How to Set up a Business in Spain: A Getting Started Guide

Posted: Jun 27, 2019 | Tags: business in spain

According to Trading Economics, Spain is ranked 30th globally in the ease of doing business. Affordable lifestyle, rich culture, friendly locals and fantastic weather aren’t enough to describe this incredible nation. Doing business in Spain comes with lots of benefits.

There is a considerable difference between Spain and the UK. Businesswise, these two countries are far from each other. How you start a business in the UK is very different in Spain.


If you’re contemplating starting a business in Spain, this article will guide through the entire process Read on!

Applying For the Spanish Work Permit

First things, first! You probably had a successfully Spanish course, and you can get along with the locals. The urge to set up your investment is at an all-time high, and you have to do things right.

Make sure you have an acquired the NIE. All non-Spanish citizens should have an identification number called an NIE.

If you are from a non-EU country, getting a business permit is the first thing you should do. Doing business in another country without a permit might lead to arrest and even deportation. When applying for the permit, you’ll have to provide the following documents;

  • Proof of skills
  • Proof of money for investment
  • Identification documents
  • Copies of business contracts
  • Business plan

This permit is renewable annually. You have to meet a set threshold to attain a business permit

Understanding the Tax System

This is where many people blunder when doing business in Spain. Unlike in the UK, the Spanish tax system is complex and perhaps more strict. To avoid facing the law, understand the tax system well.

Prominent professions are heavily regulated. Before trading, comply with the rules in place. The rules may vary between locations, so you to understand them well.

Register with the Tax Authorities

After you are fully conversant with the laws, you can register with the tax officials. All you need id the business permit, valid your passport and the NIE.

You will be issued with a tax certificated (IRPF) after registration. The IRPF you obtain aligns to the form of business you are planning to do.

Open a Bank Account

With the NIE, you can register a bank account without much hustle. You will be required to transact with the local banks, thus the need for an account.

There are many banks in Spain that you can register with. Choose your favourite bank and create both a personal and a business account.

Registering Your Business

With all your legal status in order, you can move to the final part of registering your business. There are three types of business that you can register:

  • Sole Trader
  • Company
  • Partnership

These are the ideal business entities you can operate in Spain. There is a process involved in registering each entity.

A sole trader is the simplest business entity and is simple to register. Partnerships and companies are more complex and have more requirements. Once you’ve registered your business, a license and certificate will be issued, meaning you can commence operations.

Social Security Contributions

You are required to register for social security within 30 days of registering with the tax authorities. Social security contributions mean you are entitled to free healthcare.

The Timeline for Setting up a Business in Spain

The Spanish systems are efficient, and things work out very fast. With all things in place, it won’t take more than ten working days. This means you can get started just after two weeks.

The Bottom Line

Whether in Madrid, Seville, or Santander, doing business in Spain is amazing. Provided you follow these steps right, you probably won’t miss the UK. Look for a suitable residence, and everything else will turn out perfectly.

Spain is a great country for work, business, and retirement. If you're looking to move to Spain and you need a home, be sure to reach out to us today.


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