Are you thinking to start a business in Spain?

Check the most popular QA!

Do I need a NIE number for starting a business in Spain?

Yes, you need to have a valid NIE number. Each foreigner must obtain the Identification Number in order to open a business in Spain. The NIE is the most important document in order to freely operate in Spain.

So, if you are an EU citizen you just need to get your NIE and EU registry certificate, and then you can simply move to the company constitution part.

You can find out how to apply for a NIE by reading our article.

What about non-EU citizens? Is the process different?

It’s a different matter for expats from outside of the EU, they will require a work permit to move to Spain and set up a business. To get a work permit, they will need to apply to the Spanish embassy at their home country.

Besides the application, they will also need to provide the following documents:
a)a business plan (if appropriate)
b)evidence that they have enough money to invest in their business and support themselves
c)proof of their skills or experience
d)copies of any business contracts or commissions
e)any applicable license or registration
f)information about the potential to create employment in Spain

What are the steps to open a business in Spain?

a) Get your NIE number
b) Define the names of the company and check its validity (certificate of uniqueness)
c) Get your CIF or tax ID number
d) Open a bank account that will be used by the company
e) Establish the shareholders and create the shareholder agreement
f) Go to the notary and sign the public deed of incorporation
g) Register the company with the tax authorities
h) Register the company in the social security

What are the legal structures for businesses in Spain?

Another important step is to decide which legal structure is best suited for your business. The legal structure will determine the nature of your legal, financial and tax obligations.

The main types of business structure are the following ones:
-Empresa Individual o Autonomo (Sole Trader or Self-employed)
-Sociedad Anonima (Stock Corporation)
-Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (Limited Liability Company)
-Sociedad Colectiva (General Partnership)
-Sociedad Comanditaria Simple (Limited Partenership)
-Sociedad Comanditaria por Acciones (Partnership limited by Shares)
-Sociedad Limitada Nueva Empresa ( New Enterprise Limited Company)
-Sociedad Anonima Europea (European Limited Company)
-Sociedad Cooperativa (Cooperative)
-Sociedad Laboral (Worker-Owned Company)

How is my business taxed?

Of course, if you run a business, you’ll have to pay taxes. Your tax liability will depend on whether you’re a sole trader, a partnership or a company.

Sole traders will pay tax on a quarterly basis at the standard rate of income tax, they will need to fill out a tax return at the end of each financial year.

Partnerships work similarly, with each partner being held responsible for paying their own income tax. For limited companies, the process is significantly different. Limited companies pay corporation tax in Spain, which is levied on worldwide profit.

The Spanish market is very competitive, therefore it is vital to have a good business plan before starting your own business. Make sure to research which businesses already operate in your field and determine your potential customers, partners and competition.

We will guide you throughout the process of company formation in Spain, explain and advise you about the most suitable legal structure for your business, taking into account details such as the size of the company, the number of shareholders, the purpose of the business, and other issues that will have an impact on the associated taxes.

We can help you throughout the process of forming a company and make the whole process faster and simpler for you.

You can call our Barcelona lawyers at the phone number (0034) 932006766, or contact us by e-mailing at

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