Open a bank account in Spain

The procedures to open a bank account in Spain and receive incoming transfers from abroad depend on the bank and your country of origin. Even different offices of the same bank may have, in practice, different criteria when it comes to accepting or declining money. AvaLaw will be happy to help you to choose the most convenient bank for you, taking into account your origin and personal situation.

If you are a European citizen, or national of other countries that are not considered “risky” by the banks, you will just need to present a valid passport and basic information of how the money was earned or obtained. The NIE is not needed to open the account, even though some banks may ask for it.
In other cases, in addition to the passport, you will normally need to show documentation, translated into Spanish, regarding the origin of the funds to be brought into Spain in the future. In the case of companies, the documentation may consist, for example, of the company’s most recent balance sheets. In the case of private individuals, examples of the documents frequently requested include tax returns, bank statements, work contracts, loan agreements, and documents regarding sales of properties, as applicable in your case.
In any case AvaLaw can help you with the necessary documentation to open a bank account in Spain and bring in the funds securely, without delays or surprises.

If you are a European national, basically any commercial bank will do. Just make sure that they do not charge high fees for receiving transfers from abroad (big, international banks with offices in Spain normally charge up to 0.5 % for receiving transfers of more than 50.000 euros) or for issuing the bank certified checks used to pay the purchase price (the banks can charge again up to 0,5% of the value of the checks). Some other banks charge nothing, or next to nothing for these types of transactions. Almost all banks are willing to negotiate their fees – if you do it before making the transfers, of course.

If you are not European and you invest through an international company structure, or if the money comes from tax havens or other countries that are considered “risky” by the banks and anti-money laundering authorities, the choice of the bank is a much more important decision. In that case, you should choose a bank and a branch that has experience in working with similar transactions and parties. You can request recommendations from realtors, lawyers or other local professionals who deal continuously with foreign investment.

The easiest and most secure way to pay the final purchase price is to bring a bank certified check issued by a Spanish bank to the Notary on the closing date and exchanging the check for the title and possession of the property. Checks issued abroad cannot be used, and it is not advisable to make a direct bank transfer to the vendor before receiving the title. After completing the purchase, future recurrent costs (such as utilities, community fees, etc.) will be paid by direct debit from your Spanish bank account.

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