Start up a Business in Spain

If you wish to start a business in Spain there are many things you need to take into consideration. Apart from the internal factors there are many external factors (including the Spanish authorities and legal issues) that will have influence on whether your company is going to succeed or not.
Spain is known as a very bureaucratic country and to start a business is not different.
Below you can find information about the different legal forms in Spain, a detailed guide about how to set up a limited company, information about legal aspects and about finding the right location to set up the business. All these issues have to be treated in the initial phase as each won can have a critical effect on the prosperity of the whole project. If you have any questions or need further help and advice see this website Help & Advice with Starting a Business in Spain.

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In Spain there are several different legal forms you can use to start-up a business. The legal form depends on the size of the company, the owners and a number of other factors. The most common form is the Sociedad Limitada (S.L.), which is similar to a limited company in other countries. The advantages of a S.L. are the minimal capital needed to start up the company (3003) and the limited liability to the owners. In nearly all cases it can be recommended for foreigners who wish to set up their first business in Spain to choose the form of an S.L.

For a detailed guide about how to set up a limited company (Sociedad Limitada) in Spain click here.

The legal aspects are very important to understand before you start planning a new business. Depending on the type of business you are planning to start the legal aspects will be more or less complicated but we always recommend seeking some kind of legal advice at this stage. Otherwise you might spend a lot of time and resources and finally find out that your idea is not possible to accomplish because of legal barriers.
In Spain nearly all type of companies who treats directly with the public or have employees will need a special permission and/or the requirements to operate can be very strict. To mention a few examples where you will need special permissions (which are popular business amongst foreigners) are bars, restaurants, jet-ski rental, food shops, tourist activities, etc.

Finding the right location and property is also very important in the initial phase of starting a business.
When selecting the location for your future business factors such as knowledge of the area from previous vacations or distance to your accommodation are important but not the only things to be aware of. Things such as the number of competitors in the area, the number of customers during the winter (and not only in the tourist season) or the taxes and requirements in the province are also very important to analyse and to take into consideration.
When you have found the right location you need to start looking for the property wherefrom your business will operate (office, establishment, restaurant, etc). At this stage you have to take the decision to buy or to rent the place. Both options have advantages and disadvantages economically and fiscally depending on the type of business and a number of other factors.
Although you have decided upon a type of property for your business and the location we can still recommend to start looking at different possibilities to get a better understanding of the market in Spain (including prices, difference in quality, variation in price in different locations, etc.). If you need help we can provide you with a list and information about different business and properties for sale or for rental.

Before deciding upon location and the property we recommend to take into consideration whether it is an advantage (economically and timesaving) to buy an already existing business instead of starting from cero (see the next section Buy an Existing Business for more information).

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