On 4 July 2014, the new regulation on legality rating certification by the Italian Competition Authority entered into force. The legality rating is designed to facilitate companies’ access to credit from banks and public financial support.
Certification is expressed in a score of between one and three stars and is issued by the Italian Competition Authority at the request of companies that have
- An operating office in the Italian territory
- A minimum turnover of €2 million in the year preceding the request
- Been registered in the Italian Business Register for at least two years.
As part of the procedure for the awarding of public finance, companies that have been granted the legality rating certification will benefit from either a preferential ranking, a higher score or a specifically reserved share of the financing available.
Banks and financial institutions are obliged to take the legality rating certification into account in their loan granting procedures. The Bank of Italy will monitor and enforce this obligation.
In order to obtain legality rating certification, the applicant company (and its management) must demonstrate that they have not been found to have committed certain specific violations including tax and criminal offences and serious breaches of antitrust and unfair commercial practice rules.
Certification is confirmed within 60 days of application and is valid for two years, subject to renewals.