Frequently Asked QuestionsUpdated on Thursday 26th January 2017
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Our attorneys in Spain often receive various questions from foreign entrepreneurs who intend to move there with the goal of setting up their own business. We have gathered a few of these questions and answered them below.
1. Which are the main requirements for investing in Spain?
One of the first steps for establishing a business in Spain is to choose and reserve a name for your company and then open a bank account for the legal entity you want to set up in order to obtain a deposit certificate. Another important step is to obtain a registration certificate and the company’s fiscal identification number, as well as paying for municipal tax for urban services at a bank.
2. What are the primarily important legal aspects I should be aware of when opening a company in Spain?
The legal steps for forming a SA and/or SRL are similar; for both business setups a declaration must be submitted to the General Directorate of Commerce and Foreign Investments and you also need a tax ID number for the company. You must register the company at the local Mercantile Registry as well. Spanish law states that foreign citizens may generally operate businesses under the same conditions as the Spanish ones. The legal entity that is most often established in Spain is the limited liability company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada).
Please watch the video below for more details related to the frequently asked questions on the Spanish legal system:
3. Which are the steps of a business litigation case in Spain?
Local disputes are usually handled by regular courts of law. There are four areas of law in Spain: civil, criminal, constitutional and administrative. There are five types of proceedings, namely the preliminary (where the court assists the parties for their litigation settlement), the first instance proceedings, the appellate proceedings, the judicial review of decisions proceedings and last, the enforcement proceedings. Another important aspect is the studying of the case by a lawyer in Spain.
4. Do I need a visa for entering Spain? If the answer is yes, how do I obtain it?
Citizens from EU countries, but also from Iceland, Switzerland and Norway do not require a visa for entering Spain; instead they need a valid passport or an EU ID card. A valid residence permit held in any of the Schengen member states entitles you to re-enter the Schengen area without a visa (only a proof of residence and a passport is required). Non-EU states usually need to have a visa and the process for acquiring it should not take more than a few weeks (depending on the visa type). For more information about visa exemption states, you should check with the Spanish Embassy in your country.
5. Do I have to obtain a special license or a permit for my new company in Spain?
The requirement to obtain a special permit for opening a new company depends on the business activities you plan on operating in Spain. Our lawyers in Spain can help you with all the procedures needed to complete in the shortest time.
6. What are the steps that need to be followed in order to have Spanish citizenship?
Foreigners who reside in Spain for ten years are usually granted citizenship. If you are a refugee, the period of time spent in the country is reduced to five years and for countries of Latin America, for Philippines, Andorra and Portugal, to only two years. There are other cases as well, in which only one year of residency in Spain is needed (marriage to a national can be an example).
7. What are the work requirements in Spain?
EU and EEA citizens have the same employment rights as the Spanish do and do not require a work permit, except for Croatian citizens who will need to provide such a document. Most Non-EU citizens are usually required a work permit for living and working in Spain (with some exceptions, such as scientists engaged in specific projects).
For a work permit in Spain, an application must be submitted to the office of the Ministry of Labor (“Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración”) and then the embassy or the consulate can issue your residence and work visas. The process can take up to a couple of months to complete.
For more information on legal matters, company formation, visas and laws in Spain, please, do not hesitate to ask our attorneys in Spain for counsel as they can offer customized advice and assistance on application forms, residence permits or special licenses and all the procedures that need to be completed.