How To Start A Business In Spain: Structures, Steps, Cost and Advantages

How to start a business in Spain

Spain is a great country to live in, not only for its culture, food and weather but for its business opportunities, maybe that’s why more than 360.000 British expats are living in Spain and are enjoying its general quality of life. Are you also considering joining them? If you are willing to know how to start a business in Spain and have doubts about advantages, structures, costs and how to do it, keep reading!

What are the advantages and opportunities of starting a business in Spain? 

  • The Spanish economy is the 14th largest in the world and the 4th largest in the eurozone based on nominal GDP. 
  • Operating in Spain opens your doors to the European market, as well as the North African, Middle Eastern and LATAM markets. In terms of consumers we are talking about 1.600 millions.
  • When it comes to foreign investments in Spain, there’s no need for previous approval, a notification can be made after the investment has taken place.
  • With a moderate corporate tax, there are incentives and tax exemptions in Spain to take into consideration, as the country is promoting foreign investment, entrepreneurship and job creation. There are also interesting taxation benefits for international companies.
  • Regarding quality of life, Spanish universal healthcare system and a great environment to start new businesses make Spain one of the preferred countries for expatriates.

Whether you are a British company already trading with Europe and willing to do business in Spain or considering starting a company in Spain from scratch, let’s explore frequently asked questions when it comes to setting up your business in Spain!

Starting a Business in Spain

What are the business structures when setting up a company in Spain?

In Spain the are more than 10 business structures, but let’s focus on the most common ones:

  1. Individual companies, such as:
    • Sole Trader: It’s one of the simplest entities in Spain, with no need for a minimum investment.
    • Private Civil Society
  2. Commercial companies like: 
    • SL (Sociedad Limitada) or Limited Liability Company: This is one of the most used types of business in Spain. The liabilities are limited to the capital contribution made by each shareholder. The minimum investment capital required is 3.000€ in cash in the bank or declaring assets that are worth that amount of money.
    • SA (Sociedad Anónima) or Stock Corporation/Public Limited Company: It is ideal for large companies. Liabilities against debts are limited for shareholders. The minimum investment for this business structure is 60.000, with an initial payment of 25%.
  3. Cooperatives

For foreign companies, there are also other ways of operating in Spain, such us Branch Offices, Business Cooperations and PEO/EOR (no entity needed!). Gromi helps you decide which structure is better for your business and register it in the Mercantile Registry.

What are the procedures and steps in order to register a company in Spain?

In general, these are the requirements to register your business in Spain:

  • NIE (foreigners identity number): You would need to start obtaining a NIE number. Its purpose is to identify yourself, and will be needed to open a bank account or be tax identified as examples.
  • Request your company name: This document is called “Certificate of uniqueness” and it certifies that the name chosen for your company is free to be used and it is under your possession.
  • CIF: In order to identify your company with the tax authorities you need to obtain a tax identification which is the CIF number for your business.
  • Bank account, Address & Phone Number: You need to open a bank account, with your NIE and your CIF. If you choose the SL business structure you will be opening your bank account with 3.000€ that can be used for your daily operations.
  • Shareholders: You need to determine shareholders and its share percentages, as well as deciding the company director.
  • Notarial Deed Documents: With these documents you declare who are the shareholders and administrators of the company.
Cost of opening a business in Spain

What is the cost of opening a business in Spain?

This is a question that we receive a lot and it is difficult to give an answer because it depends on other factors, such as the business structure chosen, the number of partners, etc. However, we can give a general answer about the cost here but you can contact us for specific information.

As mentioned above, the cost of opening a business in Spain is not fixed because it will vary depending on different factors, but since an SL (Sociedad Limitada) or Limited Liability Company is the most chosen business structure and requires 3.000€ as an initial investment (not cost), it is common to point out this amount as the cost for opening a business in Spain.

We have seen in this article that there are also other types of firm structures, from no initial invested capital to 60.000€. Don’t worry, we will help you decide which is more convenient for you based on your needs.

At Gromi we take care of the whole process of registering a company in Spain while communicating with you in your own languageWe also assist you on shareholders agreements, board contracts and business insurance.

Do you still have questions or doubts? 

If you are planning to start a company in Spain and are concerned about after Brexit new regulatory burdens, requirements at borders, certification of products for export, getting your EORI number and recognition of professional qualifications among others, don’t hesitate contacting us. We can help! Gromi will answer all your questions and guide you to set up your business in Spain with ease.

Written by
Maria Cruz
Digital Marketing Executive for the Spanish market
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