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How to start a business in Spain as a foreigner: Prerequisites

Firmalex > Business consultancy > How to start a business in Spain as a foreigner: Prerequisites

This article is part of our guide How to start a business in Spain as a foreigner which you will find in our Starting a Business in Spain section.

Obtaining the NIE number

The first thing to do as a foreigner is to obtain the NIE number. This is the identification number that will allow you to open a bank account, be identified for tax purposes, etc… The NIE is the most important thing to be able to operate freely in Spain.

Obtaining the NIE is a really simple process. The time it takes to obtain it will depend on whether you are an EU citizen or not: it takes 3 to 5 working days to obtain the NIE number for EU citizens; and the time for non-EU citizens will vary depending on the corresponding Immigration Office.

There are two possibilities to obtain this number:

  • Do it from your country of origin, at the Spanish consulate.
  • Do it while you are in Spain. To do so, it is necessary to obtain an appointment at any police office.

Open a bank account for your business

Now that you have your NIE, you can easily open a bank account for your business in Spain.

Assuming you have opted to start a Sociedad Limitada, you are required to put up 3,000 euros in cash for the incorporation of the company, which you must have on deposit in the newly created account.

This is certainly not wasted money and can be used in the day-to-day operations of the company.

The contribution of this amount of money generates a bank certificate attesting to the payment. You must take this document to the notary on the day of the setting up.

The company name

Once you have your NIE number, you must obtain what is called a certificate of uniqueness. This document indicates that your company name is free to use and is now in your possession.

To get it, you have to make a list of 3 names that you would like to give to your company. You have to send them to the Registro Mercantil de España to check their availability.

If they are available, they will accept one of the three, depending on the preferences you have previously established when submitting them. This process can take up to 48 hours.

This will be the official company name, which will appear on your invoices and other official documents.

However, you can apply to the registry for an additional name to be used in other situations or for commercial purposes.

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