Foreign investors who want to start a business in Spain have two legal options in this sense – setting up a company or purchasing an existing one, which is also called a shelf company or a ready-made company.
European Union’s (EU) citizens have the same rights to perform business activities in Spain as the locals, so the process of purchasing a company or opening a new one should not present any legal issues. Our team of Spanish lawyers can help both local and foreign businessmen with legal advice and representation for the incorporation procedure of a new business or for the purchasing process of an existing firm.
General information on the Spanish companies
Foreign investors aren’t necessary required to travel to Spain in order to open the new company because the procedure can be handled by a Spanish lawyer through the power of attorney. The Spanish lawyer can provide advice on the type of company which is most suitable to the needs of the investor, based on the characteristics of the business field and development plans established by the businessman. However, it is recommended to be present throughout the procedure. At the same time, it is important to know that the acquisition of a ready-made company is a process which can last one or two days.
When opening a business in Spain, the entrepreneur should register with the local town hall that will issue a business license and then with the local Inland Revenue office.
The steps of purchasing a company in Spain
The process of buying a company in Spain is mainly represented by the contract drafted for the selling-buying operation; after this, the next step is to transfer the company from the previous owner to the new one. The transfer can be performed at same time with the signing of the contract or after that, within a period that is mutually agreed.
When a foreign investor decides to buy an existing company, he or she must pay special attention to the assets and liabilities of the company. In this case, it is recommended to perform the due diligence procedure that can be handled by our team of Spanish attorneys.
Although it is not compulsory to perform this action, it is highly recommended to do so before buying a company in Spain, especially if the foreign investor isn’t familiar with the Spanish legislation.
After the due diligence procedureis completed, the investor will receive a report on any debts the company may have. The lawyers can also establish if the former owner of the company fulfilled his obligations related to tax payments, intellectual property issues and many other aspects.
As a general rule, most of the ready-made companies in Spain are incorporated as limited liability companies, as this business form represents the most common type of company registered here. Furthermore, this type of legal entity can be set up as:
•public limited company – the general public is allowed to purchase shares in the company;
•private limited company – it is established by a number of investors, who have the right over the company’s shares.
It is important to know that a shelf company in Spain already contains the following:
•an incorporation certificate;
•value added tax number.
Businessmen are invited to watch a video on how to purchase a ready-made Spanish company:
Buying a company in Spain may take one or two days, once the papers are ready. For more details about the costs of purchasing a company in Spain, pleasecontact our law firm in Spain.
I think this is a very good option for those who want to set their business operations in a country (in this case, Spain) as soon as possible.
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