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How to start a business in Spain as a foreigner?

how to start a business

Starting a business in a new country can be an exciting challenge. And Spain offers attractive opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs. From the warmth of its culture to an expansive market, it is an ideal place to build new projects. Read on and find out how to start up and materialize your ideas!

Registration of foreign workers as self-employed in Spain

Before going into the process of how to become self-employed in Spain as a foreigner, it is essential to know the different procedures. These vary depending on two essential factors:

  1. The country of origin, as this influences the conditions of entry, such as residence permits, visas and more.
  2. The nature of the activity you plan to undertake, since a special focus is given to entrepreneurial activity. This is defined as one that is innovative and/or of particular economic interest for Spain. Backed by a positive report issued by ENISA.

In general terms, how to undertake?

The first step is usually the application for a residence and self-employment permit. To carry out this process, you must complete: the EX-07 form and submit it to the Spanish diplomatic mission or consular office corresponding to your place of residence. Let’s see now the requirements.

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What are the requirements for entrepreneur visas and residencies? 

Entrepreneurs can access several advantages, but in order to do so they must comply with the definition of entrepreneurial activity previously mentioned. This is essential. For, in colloquial terms, the term “entrepreneur” is often applied to any individual engaged in economic activity. In particular, entrepreneurship involves taking the necessary risks.  

In this context, the title of entrepreneur is granted only to those who meet the established requirements. Including obtaining a favorable report from ENISA. In return, they enjoy benefits such as:

  • Authorization to carry out its activity throughout the national territory, not limited to a particular autonomous community.
  • Initial authorization of stay valid for three years.
  • Opportunity to convert the temporary stay authorization into a permanent one after five years.

Foreign individuals who consider themselves entrepreneurs are subject to a special regime. This includes, among other aspects, obtaining a favorable report from ENISA indicating how to start a business in Spain. 

To apply for residency and open your business, you will need to submit the following documentation:

  • Passport or complete travel document.
  • Proof of payment of the corresponding fee.
  • Application form.
  • Demonstration of adequate financial resources.
  • Certificate of criminal record. Along with a responsible declaration of absence of antecedents in the countries where he/she has resided in the last five years.
  • Proof of public or private health insurance.
  • Responsible declaration of the commitment to comply with the obligations established by the Social Security.
  • Documentation that accredits the innovative nature and/or special economic interest of the entrepreneurial activity.

Learning how to properly undertake will help you meet residency requirements.

What is the standard procedure for obtaining residency and self-employment? 

This procedure applies to foreigners who wish to establish a conventional business or practice a profession or trade on their own account.

Therefore, knowing how to start a business in a new country is essential for a successful transition. To obtain authorization, you must submit the following documents:

how to start a business

Once the documentation has been submitted and the applicant has been notified that the authorization has been granted, the applicant must pick it up within one month. It is also essential to enter Spain within the period of validity of the authorization.

Upon legal entry into Spain, you will be able to start the activity and comply with the affiliation, registration and contribution as stipulated in the Social Security regulations.

Likewise, the initial authorization to reside and work as a self-employed person is granted for a period of one year. If the worker is not registered and registered, the competent authority may revoke the authorization.

Learning how to properly undertake a residency application process ensures a smooth residency application process.

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How to renew the residence and self-employment authorization?

It is important to remember that the residence and self-employment authorization is not indefinite, but has a duration of one year. Therefore, once this period has elapsed, it is necessary to submit a renewal application, attaching documentation showing that all the requirements are still met.

The renewed residence and self-employment authorization will be valid for four years, unless a long-term residence authorization is applicable. In addition, this authorization will give you the flexibility to be both self-employed and employed, if you wish.

How to start a business effectively in Spain: Tips for foreigners

Once you’ve launched your business, it’s time to start making your business produce. Below, don’t miss these 5 must-know tips on how to become an entrepreneur: 

1. Comprises the Spanish market

Before starting your business, it is essential that you research and understand your target market in Spain. Analyze demand, competition, consumer behaviors and market trends. This will help you tailor your product or service and find your niche market.

2. Know your local regulations

Learn about commercial and labor regulations in Spain. Familiarize yourself with the legal and administrative requirements necessary to establish and operate a business in the country. This includes licenses, taxes, permits and any other legal obligations.

3. Build a network of contacts

Networking is key to your venture. Participate in local events, conferences and trade fairs to meet other professionals and potential clients. Networking is key if you have doubts about starting a business in the country, with the right relationships you can establish solid relationships and find business opportunities.

4. Cultural adaptation

Spain has a unique business culture. It is important to adapt to local norms and customs to build strong business relationships. Learn about the Spanish language, traditions and business values to facilitate interaction and gain customer trust.

5. Provides excellent customer service

In Spain, quality customer service is valued. Make sure you provide exceptional customer service. Maintain high standards of customer service and respond quickly to queries and complaints. This will help you build a good reputation and generate repurchase and referrals.

Make sure you take the right steps and comply with all legal requirements to open your business: ask for expert advice! 

You may also be interested in: FDI in Spain: main sectors of opportunity

Get in touch with our experts in legal, fiscal and financial advice. Write us an email through where we will manage all your procedures to bring your business idea to Spain and give you the best advice.

Our professionals will be happy to guide you through every step of the process on how to start a business in our country. Don’t wait any longer to make your business idea a reality, let’s talk!

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