Procedure for setting up a business in Spain

At Laver Consultores – Legal Advisory Spain, we help foreign companies to create and run their business in Spain, in all administrative, fiscal, labour and legal areas.

Legal Advice

From our legal department, we advise you so that you can choose the best option to work in Spain based on your needs.

It can be through a branch or Permanent Establishment, or through the constitution or acquisition of a commercial company in Spain:

While a Branch or Permanent Establishment lacks its own legal personality, so its activity and legal responsibility is directly linked to the parent company of the investor, the constitution or acquisition of a company, anonymous or limited , implies a new entity with a legal personality on its own.

As a preliminary step, before choosing any option, the Spanish Regulations establish that any natural or legal entity, or foreign investor who wants to operate in Spain, must obtain a Spanish NIF (Tax Identification Number), in the case of legal entities, or a NIE (Foreigner Identification Number), if they are natural persons.


NIF for a foreign company

  1. All legal persons, as well as the taxpayers referred to in article 35.4 of Law 58/2003, from December 17, General Tax, must obtain a tax identification number for any of their tax related obligations
  2. The Tax Identification Number N will not be assigned to the legal person or entity, without the prior assignment of the Tax Identification Number to the legal representatives, or, when appropriate, partners, community members or participants.
  3. The procedure must be carried out at the Tax Agency or Inland Revenue Service.

To do this, you need to obtain the following documentation:

Certificate issued by an official body of the country of origin that certifies the existence of the company, that it is active and that it is in force, and where it necessarily includes the name of the company, address, date of incorporation, share capital and representatives of the company.

Unless there is an Agreement, Treaty or Agreement that exempts from legalizing the documents required in an administrative procedure in Spain, these will be presented, legalized in one of the following ways, depending on the country that has issued them:

  1. The Hague Apostille : in accordance with the Hague Convention, the only formality required for documents from the States party to said Convention is the Apostille stamp placed by the competent authority of the State issuing the document.
  2. Legalization through diplomatic channels : it is the procedure to legalize foreign public documents from States that are not party to the Hague Convention. The document must be legalized by the corresponding Embassy or Consulate of Spain with jurisdiction in the country in which the document was issued and contain the legalization signature of the Embassy or Consulate and the mandatory security label.

Another condition that the documents provided must meet is that they must be translated into Spanish or any other co-official language of the Autonomous Community.

In relation to the translations , they must be made into Spanish by a Sworn Interpreter authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation or those made into the co-official language of the Autonomous Community by a Sworn Interpreter authorized by said Community.

If the procedure is carried out in Spain, by means of a representative, a specific power of attorney must be granted in favor of the Spanish representative who carries out the procedure or to a foreign person who has the NIE. These powers of attorney must also be translated and apostilled.

More information:

With this documentation, the representative in Spain can request the NIF, using form 036 , for the foreign company.

Together with form 036, signed by your representative, you must attach a copy of the NIE of the representative of the foreign company.

Non face-to-face presentation

The presentation of the request for assignment of the NIF can be done without appearing in the office. It will be admitted in the electronic Registry of the Tax Agency, using the procedure “Request for assignment of entity NIF – non-face-to-face”. To do this, it is necessary to have a recognized electronic certificate that allows you to authenticate yourself at the electronic headquarters of the AEAT.

More information:

Face-to-face presentation

It is mandatory to request an appointment to carry out any procedure at the offices of the Tax Agency. (

This procedure can also be done at the Consular Offices of Spain abroad.

On the AEAT website you can obtain the list of countries where you can find a consular office. (

NIE for Individuals

Foreigners who, due to their economic, professional or social interests, are related to Spain, must obtain, for identification purposes, a unique and exclusive personal number.

This procedure must be carried out at the General Directorate of Police and the Civil Guard or police stations.

To do this, you must provide:

  • Official model, EX15

  • Authenticated and apostilled copy of the passport.
  • The economic, professional or social reasons that justify the request must be communicated.

If the application for the NIE is as a resident, it is essential that the process is carried out by the interested party.

If the application is as a non-resident, the process can be carried out by a representative. In this case, he must prove that he has sufficient power of attorney expressly stating that he is empowered to submit such a request.

Said procedure can also be done at Diplomatic Representations or Spanish Consular Offices located in the country of residence of the applicant, corresponding to their demarcation of residence.


We start the procedure for setting up a new company or branch in Spain:

  • Social denomination
  • Drafting deed and bylaws
  • Advice on constitution and assistance to signature in notary
  • Settlement of corporate operations before the Generalitat
  • Registration in the Mercantile Registry
  • Obtaining provisional NIF in the Treasury
  • Obtaining definitive NIF in the Treasury
  • Declaration of start of activity in the Treasury
  • Processing digital certificate natural person and legal person
  • Alta Hacienda and Dehú , Electronic Notifications
  • Opening Bank Account in Spain

It is just as important to advise the company itself as its administrators, since they will also have to follow tax protocols.

worth noting the importance of the Digital Certificate since it is a necessary tool for communication with the Administrations.

Any Spanish or foreign citizen, who has a DNI or NIE, or any legal person or entity, can request and obtain the Digital Certificate free of charge to be able to sign and prove their identity safely on the Internet.

Citizens not residing in Spanish territory may manage to obtain the electronic certificate from the FNMT through all the Spanish Consular Offices abroad, without having to travel to Spain.

Likewise, legal persons and entities without legal personality not residing in Spanish territory may manage to obtain the electronic certificate from the FNMT through the Consular Offices of Spain abroad authorized to do so, without traveling to Spain.

Latest news

Contact Laver Advisory

Should you need any advice or information, please contact us by mail ( , phone (+34 932 929 930), whatsapp (‭680 598 665‬) or send us the following form. We will get back to you as soon as possible.