Spain is a sunny and warm country in the southwest of Europe. Convenient geographical location, developed economy and EU membership create comfortable conditions for opening a business in Spain, which will give the opportunity to obtain a Spanish residence permit and further formalize the permanent status.

Despite the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, which significantly reduced the rate of economic growth in Spain, due to effective reforms of the government, the situation in the country has stabilized and investor confidence has been restored. In the rating of Doing Business agency on the accessibility of opening and running a business, Spain ranks 30th out of 190 countries in the world.

Business in Spain

The sales market in Spain is distributed over a population of 47.5 million people, of which about 23 million are potential labor force. And with an unemployment rate of 13%, it is not difficult to find qualified professionals. In addition, Spanish exports are aimed at the most developed countries of Europe – France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Portugal. The main goods are food, transportation, equipment and medicines.

In addition to business activity, the entrepreneur himself or members of his family can get a quality higher education in Spain, find a job and in the long term get Spanish citizenship. In this article, let's consider the main points of opening and running a business in Spain for foreigners.

Doing Business in Spain

In any country in the world, business is built on business contacts and human relations. Spain in this sense is not that not an exception, but a vivid example of how the specifics of local culture can affect the achievement of success. It is possible to distinguish several main features of doing business in Spanish.

Geography. Spain has 17 autonomous regions, each of which is characterized by certain mental differences. For example, language. In addition to the official Spanish, in many cities people prefer to communicate in the local dialect – Catalan, Basque, Galician. Sometimes can be traced features in behavior, such as punctuality, reliability, compliance with formalities, trust and so on. Therefore, when opening a business in Spain, the choice of the city will be of great importance.

Business meetings. Negotiations and deal-making in Spain rarely take place in company offices and even more so without personal contacts, usually cafes and restaurants are used for this purpose. Late for 15-30 minutes is considered the norm, the style of dress is necessarily businesslike, special attention is paid to shoes. To the discussion of business usually go after a conversation on extraneous topics to the end of the meal, which can stretch for several hours.

Mentality. Spaniards are used to a measured life, including in the business sphere, people are very friendly and open, talk and gesticulate a lot. You should get used to it and react calmly.

Business destinations in Spain

Among the popular areas for business in Spain, especially stand out the tourism sector and catering (cafes, bars, restaurants). Construction industry, in recent years experiencing a decline, today rises to a new level.

As in the rest of the world, a promising direction is the IT sector. You can open a retail store, trade jewelry, books, products. Many directions in the service sector – beauty salons, fitness clubs, bicycle rental. Some foreigners are engaged in real estate.

Another option is to buy a business in Spain. Here you will need serious financial investment, experience, local lawyers and intermediaries. The most popular ready-made business in Spain – is the purchase of a bar, hotel, restaurant, wine cellar, and if desired, and the company for car rental. The main thing is to try to maximize the tourist potential of Spain. It is also necessary to analyze the market for competition and consumer demand.

How to open a business in Spain

The laws of Spain do not provide any special difficulties for opening a business by foreigners. Depending on the region and area of activity, you will need sufficient funds, a business plan, education and experience. For citizens from third countries (from outside the EU), the main difficulty is obtaining a long-term business visa to Spain. It will require special confirmation that the company is successfully functioning, creating jobs and paying taxes.

At a distance it is quite problematic to achieve this. However, there is a way out, you can buy a ready-made business, at the time of opening the company to issue a tourist visa, buy real estate in Spain, get a work permit and get employed in your company. In any case, it is necessary to contact specialists and there is always a solution.

Cost and procedure of business registration in Spain

  1. Every foreigner needs to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (NIE) to start a business in Spain. To do this, an application is submitted to the special department for foreigners in the local police department.

  2. Issue a certificate of uniqueness of the company name. You can do this on a special website, in person or by mail. The procedure takes about 2 days and costs around 16.25 euros.

  3. Opening a bank account and obtaining a certificate of deposit. The minimum contribution to the authorized capital is 3,000 euros. It is done within a day.

  4. The Act of State Registration is drawn up at the notary. The procedure may take 3-4 days.

  5. Apply for a tax identification number (CIF). Beforehand it is necessary to download and fill in the tax report form 036. The form is available on the website –

  6. Registration with the local tax office of the company documentation executed by a notary.

  7. The originals of all documents are submitted to the local Registro Mercantil office. The company is entered in the unified register of commercial organizations in Spain. The procedure takes at least 15 days. The cost of registration is about 250 euros.

  8. Obtaining a permanent tax identification number (CIF) and registration with the social security funds.

In general, the bureaucratic procedure of company registration in Spain is quite complicated, to avoid mistakes it is better to use the help of specialists.

Forms of ownership and business taxes in Spain

In Spain there is a wide range of forms of ownership for doing business. The most popular are the following:

Limited Liability Company (S.L.) The minimum amount of authorized capital is 3,006 euros. The required number of founders is 1 person. Liability within the limits of the firm's property.

Joint Stock Company (S.A.) Minimum amount of authorized capital – 60,100 euros. The required number of founders is 1 person. Liability within the limits of the company's assets. The company must be managed by at least one resident of Spain.

Rates of main taxes in Spain in 2024

  • The general rate of income tax (company) is 25%. Newly established companies pay 15% for the first two years.

  • The general VAT rate is 21%. Preferential rates of 10% (medical products), 4% (food and newspapers) and 0% (gold coins/ bullion, domestic and international transportation by air and sea).

  • Income tax progressive rate – from 19% (up to €12,450) to 45% (over €60,000).

Business visa to Spain

In order to legally stay in Spain and carry out business activities, it is necessary to obtain a business visa to Spain. Usually a long-term visa type D is issued, which allows you to legally stay in the country for more than 90 days.

Documents for a business visa to Spain

  1. Completed application form for a visa to Spain.

  2. Foreign and civil passport (copies of all pages).

  3. Two color photos (3.5×4.5 cm).

  4. Insurance policy.

  5. Certificate of absence of a criminal record.

  6. Medical certificate.

  7. Invitation from the company or confirmation of business activities in the form of an extract from the commercial register.

If necessary, the Spanish Consulate staff may require additional documents.

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