Setting Up A Business In Spain


If you are reading this article then you are considering working or setting up some form of business in Spain.

Once you have decided what kind of business or work you will carry out it is important to decide whether you will be self employed known in Spain as autónomo or whether you will set up a company such as a limited company in the form of a sociedad limitada (“S.L.”) or sociedad civil (“S.C.”) or a larger scale company known as a sociedad anónima or S.A.

The decision on which to opt for will be influenced on what kind of business you will carry out. If you intend to work individually and charge clients for the work you carry out then initially it would be appropriate to register yourself as a self-employed. In order to register you will have to apply for your N.I.E. at the Policia Nacional and then register at the Spanish Tax office (“Hacienda”) and the Department of Social Security (“Oficina de Seguridad Social”) under the category of Self-employed workers. You must register with these government organisations within thirty days after you are registered at the Spanish Tax office (“Hacienda”). As a self employed worker you are obliged to pay social security on a monthly basis with the minimum amount per person starting at 229.58 euros a month.

If you are going to work with somebody as a partner or director in the business then it is appropriate to consider setting up some form of company. The primary difference between an S.C. and an S.L. is that for an S.L. the liability of the company is limited to the share capital, unless the directors have been grossly negligent, whereas for an S.C any liability is against the directors of the S.C and any assets the S.C. or the directors have individually. In addition to the liability aspect, for an S.C the directors are taxed individually on the S.C.s earnings whereas for an S.L. the directors are taxed on their salary at one rate of tax and the profits of the company are taxed at another rate. An S.L. can be set up with one shareholder and has an additional duty to prepare and deliver annual accounts at the provincial companies house.

An S.A is a company, which has a minimum share capital of 60,000 euros and its shareholders are usually individuals who are not necessarily involved in the running of the business whereas in an S.L. the shareholders in all likelihood would be.
At De Cotta McKenna y Santafé we can provide you with a One Stop Business Service and can deal with all aspects of your business so that you do not have to go to a gestor for social security payments, an economista for tax returns and a lawyer to review your contract of employment.

If you are already in business or considering setting up a business and would like us to provide you with a quote for dealing with your social security returns, payment of company and individual taxes, auditing of accounts, preparation of employment contracts, registration of trademarks and logos and advice on business & employment disputes then we would be happy to discuss your business objectives with you.

For more information please call Alex Radford on 952 52 70 14 fax 952 52 70 14 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website:

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