First steps to starting a business in Spain

13 January 2016 0 Comments Category: Living in Spain


There´s a lot of myths surrounding work ethics and business in Spain. But despite the long breaks at lunchtime and all the holidays, the country and its workers have indeed changed for the better over the years. And although the crisis hit hard and many businesses have closed, new companies and start-ups are flourishing all over the country. Whether you are looking to set up a new business or buy an existing one, there are some things you should be aware of. Today, we´ll give you the run down on what you need to know to start a business in Spain.

For obvious reasons, another thing you should make a point is to learn the language. If you haven’t had the chance to read our post on Learning Spanish, we encourage you to do so now.

Legal Advice

The person you should search for is called a gestor, whose job it is to help you through the Spanish law and bureaucracy. The best is to hire one who can also help you manage the finances, taxes and contracts. When it comes to hiring a gestor and a lawyer or someone else who is crucial when opening a business, our advice is go for the best. Speak to members of your community, to Spanish and expat friends as well as your Embassy or consulate, to get good recommendations. Usually a good lawyer has his or her own gestor.

Entrepreneurship 2

Whether you plan on setting up a partnership, a small or medium size business, a limited or private company, or if you plan on becoming a sole trader, both your lawyer and gestor will make sure you avoid all the red tape and help you in the process.   Remember each type of business requires different paperwork, investment, VAT, social security payments, etc.

Did you know that 99% of Spanish businesses are small and medium size? By the way, these types of businesses in Spain are called PYMEs, pronounced like this. The reason why they are so popular is partly due to government incentives and a reduced corporate tax. More information about PYMEs is available here but only in Spanish.

When it comes down to employing people, remember employee rights in Spain are highly protected. So make sure you lawyer advises you on the different types of contracts there are (permanent –indefinido – or temporary -temporal-) but also on the hiring and firing procedures. Read all about the dismissal laws here.

You´ll be happy to know that Spain offers special visas to those looking to start up a business. Make sure you check out the basic requirements here.

Insurance is another must. We encourage you to read this post published here to get the scoop on insurance every expat needs.

Please let us know if we´ve been helpful to you and send us your feedback as well as any topic you would like us to cover!

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