Spanish businesses can be started as freelancers or sole traders (called “autónomo” in Spanish) or limited liability companies (“Sociedad Limitada”).
How you handle corporate issues may be the biggest difference. You reply with all your personal assets as an “autónomo” or freelancer since you are the company. However, creating an SL with the help of Relocation Services in Spain reduces that burden because you only reply with company assets. If you earn more than 60.000€ per year, moving to SL is usually best due to tax advantages.
Remember that only Spanish residents with valid residence and work permits can register as freelancers, while non-residents can set up and run a corporation (they just need an NIE, as we will see) with the help of Relocation Services in Spain.
Steps to start a business in Spain
- Your NIE number
Foreigners in Spain need the NIE to complete any legal procedure according to the Relocation company in Spain. That applies to buying a home, car, residency, or a business. Thus, you need a valid NIE to sign all constitutional documents. Company partners and directors must have NIE numbers.
Two scenarios exist for obtaining it.
- This step is unnecessary if you already have your NIE number (printed on your TIE) and a valid residence permit or student visa.
- Request a non-resident NIE number if you are not a resident of Spain and have not filed for residency. All the instructions are here.
- Requesting company name
After getting your NIE number, obtain your company name from the Commercial Registry of Companies. You must rank five business names in order of importance. As long as none of your proposed names are taken, the Registry will grant you one.
Which one? Your highest-ranked option was also the least inconsistent given the business and other current companies. Yes, they can choose. Before applying, check if your name is taken. This process takes 24 to 48 hours and is done online through a formal application (preferably with a lawyer).
- Open a business bank account
After receiving your company name, NIE, and passport, create a business bank account. Without 3.000€ in the capital, you cannot utilise this account for business setup. The legal minimum capital for an SL is 3.000€. Alternatively, you might employ similar-value assets (needed for business operations) instead of cash. Remember that this is complicated, therefore use cash for a smoother business opening.
- Creating shareholders at the notary
- You must visit the notary next. Designate and indicate there:
- A company director who shall
- Name all shareholders and their firm shares.
- The official firm address
- Business activity (from the Ministry of Economy list)
- Internal decision-making and company bylaws
Additionally, you must produce your bank account statement showing at least 3.000€.
- Company registration
You will leave the notary with the firm constitution deed. It must be submitted to the Spanish Commercial Registry (the “Registro Mercantil”) to register the firm. Registration can take 2 weeks with the help of Relocation company in Spain. A temporary CIF (company NIE) will be issued then. With this temporary CIF, you can start a company. No taxes apply to this constitution.
- Tax agency registration
Businesses must pay taxes. Before starting, you must register with the tax department. You must activate your firm at the tax agency with the provisional CIF you received earlier. This will allow you to lawfully sell your products and services and file the quarterly VAT, annual company tax, and accounts.
- Social Security number
As per the suggestion of Relocation Companies Barcelona, you must request a company Social Security number to hire employees. This is important since your team’s wage includes the social security payment you must pay on their behalf.
- Begin business.
After completing all previous procedures, you can start your business and strive to make it profitable. This is the most crucial phase, so work hard on it.
Relocation Companies Barcelona can help you find the best business structure and prepare all necessary forms.