Education

Business tutors: what they are and how they work

This new position within the Productive Activities OSS will provide A-Z assistance to businessmen in getting through the bureaucratic maze

Business tutors: what they are and how they work

Massimo Morici

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Not to be confused with corporate tutors?"i.e., the employee whose job it is to follow young workers within a company?"the business tutor is a public function introduced as part of the "Streamlining" legislation launched this past Wednesday by the Italian cabinet. They will be part of the Productive Activities One Stop Shop (set up in municipal offices or chambers of commerce) to improve the efficiency of SME administrative activity.

Practically speaking, the tutor, who will probably be an employee of the town/city or chamber of commerce within the OSS, will help companies with administrative procedures from start-to-finish, taking care of information about relevant laws and regulations required for the company to do business.

This will also include the new simplifications for reclaiming and rendering secure land to attract investment required for industrial conversion and restructuring.

Best practices, which the business tutor will make sure are followed, will be handled by the Ministry for Development and the public administration in collaboration with the regions, ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities), chambers of commerce and business associations, and will be published annually on the impresainungiorno.it portal.

In short, with the creation of this new function, Italy will be taking another step forward in streamlining services to businessmen and, above all, those who want to do business in Italy, although some questions have been raised about the new measures by those operating in this area.

And in fact, as outlined in the most recent Doing Business 2013 report, Italy still has a long road in front of it. For example, this year it is ranked 73rd out of 185 countries in the world in terms of ease of doing business, significantly lower than its European partners where the average position is around 40.

Although the regulatory process is improving and in recent years the rate of change has accelerated, Italy is still at the bottom among developed countries in terms of obtaining building permits (103rd out of 185), electrical mains hook-ups (107th), loan credit (104th) and, above all, resolution of business disputes (160th). In this last area, the statistics are shocking, with an average of 41 phases in the legal process and time frames ranging from 885 days with costs equal to 22.3% of the disputed amount in Turin, to 2,022 days and costs that rise to 34.1% in Bari.

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n terms of the time required to start up a company, however, Italy is in-line with the rest of Europe with an average of 9 days required for the paperwork (ranging from 6 days in Milan and Rome to 16 days in Naples). This is just two days more than France and three days more than in Denmark, compared with an EU average of 14 days and 15 days in Germany.

Where Italy does stand out from its European partners is in start-up costs: in Italy it is around 14.5% of per capita income, while the EU average drops to 4.9% and in OECD countries to 4.5%, with virtually non-existent costs In France (0.9%), the United Kingdom (0.7%) and Denmark (0.2%). The fault, here, lies in taxes and administrative fees that comprise one-fourth of the total, and above all notary fees that total 72.2% of total start-up costs.

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