How to set up a business in Spain



Starting a business in Spain


In order to start a business, you must first have the right to live and work in Spain.

If you’re a EU citizen, the principle of free movement automatically gives you this right. However, you’ll still need to obtain your Numero de Identificación de Extranjero   (NIE).

A NIE is your unique Spanish tax identification number. You’ll need it to pay your taxes and for anything else that requires an official process, including renting or buying property, getting connected to utilities and opening a bank account. 

You can apply for your NIE in person once you’re in Spain or, even better, get it ahead of time via the Spanish embassy or consulate  in your home country.

Spanish work permit application

If you need a work permit and plan to start your own business, there are certain rules you must follow.

You have to apply for your permit at the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. Besides the application, you’ll also need to provide the following documents:

1. a business plan (if appropriate)

2. evidence that you have enough money to invest in your business and support yourself

3. proof of your skills or experience

4. copies of any business contracts or commissions

5. any applicable licence or registration

6. information about the potential to create employment in Spain

You’ll have to renew your work permit and prove you still fulfill all these conditions every year. However, after five years you can apply for long-term Spanish resident status.  

Regulated professions and businesses

Certain professions and types of business - lawyers, architects, healthcare professionals and financial services, to name a few - are heavily regulated. You’ll need to make sure you comply with the applicable rules before you can start trading.

Very often, the process will involve getting your qualifications officially accredited or recognised (called homologación ). Depending on your profession or the type of business you want to carry out, you may also need to apply for a licence.

Rules may vary from region to region, so it’s a good idea to check out both national rules and the rules of the region you intend to base your business in ahead of time.

How can I do business in Spain?

Once your personal legal status is in order, it’s time to decide your business’s legal form. In Spain, you have three main options:

1. Sole Trader

2. Partnership

3. Limited Company

Let’s have a look at what each involves.

1. Sole trader

Operating as a sole trader is probably the easiest, cheapest and most flexible way to start doing business, especially if you run your business on your own. It’s also the most straightforward business to set up.

In order to start operating as a sole trader in Spain, you’ll need to do three things:

1. register with the Spanish tax office (the Agencia Tributaria );

2. register for social security ( seguridad social )

3. get a licence (if your profession is regulated)

2. Partnership (Sociedad Civil)

If you plan to go into business with one or more people, but you still want your structure to be flexible, you can run your business as a partnership.

Like sole traders, partnerships don’t require a minimum investment to be set up. However, the process is a bit more time-consuming and expensive.

There are two types of partnership in Spain: general partnership ( sociedad general ) and limited partnership ( sociedad comanditaria ).

Each have their own special requirements and come with different rights and responsibilities. Either way, you’ll need to do the following to set one up:

1. create a partnership agreement and sign it before a notary (a lawyer can draft this for you)

2. include the words Sociedad Civil in your business name (if you have a partnership agreement in place)

3. register with the tax authorities

4. register for social security

5. apply for any licences (including an opening licence for your business premises)

A partnership agreement isn’t strictly required. However, it’s good to have, as it regulates the relationship between you and your business partners and outlines your responsibilities. This is especially helpful if things go wrong, or you have a disagreement.

3. Limited company

Out of the three legal forms available, a limited company is the most complex, formal and expensive to set up and run. It also has a number of distinct advantages over the other forms, including limited liability and more favourable taxation (if you earn more than a certain amount). Some types of businesses must be run as a limited company by law.


Transnational project Meeting
Toledo, Spain 24th – 29/31st January 2016

The hosts are invited to take part in any or all of the activities, many thanks for your cooperation. All the teachers involved appreciate this and hope you enjoy this European experience.

If you want to come to the European Fair please bring something to eat.

If you want to accompany us on Friday (day trip) or dine on Thursday or Friday please tell the coordinator (Méabh) before Monday the 25th January.


  • Sunday 24th January

    Meet and Greet
    The delegations

    Where : Bus/Train Station

    Remarks : Coordinators will text Méabh when they're on their way (00 34 652663034)
    Evening meal with families

  • Monday 25th January

    Welcome to the EOIPP of the city (Méabh)
    Presentation of project, coordinators and teachers (Elisabeth)

    SS Activities

    • design badges
    • introductions : Speed dating
    • Words/phrases students would like to know in Spanish (Teachers in charge)

    Where : Language School

    Remarks : Computer room and class 16
    Remember to bring products for the Fair to the EOI in the morning

    Coordinators' Meeting (1)


    Where : Comedo universitario San Pedro

    15h to 18h
    Activities with Spanish students in class

    • Choose menus for Friday
    • Translation of words/sentencesvisitors would like to know
    • Work on map of Toledo
    • Flyers
    • (Teachers will collect menu choices)

    Where : Classrooms
    15h Méabh / Gloria / Maika
    17h Macarena / Gloria / Maika

    Remarks : Meet at front of EOI at 14h45
    Coordinators' meeting 17h (2)

    18h to 20h30
    Guided tour from EOI ending at venue for the fair

    Setting up European Fair

    After the setting up and official welcome we will enjoy tasting all the different dishes.

  • Tuesday 26th January


    • IT activity on symbols used in different languages. How to read an email address.
    • Preparation of questions for :
      1. Chamber of Commerce representative
      2. A self employed worker/someone who has a business oniline
      3. Wine cellar/Beer factory
      4. Person in charge of the castle
      5. Oil press representative

    After looking at their web pages SS should work in mixed language groups (Teachers in charge)

    Project coordinators' meeting (3)

    Where : EOI

    Remarks : Computer suite / Class 16


    Where : San Pedro Mártir

    Interview of students setting up a business.

    Cristina and Mar
    Renting through the Internet. Pilar F

    When we finish
    Free time


    Where : Padilla

  • Wednesday 27th January

    Presentation of logo and Web page

    Presentation : Use of Dropbox (Conor)


    Teachers in charge

    Coordinators' meeting (4)

    When we finish
    Free time


    Where : San Pedro Mártir

    Immediately after lunch walk to Avda Europa or Bus
    Visit : Vivero de Empresas. Chamber of Commerce Representative


    Where : Padilla

Bierfabriek DOMUS

Bezoek aan Domus, de artisanale bierfabriek 


Op donderdag werden we vriendelijk uitgenodigd door Fernando voor een rondleiding van zijn Domus ambachtelijke bier fabriek. Fernando spreekt gepassioneerd over Domus, dat is het Latijnse woord voor thuis. Fernando is een biochemicus met een passie voor bier. Hij was een student toen hij begon te experimenteren met het maken van bier. Hij begon zijn fabriek in 2007. In Spanje, dat is niet echt een bierland, is Domus een van de baanbrekende ambachtelijke biermerken. In de vroege jaren van het bestaan van Domus verkocht hij zijn bieren aan een kleine groep van vrienden, kennissen en familieleden. Maar als de vraag groeide hij begon te dromen van het opzetten van een ambachtelijke bier fabriek. In 2012 vond hij de juiste locatie en verhuisde naar de huidige locatie in Complejo Industrial Margarita, die ligt op ongeveer 15 kilometer van Toledo. Fernando informeert ons over de ingrediënten zoals hop mout en gist, zijn unieke recepten en de zorg voor bier. Hij laat de ambachtelijke bierbrouw  machines zien die werden gemaakt met zeer beperkte financiële middelen en met een enorme ondernemende creativiteit. Hij maakt gebruik van een machine de bijnaam de koffiemachine die een persoonlijk ontwerp is. Het bier wordt opgeslagen in een voormalige melktank, en de bottelmachine heeft de bijnaam Gertrud een verwijzing naar een oude en lelijke Duitse vrouw. Deze ondernemingsgeest heeft Domusgebracht tot waar het nu is, de fabriek produceert 100.000 liter bier per jaar . Biermerken zijnonder meer Domus Regia, DomusAurea, Domus Europa en Domus Summa. In het El Greco jaar 2014 was er een speciale gelimiteerde editie van El GrecoBierr. Domus is de eerste stappen aan het maken om een exporteur van ambachtelijke bieren te worden met de introductie op de Braziliaanse markt. Het bier proeven en het diner met bier recepten voltooide het bezoek, en gaf ons een echte ambachtelijke bier ervaring.