Start or expand a business to Spain

Clients from all over the world

Hundreds of success stories in assisting foreign companies and investors with carrying out business in Spain

Experience in numerous sectors, among others hotels, wineries, new technologies, logistics, manufacturing, etc.

Want to set up a company in Spain? Expanding your business into Spain?

Looking for English speaking lawyers in Spain to defend the interests of your business here?

AvaLaw assists corporate clients from all continents with their business in Spain. Our English speaking lawyers in Barcelona, and Madrid can save you a significant amount of time, money and head-ache by assisting you with setting up the business in Spain, optimizing the taxes, negotiating contracts, and providing support in any legal or administrative matter during the life-span of your business in Spain.

Important topics on starting or expanding a business in Spain

1. Applying for the name of the company from the companies’ registry (el Registro Mercantil Central).

2. Applying for the NIE numbers for any foreign shareholders.

3. Getting anti-money laundering clearances, opening a bank account and depositing the share capital (minimum 3,000 euros).

4. Drafting the articles of association, including the address, the objective and the duration of the company, among other matters.

5. Signing the articles of incorporation in front of the notary.

6. Registering the company in the Companies’ Registry.

7. Activating the company before the tax authorities.

8. Applying for the social security code to be able to employ workers.

9. Applying for the EU VAT-number (if applicable).

10. Hiring an accountant to deal with the on-going matters for the company

Operating as self-employed, so called “autonomo” is the least bureaucratic and fastest way to start a business. Only a notice for Tax and Social Security authorities are required to start a business as self-employed.

Instead of being a self-employed, you should consider setting up a company, normally an “S.L., Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada” if:

1. Your business involves several responsibilities, such as employees, financing, credits from the suppliers. In these cases the company protects your personal assets. The self-employed are personally liable for the risks and debts of the business.

2. There are numerous shareholders involved. In this case a company is a good tool to arrange the relationship between all the participants. Apart from the standard articles of association, we strongly recommend the shareholders sign a detailed shareholder’s agreement.

3. The revenue of your business is significant. The total tax bill can be lower for companies than for individuals in case of high revenue businesses. Each case is different. If you have doubts, please do not hesitate to ask Alejandro Puyo (, our tax advisor, to go through the numbers for you.

4. You need to appear in the eyes of the customers or partners “bigger and better”. When you are self-employed, your name and ID number will appear on all official documents, such as the invoices as the provider. Sometimes setting up a company makes sense from a marketing point of view in order to give an image of a more structured business.

1. Getting to know the market.
Spain is not actually one single market. The culture, consuming patterns, prices, etc. vary significantly between the different autonomous communities in Spain. What may work in Madrid, doesn’t necessarily work in Barcelona, Marbella or the Balearic Islands.

2. Structuring the business in a tax efficient way.
Choosing the right corporate structure and the optimum ways to import the funds to the company (capital vs. loan vs. participative loan), limiting your liabilities adequately; and drafting the agreements between the partners and shareholders carefully is a good start for conducting successful business here.

3. Tackling the bureaucracy.
You will see from day 1 that Spain is a very bureaucratic country. You better get to know the system before starting.

4. Timings.
Everything will take longer than you expect. If you have strict time constraints in your business plan, you should start the preparations well in advance of the due date, and prepare to double any estimations you may have given by the local partners or providers.

5. Recruitment.
It may be challenging to find and retain talent. We advise you to invest some time and money in the recruitment process.

Having more doubts? Book a free consultation with our lawyers now. 

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Hi I’m Lourdes.

I’m specialized in international investments and corporate law.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any consultation.