How to open a company in Spain

  • Door Matthijs von Piekartz
  • donderdag 23 mei 2019

There are many different factors to consider when choosing a country to open or expand your company in. First, does the country match the type of company you are trying to open? And do you even already know what type of company you want to open? Also, it is a good idea to double check in case you already have a company name that this name is not already registered by someone else. In order for your company to be successful, it is really important to be well prepared and ready to face any difficulties that you might encounter along the way. That is why we have written this article, in which you can find all the important information you need to know before opening your company in Spain.

How to open a company in Spain

  • Step 1: Decide on a business name, strategy and general area you want to open your company in;
  • Step 2: Find a suitable office space, who your local competitors are and what taxes will be relevant to your company;
  • Step 3: Apply for permits and ensure that you and your colleagues/employees are allowed to work in Spain;
  • Step 4: Get a trade registration;
  • Step 5: Immerse yourself in the local culture and perhaps brush up on your Spanish skills;
  • Step 6: Summarise everything on a checklist and use this to keep a clear overview of things.

Spain is famous for its rich history, beautiful landscapes and rich culture. The people of Spain are often proud of their country, and rightfully so, for the country has had a large impact on the continent and on the world as a whole. Spanish is the 4th most widely spoken in the world, with most than 500 million speakers worldwide. Aside from its rich history and a large number of Spanish speakers in the world, Spain itself is also placed in a key location in southern Europe.

Coffee cornerWith 8 different recognised languages, Spain is a very diverse country.

After a turbulent history, first Castile and then the union between Castile and Aragon (In an event known as the ‘Iberian wedding’) formed the basis of what is now modern-day Spain. It is probably best known for its sprawling empire which covered even the far corners of the world. However, unable to compete with the British and French empires, the empire fell into decline and aside from some enclaves and small islands, the country has been unable to hold any of its former territorial gains. Ever since the Second World War, the country has gone into a period of relative peace and has not seen any large scale changes in territory.

It is probably best known for its sprawling empire which covered even the far corners of the world

In case you decide to open a company in Spain, there are several legal forms you can choose from. The first legal form is sole proprietorship, with this form you do not need any capital to start. You should keep in mind that your liability for debts is unlimited, and therefore you will be personally liable for any business debts you might incur. Aside from that, you can choose the stock corporation for, which has a minimum share capital of € 60,101. The shareholders are not personally liable for the business’ debts.

Another form is the limited liability company, which is ideal for small or medium-sized businesses. The minimum share capital needed to start a limited liability company is € 3,005. This makes it a lot easier to gather the capital, which is also an advantage for small and medium-sized companies.

You can also choose to start a joint venture, this joint venture can be temporary in nature or permanent. An example of a time-limited venture is a temporary business association, which is created to carry out specific projects for a limited time. And finally, you could open up a branch. Which is is an organisation depending on its parent company, which is located in another country. It has the same legal form as its parent company and performs similar activities.

Opening your company in Spain

Did you already decide on which city you would like to settle your company in?

After carefully considering all the possibilities and weighing the pros and cons, you might very well decide to open a company in Spain. When you have chosen Spain as your country of choice, you can start planning the opening of your company. It is good to inform yourself about all the rules, regulations and relevant taxes you will have to deal with before being able to open your company. It might be a good idea to start looking for possible office locations as well, there is a big difference between the various cities in Spain and even within the city itself there are several districts to choose from.

You could also look into creating a checklist to maintain a good overview of what you have already done and what you still need to take care of. this checklist could contain things such as finding a notary office to help you draft articles of association or inform yourself about the rules and regulations in Spain. Also, opening a bank account with a local bank could be a good idea to make sure that it is easier to do business with potential partners within the country. Furthermore, it is wise to look into finding a tax advisor to help you with getting familiar with the Spanish tax system.

Mathenesserdijk 418E 4074A Spanish office space using an industrial interior design.

Moreover, finding a tax advisor to help you with the Swiss tax system and getting insurances for your company could also hold a place on this checklist. A cooperation of Swiss governmental bodies have created a checklist, which could form the base of your own checklist, you can find the checklist here.

Life in Spain

With Spain being in the south of Europe, bordered by France, the North Sea and most importantly, the Mediterranean sea, it is a popular travel destination for millions of people every year. According to the Spanish government, in 2018 alone over 82 million tourists visited Spain. Due to its natural splendour and a wide range of cultural attractions, you will certainly find plenty of possibilities to entertain yourself during your leisure time. Warm, friendly and open, is what the Spanish people are known for and this attitude can create benefits for your company as well. Helping you and your colleagues to create a good work environment that fosters productivity over negative feelings.

Johan Huizingalaan 763 5046

It is a great feeling to have enough room in your office space to comfortably sit down with colleagues.

Find office space in the right city

Finding office spaces in Barcelona or Madrid is made easy using our office space comparison city. Completely free of charge and without any obligations, it is the easiest way to find the perfect office space for your company. With Barcelona and Madrid respectively having 1.6 and 3.1 million inhabitants, there is a lot of demand for all kinds of offices, including traditional offices, flex offices, business centres and individual workspaces. With SKEPP you will find a suitable office space in no time, while also assisting you with free advice on how to open your company in Spain in case you have any further questions.

Switzerland has the 5th happiest population in the world.

Madrid, being the capital of Spain and also the biggest city in the country, is a popular destination for international companies. Large companies such as Amazon, Accenture and IBM already have offices here. Madrid is the European Union's third largest metropolitan area and the country's largest metropolitan area. The city holds the government headquarters, as well as the King of Spain's official residence and the prime minister. Madrid is Europe's fourth richest city, 31.8 per cent of the country's companies have decided to set up their headquarters here.

Looking for an office in the city's heart? Then we advise Madrid Centro and in case you are looking for a business centre, have a look at the Paseo La Castellana district, where there are plenty of business, banking and financial buildings. Another great choice is the Salamanca area of Madrid. With more than 150,000 inhabitants and close proximity to the city's historic centre, Madrid Salamanca could be a good choice for opening up your business in. The district started evolving in the late 1850s and has maintained much of its historical character.

As mentioned before, Barcelona is the second-biggest city in Spain. Aside from being the second-biggest city, it also is another popular destination for international companies to settle their office in. Important multinationals, such as Casio, Yahoo, FedEx have established an office in Barcelona and the city could contain your dream office as well! One of the city’s districts recommended by us is Barcelona Eixample. Which is a district of Barcelona between the old city and what were once surrounding small towns. It has many beautiful buildings and a large variety of available office spaces.

work spaces in Switzerland

Office spaces in Switzerland can also contain concentration areas, allowing you to focus at all times.

One of the most popular areas in Zürich is the ’Enge’ district, this district holds a large variety of available office spaces. The lively district of Zürich Enge is located southwest of the city centre and borders on the beautiful Lake Zürich, which is much more than just a place to relax. The lake is of great economic importance for the city. Around 40% of the drinking water demand is covered here by nine waterworks.

This area is the perfect location if you want to place your company in the heart of the city in a prestigious business district. With 27,000 jobs, the district is home to many national and international companies, so renting an office in this exclusive location will surely enhance your company's reputation.

This area is the perfect location if you want to place your company in the heart of the city in a prestigious business district

There are a lot of different office styles available in Zürich, which means that finding the right property could be difficult. Finding the right office space is important as this forms the very heart of your company. Having a location with good accessibility and layout can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your organisation. If you are interested in being close to an international airport, Zürich Flughafen is the right location for you. If a central location is of importance to you, the Zürich Mitte district is definitely a good option. Moreover, there are many excellent office spaces available in the Zürich Riesbach area.

Contact us

Perhaps you are not sure whether Spain is the right country for you?

Are you still considering other options? Spain is part of the European Union and as such, it does not have a hard border with other countries within the Schengen area. But not to worry! If you do decide to change your mind, SKEPP is still here to help you. Operating in many different European countries, such as France, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland, we have written articles on how to open companies in a few of these countries. Also check out “How to open a company in the Netherlands”, “How to open a company in Germany” and “How to open a company in Switzerland”.

In case you have any questions about how to open your company in Spain, we are happy to help! Contact us today on +31 85 888 2339 or by sending an email to If you contact us through either of these ways, if we are not able to get back to you immediately, we strive to give you an answer within one business day. And of course, any advice or help given by us is entirely free. We hope this article gave a good overview of what you need to take into account in order to open a company in Spain.

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