How to set up a company in Spain

The most common type of company in Spain is self-employed worker and limited company

a) Self-employed worker (autónomo)

You should register yourself with the Spanish Tax Office and the Social Security.

Once you have done this, you can start working and can start issuing invoices for your work. You will have to apply VAT (I.V.A.) and then you will have to present the VAT returns every three months and the income tax return (declaración de la renta) once a year.

b) Limited Company (S.L.-sociedad limitada)

How to set up a limited company in Spain:

1-Get the NIE number, which is the Spanish foreigner identification number.

Getting the NIE number is mandatory for most paperwork. Here is a link from the Spanish Government

2-Get the company name certificate from the Companies House in Spain (Registro Mercantil)

This certificate will inform you if the name that you want for your company is available or not. This certificate can be requested at

3-Get your Spanish tax identification number (C.I.F.) from the Spanish Tax Office (Agencia Tributaria)

4-Open a bank account for the company and deposit the share capital

The minimum share capital in Spain is 3,000 Euros. Once you have deposited the share capital, you will have to get a bank certificate.

5-Establish the company with a Spanish Notary

You should get an appointment with a Notary to establish the company as well as to sign the deeds of Incorporation. Once you have done this, you should get the original document of the Deeds of Incorporation.

6-Register the original Deeds of Incorporation with the Local Tax Office.

7-Register the original Deeds of Incorporation with the Spanish Companies House (Registro Mercantil)

You will receive your original deed with a certificate proving that the company is registered.

8-Get your permanent Company Tax Identification Number (C.I.F.)

9-Register the company with the Spanish Social Security (Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social)

As you can see, establishing a limited company in Spain is not a piece of cake.

We have just mentioned the main procedures to give you a general idea of the process of starting a business in Spain. There are many issues and steps that we have not mentioned.

If you would like to establish your company in Spain, please contact us and we will give you free legal advice.