Steps to open 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.

These are the steps to open a business in Spain:

1. Obtain a personal NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero)

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.

In this blog post you have more information about how to obtain a Spanish NIF or NIE.

2. Propose and validate at least 3 possible names of the company

When embarking on the journey of opening a business in Spain, a crucial step is to propose and validate at least three possible names for your company. Choosing the right name is vital as it will become the face of your business and contribute to its brand identity.

3. Define the purpose of the company following the CNAE (National classification of the economic activities)

When starting a business in Spain, it’s essential to define the purpose of your company according to the CNAE, which stands for the National Classification of Economic Activities. This classification system assigns codes to different economic activities and sectors. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know about this crucial step.

By defining the purpose of your company following the CNAE, you establish a clear framework that aligns your business activities with the standardized classification system in Spain. This not only helps with accurate reporting and compliance but also ensures that your company is properly recognized within its specific economic sector. Seek professional advice, choose the relevant CNAE codes, and update your documentation to set a solid foundation for your business in Spain.

4. Obtain a “certificate of uniqueness“

You will then obtain a so called “Certificate of Uniqueness“ (Certificación Negativa de la Denominación Social). This consists of obtaining a certificate certifying that there is no other company with the same name as the one to be incorporated.

This is an essential requirement for the execution of the public deed of incorporation of companies and other registrable entities.

5. Obtain a company’s Tax ID number (CIF, Código de Identificación Fiscal)

The Spanish Tax Identification Number (NIF) is necessary for dealing with the Tax Agency when the interested party does not have a Spanish National ID (DNI) or Foreigner Identification Number (NIE). 

You may later ask for a European VAT number, a unique identifier for companies, individuals and entities within the European Union’s Value Added Taxation scheme.

6. Open a bank account at the name of the company

When establishing a business in Spain, one crucial step is to open a bank account in the name of your company. Having a dedicated business bank account is essential for managing your finances, conducting transactions, and ensuring proper financial record-keeping.

7. Define the shareholders and the shareholders agreement

The shareholders are the individuals or entities that hold ownership stakes in the company, and the shareholders agreement outlines their rights, responsibilities, and obligations.

Start by identifying the individuals or entities who will be the shareholders of your company in Spain. Shareholders can include founders, investors, partners, or any other parties who have a financial interest in the business. Consider their contributions, roles, and expectations when determining the share distribution among the shareholders.

8. Sign the public deed of incorporation at the notary

The term “public deed” or “public documents” is widely used in Spain and is of a legal nature, as these documents are authorised by a public notary or an appropriate public official. This legal document formalizes the creation of your company and provides official recognition of its existence.

9. Register it at the national and local tax authorities

Registering your company with the national and local tax authorities is an important step in establishing your business in Spain. It ensures compliance with tax regulations and enables you to fulfil your tax obligations as a business entity. By gathering the necessary documentation, completing the registration forms accurately and understanding your tax obligations, you can successfully navigate the process and establish a solid foundation for your business in Spain.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in making a wise investment decision in Spain.

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