facility will be put to use, a thorough post construction cleaning will be carried out in order to clear the debris, clean the floor, railings, toilets, windows, roof and the entire compound. As a matter of fact, no construction work will be commissioned if post construction cleaning is not carried out.
- Start a Private Security Outfit
A private security outfit is yet another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. From a general perspective, a private security company is any company that provides both armed and unarmed security related services to both private and public clients at an agreed fee. The average private security outfit can go as far as providing advanced special operation services for special clients when they make demand of it.
- Start House Flipping Business
Another small-scale business that you can start in Italy is house flipping business. House flipping is all about purchasing a property that is put up of sale, renovating the property and then reselling the property with the sole aim of making profits.
Usually, house flippers sell the home at a price that will cover all the expenses incurred and provide enough profit to compensate for the time invested in the deal. The profit could be big and it could be small; it all depends on the how good you are able to makeover the property and also the location of the property.
- Start Scrap Metal Recycling Business
Scrap metal business is a small-scale business that is highly profitable because there is hardly any country or city that you won’t find used and abandoned metal scarps.
Essentially what you would need to put in place in other to successfully launch a metal scrap recycling business is the machines and equipment needed and how to operate them, a good knowledge of where to collect used and condemned metal and where to sell the raw materials generated from the recycling process, the legislations guiding the industry as well as strong entrepreneurial skills and determination.
- Open a Sex Toy Shop
If you are looking for a small-scale business to start as an entrepreneur and you know you have interest in the adult stores industry, then you should consider starting your own sex toys store business. Although you don’t need a college degree to establish your own sex toy store, but you would need some form of informal training, you might have to work as an apprentice with someone who owns a sex toy shop or adult store. It makes it easier for you to learn how to manage your own sex toy and adult sex accessories shop when you get started.
- Open a Video Game Lounge
If you are passionate about keeping children, young adults and even older people busy and happy, you should think towards starting your own video game lounge in Italy. A video game lounge is one of the easiest forms of business ventures to start. Remember, people visit gaming centers not just to play games, but also to rent latest cartridges of games that they do not have or can’t afford.
- Italian Ice and Gelato Store
One of the small-scale businesses that an aspiring entrepreneur with little startup capital and no technical skills should consider starting in Italy is an Italian Ice and Gelato store. If you can successfully launch an Italian ice business in the right location and if your shop is located in an area with good human and vehicular traffic, and you have different flavors of Italian ice and other ice dessert, you may not have to struggle to get people to visit your shop and make purchase.
- Open a Wine Bar
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is a wine bar business. A wine bar is a bar or small restaurant where wine is the main drink available; a characteristic feature of many standard wine bars is a wide selection of assorted wines available by the glass. Some wine bars are profiled on wines of a certain type of origin, such as Italian wine or Champagne. Just ensure that you make available assorted wines, nonalcoholic beverages, beer and liquor etc.
- Start Salad Delivery Service Business
If you are anticipating starting a small-scale business in Italy, then one of your options is to start a salad delivery business. The truth is that anyone can start a salad delivery business; it isn’t financially tasking to start, as you can start by becoming a middle man between major fast food restaurants that mass – make salads and retailers or consumers. The salad delivery business doesn’t require any expertise or know-how, and any serious – minded entrepreneur is likely to make good profit out of it.
- Start Beverage Distribution Business
One small-scale business that you can start in Italy with little challenges is a beverage distribution business. A beverage distribution business is a business that involves buying beverages in wholesale from production companies and then distributing them to retailers, offices and households.
With this type of business, you can choose to own a store / warehouse if you have the financial capacity to or you can choose to operate without a store. The bottom line is that you must own your own distribution truck / van, you should know how to source for beverages and how to get them delivered to your customers.
- Open a Bicycle Dealership and Repair Shop
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is to open a bicycle dealership and repair shop. The basic things you would need to have in place to make success from this type of business is training on how to fix bicycles, tool box, a good location, easy access to wholesale supply of bicycles and bicycle spare parts and good customer service skill.
If your shop is located in an area with good human and vehicular traffic, and you have stocked in your different types and sizes of bicycles from different brands, you may not have to struggle to get people to visit your shop and make purchase and repairs.
- Start a Boutique Business
A boutique is yet another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. The major things you need to have in place to make success from this business is a good location, easy access to wholesale supply of quality clothes, shoes, bags, and other fashion accessories and of course good customer service skill.
The truth is that if your boutique (store) is located in an area with good human and vehicular traffic, and you have quality fashion accessories from different designers and brands, you may not have to struggle to get people to visit your boutique and make purchase.
- Open a Bridal Shop
A business like bridal shop falls into this category of small-scale businesses in Italy. You can be certain that there would be wedding ceremonies at least once in a week in your city or town and brides would usually shop for their wedding gowns and accessories from a bridal shop. So, if you are looking for a small – scale business to start as an aspiring entrepreneur, then one of your options is to open a bridal shop in your city.
- Open a Car Accessories Store
If you are looking for a small-scale business to start in Italy and you know you have interest in the automobile industry, then you should consider starting your own car accessories store business. Although you don’t need a college degree to establish your own car accessories and auto spare parts store, but you would need some form of informal training, you might have to work as an apprentice with someone who owns a car accessories and auto spare parts store. It makes it easier for you to learn how to manage your own car accessories and auto spare parts stores.
- Open a Car Wash
If you drive through the streets in metropolitan cities in Italy, you will notice several car wash businesses in strategic locations. These goes to show that the car wash business is thriving and profitable in Italy. One good thing about car wash business is that it can be started by anybody (graduate and non-graduate alike) as long as they have eyes for details and some business skills. If you have experience in this regard, it will be easier for you to start and effectively run a car wash business in any city in Italy.
- Open Clothing Rental Business
A clothing rental business falls into the category of small – scale businesses in Italy. You can be certain that there would be corporate dinner parties and wedding ceremonies at least once in a week in your city or town and grooms and groomsmen would usually source for tuxedos and other clothes to rent. So, if you are looking for a business to start as an aspiring entrepreneur who has interest in a simple and straightforward business, then one of your options is to open a clothing rental business in your city.
- Open a Cocktail Bar
If you have eyes for good cocktail drinks, as well as have a penchant for business, then you may want to tinker with starting your own cocktail bar business. The market for cocktail bar business has continued to soar from generation to generation.
It is important to point out that cocktail bar business is one the businesses that can’t go out of fashion because people would always appreciate good cocktail drinks. Depending on the scale you want to start, the startup capital for this type of business can range from small to moderate.
- Start Custom Cake Making Business
If you are a baker or even a caterer, it is easier for you to venture into custom cake making because the same ingredients and processes that are used in making the conventional cakes are the same ingredients and processes that are used in making custom cakes. One thing about custom cake making is that it is your creativity that will stand you out from your competitors.
- Start a Fruit and Vegetable Retail Store
If you are considering starting a fruit and vegetable retail store business, good news is that you can’t get it wrong. This is because various types of vegetables and fruits are consumed by almost everybody in Italy. It is important to state that starting a vegetable and fruits retail store business comes with its own fair share of challenges, but that does not rule out the fact that it is indeed a profitable business venture. Especially if you locate the business in good location and you know how to source for fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Open a Gift Shop
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is a gift shop. Gift shops basically retail a range of gifts, novelty merchandise, souvenirs, greeting cards, party supplies and seasonal and holiday decorations. One good thing about this type of business is that you don’t need to enroll in a conventional school to learn how to run this type of business; it only requires basic business skills such as customer service, accounting skills, bargaining skills, etc.
- Start a Watch and Jewelry Repair Business
A watch ad jewelry repair business is yet another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. Watch and jewelry repair shops provide services, including sizing, polishing and battery replacement amongst other related services. They also offer other repair and rental services and resell refurbished merchandise and parts.
This business is a thriving one because one out of two persons that you come across has one or more jewelries and watches that they make use of on a regular basis. The truth is that when jewelries are used, there are tendencies for them to wear out or get damaged hence the need for the services of jewelry repair shops.
- Open a Language School
A language school is yet another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. Language schools offer language instruction ranging from conversational skills for personal enrichment to intensive training courses for career or educational opportunities.
Italia is the official language in Italy and there are migrants and students who intend working or studying in Italy who would need to first pass through a language school before they can be fully integrated into the society hence the viability and profitability of language schools Italy.
- Start a Laser Engraving Business
Another small-scale business that can be started in Italy is a laser engraving business. Laser engraving permanently marks an item, providing a check and balance against counterfeit products or replicas. In ID cards, multilayer formats are used to alter the color of the lower layer’s pigments without affecting the top transparent layer. It is worthy to mention that you must consider some factors when getting a location for your business.
Since laser engraving business is somewhat hazardous because of the chemicals involved, the facility being used must meet certain standards. It must be located in an industrial area and not in a residential part of the town. This is done to protect people from inhaling the very harmful chemicals.
- Start a Locksmith Business
A locksmith business is another small-scale business that can be started in Italy. Locksmiths provides essential services such as cutting keys, re – keying locks, repairing old locks, helping people gain access to their cars, residence and offices when they misplaced their keys. There are various aspects you can specialize in as a locksmith, you can specialize as a residential door locksmith, you can specialize as an automotive locksmith, or you can specialize as a safes and security locksmith.
- Open a Flower Shop
If you have eyes for colors and designs, as well as have a penchant for beauty, then you may want to tinker with starting your own flower shop. The market for both fresh flowers and artificial flower in Italy has continued to soar from generation to generation. This is as long as we still have weddings, burials and other special events taking place all around us.
More Profitable Small Business ideas and Investment Opportunities in Italy
Italy is known as one of the top destination when it comes to the production of wines. The truth is that wines produced in Italy enjoy high patronage all over the world. So, if you have the financial capacity to setup a wine production company, you can be rest assured that your wine will be exported globally especially if it is of high quality.
Another very large industry in Italy is the fashion industry. The truth is that, Milan is noted as the fashion headquarters of the world and any one who decides to build a business around the fashion industry in Italy will sure enjoy the goodwill in this industry.
So if you are looking for a business to start in Italy, you can consider starting your own suits and corporate clothes production line. Of course you would need to work hard and maintain highly quality if you want your brand to grow beyond Italy to the shores of other nations of the world.
Perfume production business is yet another viable and very profitable business that someone can successfully start and grow in Italy. The truth is that, it is not too expensive to setup a perfume production company in Italy; you can start small and grow big.
4. Hotels, Spa and Restaurant Business-: Hotels Spa and Restaurant Business is one business that one could easily find in every part of Italy, but that does not mean it is not a profitable venture. The truth is that, if it is not profitable, loads of people would not be involved in it. If you intend starting your own Hotels Spa and Restaurant Business all you need to do is to conduct your own feasibility studies so that you will be able to eliminate competitions.
Statistics has it that Italy is the 6th largest earner from Tourism in the world. The tourism industry is still very open to investors to come in and if you are interested in the industry, then you should register your company and then obtain the required operational license. It is indeed a profitable business especially if you have strong online presence and you are well positioned.
6. Fast Food Pizzeria Business-: Another easy to setup business that is highly profitable if well managed is the Fast Food Pizzeria Business. If you chose a good location to start your fast food pizzeria business, you are sure going to have enough clients patronizing you per time.
7. Cigar lounge
Cigar lounge is another viable and profitable business that an entrepreneur can easily setup in Italy. All you need to do is to ensure that you get a facility with a permit to run this type of business and make sure that your cigar lounge is stocked with some of the finest cigars that one can get from any part of the world. The truth is that if your cigar lounge is a one stop shop for cigar lovers, you will sure be smiling to the bank on a regular basis.
8. Furniture Manufacturing Business
Furniture manufactured in Italy is exported all over the world. As a matter of fact, Italian furniture can be found in Palaces and in the houses of billionaires all over the world simply because they are regarded as the best.
So, all you need to do to leverage on this industry is to enroll in good furniture school, learn the trade, and then establish your own furniture manufacturing company. As a matter of fact, if your furniture is of high quality, you would not need to spend money on advertising before attracting big time clients from all over the world.
If you are conversant with fashion, you will know that Italian shoes and belts or any lethal work manufactured in Italy is highly regarded in the world of fashion. You can take advantage of the goodwill in this industry and establish your own shoes and belt manufacturing company. The truth is that despite the fact that you will be competing with global brand, if you are persistent, you will sure grow to become a global brand as well.
Most cities in Italy enjoy a very good night life and that is why Night club business is one of the thriving businesses an entrepreneur can easily setup in Italy and grow it to profitability within record time. So if you are looking towards starting a business in Italy, you can consider starting a Night Club Business.
There you have it; some of the business opportunities available in Italy.