Non-residents in Spain

Starting a Spanish business does not necessarily mean that the business owner must live in Spain all year. However, you must ensure that the company does have a foothold on Spanish soil itself.

Resident or non-resident: A lifestyle choice

If you are still wondering who is able to start a business in Spain, know that whether you are a resident or not really bears no importance. An individual is considered a resident in Spain if:

  • They reside in Spain more than 183 days of the calendar year. Sporadic absences will be taken into account unless the taxpayer certifies that their tax residence is in another country. In the event that the tax residence is held in a tax haven, the Spanish tax authorities may demand evidence in order to justify the residence of the latter.
  • Most economic activities occur in Spain either directly or indirectly
  • The individual's spouse and children less than 18 years old live in Spain and can demonstrate proof of this.

Therefore, if none of these conditions are met, the individual is regarded as a non-resident.

Company Residence in Spain

To start a company on Spanish soil, it is essential to have a physical presence of some kind in the country. This presence can take the form of a room, an apartment or a location in a shared office. You'll need this residence in order to obtain a VAT number as it will prove to the tax authorities that you offer services of some kind in Spain. Once you have your VAT number, you will be able to charge your customers, excluding tax across of Europe.

If you are a Spanish resident, it is also essential that you employ at least one employee who works in your facility. The tax authorities conduct an inspection to ensure that your business is in order and you will be notified of their visit in advance.

Taxation for a non-resident

If you are not a resident but conduct your business through a permanent establishment in Spain, you will be charged an income tax.

You will be taxed on your earning (salary, commissions etc.), your home equity income, inherited assets or income gained from dividends or interest. You will be able to benefit from exemptions from certain incomes through your tax return.

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