Spain (and especially Barcelona), has become one of the greatest European hubs for worldwide entrepreneurs to start their projects. Great international talent, the availability of all the resources you may need and perfect weather conditions makes the Spanish territory one of the best options if you want to succeed in business. Moreover, things are even better if we incorporate immigration. Why? Because setting up your company in Spain can grant you a Spanish resident permit easily. How? Let’s analyze the entrepreneur visa in more depth.
That is one of the promises that the immigration law for entrepreneurs in Spain delivers. Unlike in many countries, there is no upfront investment needed. No minimum capital amount to pay beforehand. One of the easiest ways to get your residence permit in Spain is through the entrepreneur visa. And it’s as simple as setting up your company in the country.
If you are a citizen from a non-EU country who wants to start living and working legally in Spain, the business visa may be your preferred option. The entrepreneur visa is a residence permit that allows you to live in Spain during a two-year period provided that you start a project in the country that goes in line with the general interest of the Spanish economy.
In order to get this kind of residence permit and starting implementing your innovative idea, your project should fulfill the following requirements:
- Contribute directly and/or indirectly in the employment creation in Spain and to be a positive stimulus for the general economy: There isn’t. While a reasonable number of employees can be expected, the Spanish Law does not establish any exact requirement.
- Your business idea should be considered innovative and enhance the socio-economic development of Spain: The requisite of the socioeconomic impact is fairly simple to meet and assess, since we are talking about the objective volume of the investment that the business brings to its area. So if your enterprise is of significant economic value – and a huge contribution to the economy is to be expected – you really should consider applying for the visa based on this criterion.
- It will also be highly valued if it brings a relevant contribution to science and/or technology: The last requisite is where you have the chance to put in practice any new idea in the scientific and technological field. When judging your application, the current status of the country in science and technology will be considered, since it is paramount that the contribution to the field in question represents a significant advancement.
- Having the adequate experience and Know-How that may assist you in the implementation of your business idea.
- Having the financial solvency necessary to implement your project correctly in Spain
The entrepreneur visa grant you the ability to live in Spain for one year. Then, you can apply for a residency authorization, which will enable you to stay legally in the country for two years more providing that you still meet all the requirements (mainly that your project still enhances the Spanish economy), the renewal will be possible.
Also, The Entrepreneur residence allows you to submit a joint application for your family. In this case, you should have to fulfill the requirement of the financial solvency mentioned hereinafter.
- First of all, as you will be able to develop your economic activity, the entrepreneur visa operates as a work permit in Spain.
- There is no upfront investment needed. Many countries, in order to start your own company, require a minimum amount of money that you invest. It is not the case in Spain.
- Even though it is highly valued that your project creates employment in the country, it is not a strict requirement. This means that the Commercial Office won’t deny your application if you start by your own (with no other employee). That is also the case for renewals: you can renew even if you have not hired anyone else for the first years.
- With the entrepreneur visa, you will have free movement inside the countries that form the Schengen area.
- No presence needed for the application. You can select a representative to apply for you, avoiding the need to come to Spain in order to get your business permit.
- Joint application. You can apply for your Spanish residence permit as long as the one for your family, with just one member of the family starting a project. This makes the startup visa a good ticket for those families who want to move together to Spain.
- Business plan. You will need to submit your business plan, in which you carefully detail your activity and how it is going to benefit the Spanish economy. As we have already mentioned, emphasis on the creation of employment, innovation and positive impact on the socio-economic growth of the country must be placed in this document.
- Favorable report. If the business plan gets approved by the Commercial Office, your project will be considered as of economical interest for Spain. Then you will have green light to send that approval document to the corresponding Immigration Office in order to get your entrepreneur visa.
In order to successfully apply for the golden residency, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Not be a citizen of a country member of the European Union. This special residency permit is designed for citizens from countries outside this area, which have it more difficult to get a visa in Spain.
- Be of legal age (+18 in Spain).
- Lack of criminal records, both in Spain and in any other country. The deadline to take into account here will be the last 5 years.
- Having full-coverage healthcare in Spain. This can be obtained through public insurance or a private one.
- Having and demonstrating the possession of sufficient economic means for the maintenance of both the principal investor and his family (if he also applied for their residency permits): You must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM annually on your bank account. For this year 2019, the IPREM is 548.60 € for a month. As the measurement unit we are interested in is the year, our target will be 6.454,03€. That is, the main applicant for this visa must demonstrate he or she has is 26,332.80 €. Nevertheless, we suggest you have a bit more than that if you would like to have a successful application. Take that number as a minimum reference point.The general Spanish immigration law states that you can use any kind of proof. Nevertheless, many times the different Spanish consulates request a bank certificate of liquid money on your account. The exact date of the certificate must be as close as possible to the application day. Credit cards or property values can also be used here, as long as you also submit with them a document that certifies their validity from your bank.
Basically, if your business…
– Creates new jobs in Spain,
– Represents an investment of significant socioeconomic impact in the area where it’s developed,
– or brings a relevant contribution to science and/or technology,
In order to prove that an entrepreneurial or business activity is of an innovative nature with a special economic interest for Spain the documentation related to the business plan must be submitted to the Large Companies Unit together with the application for residence permit. The Large Companies Unit will request ex-officio from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness a report on the innovative nature of the project, and the Ministry will issue said report within 10 business days.
In the case of entrepreneurs, if the activity is not to be started immediately, limited duration
insurance is accepted (for example travel insurance, which will usually have a validity of three months).
Yes. Family members who accompany or join the investor may apply jointly and simultaneously or successively for their residence permit and, where appropriate, for their visa Family members are:
• The spouse or unmarried couple.
• Children who are minors or those of legal age
being financially dependent on the holder.
• Parents in their charge.
In order to access the long term residency, it is required that the person from abroad has lived legal and effectively in Spain for five years. That the residency is effective means that the periods lived out of Spanish Territory must be less than six consecutive months and not exceed a total of ten months during the said five years.
Yes. The time lived in Spain legally will count to request the long-term residency and also the nationality.
The residence authorization for investors must have an initial duration of two years, after which the permit can be renovated every two years indefinitely in the case that you Provide that you still meet all the requirements (mainly that your project still enhances the Spanish economy), the renewal will be possible.
No. The Law is only applicable to the investments carried out from the 29th September 2013 onward, date when the law entered into force, as it is states in the thirteenth final disposition of the same.
Basically there are only two scenarios where you would be denied renewal. First, if you stopped your business activity. Second, if you have a criminal record. If you have a criminal record you will not receive an initial residency permit.
Yes, it is possible, as long as the requirements to modify a permit established by the Regulation
of Organic Law 4/2000 are met.
You must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM annually on your bank account. For this year 2019, the IPREM is 537,84€ for a month. As the measurement unit we are interested in is the year, our target will be 6.454,03€.
That is, the main applicant for this visa must demonstrate he or she has is 25.816,12€. Nevertheless, we suggest you have a bit more than that if you would like to have a successful application. Take that number as a minimum reference point.The general Spanish immigration law states that you can use any kind of proof. Nevertheless, many times the different Spanish consulates request a bank certificate of liquid money on your account. The exact date of the certificate must be as close as possible to the application day. Credit cards or property values can also be used here, as long as you also submit with them a document that certifies their validity from your bank.
Spanish limited liability company (SL) can be incorporated by a single or several partners. The shareholder/s may be legal persons or natural persons. Foreign persons are also entitled to be shareholders.
When all shares are hold by one sole shareholder a communication has to be filled within the Companies Registry (Registro Mercantil) informing about the identity of the said sole shareholder; in addition the word “unipersonal” will be added to the corporate name (SL becomes SLU).
The management and representation of a SL can lie with either one or multiple directors (being a legal person or a natural person). A minimum of three directors are required to compose a Board of Directors (Consejo de Administración). A non-shareholder may become a director, unless otherwise stated in the by-Laws.
The first thing to be done is to submit possible names for the company to the Central Companies Registry (Registro Mercantil Central) to check that no other company is registered under the same name. Provided there is not, you will receive a Negative Name Certificate (Certificado Negativo de Nombre). This process may take between 3 and 5 days. The said certificate allows the new shareholders to open a bank account in the company’s name and deposit the required amount of share capital. Bank will provide shareholders with a certificate to prove they have deposited the required capital. The two above referred certificates together with the company’s bylaws are enough to prepare and execute the deed of incorporation, to be authorised by a Public Notary.
The whole process usually takes 12-15 working days in total. In addition you may allow two more weeks for the registration of the deed of incorporation in the Commercial Registry (Registro Mercantil).
Pursuant to Spanish law, a SL can start trading at the moment when the company is incorporated (even before it is registered), provided a Tax Identification number (CIF) has been obtained and Tax Authorities have been informed about the beginning of the business activity. However, the shareholders will be personally liable for debts which arise (if any) from business activities undertaken prior to registration.
The statutory minimum capital of a SL amounts to three thousand euros (3,000 EUR). 100% of this amount has to be fully paid prior to registration.
When capital comes from abroad, a declaration (form D1–A “Declaration of foreign investments in unlisted companies, branches and other types of investment”) must be presented to the Registrar of Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
Under certain circumstances, a permit to open business premises (Licencia Municipal de Apertura) may be required by municipal authorities.
New companies have to apply for a tax identification number (CIF) from Tax Authorities. In addition, newly founded companies willing to start its business activity in Spain must also file a formal statement (Declaración Censal de Inicio de Actividad) with the local Tax Office (Delegación de Hacienda).
Shareholders may open a bank account under the (future) company’s name (“en constitución”) and deposit the required amount of share capital (minimum of 3,000.00 EUR) prior to the incorporation of the company. This is the most common way to proceed when founding a SL.
At the end of each accounting year, a SL is obliged to draft year-end reports, profit and loss accounts, balance sheet and a list of assets as at the date of reference and also draft a report on the status for the company (Cuentas Anuales). The accounting and year end report has to be drafted in accordance to the Spanish accounting rules (Plan General Contable or PGC) and filed with the Companies Registry.
The above obligations have to be fulfilled even if the company has no business activity. However, smaller companies are only obliged to publish abbreviate annual accounts (Cuentas Anuales Abreviadas).
Incorporation costs consist of:
– The notary’s fees: 300 Euros,
– Registro Mercantil fees and publication costs: 100 Euros
– Legal fees involved in the drafting of incorporation documentation: 350 Euros,
– Assistance on the opening of a bank account and the granting of the constitution deed: Free.
– Applying for Company’s Tax Identification Number: 200 Euros
The standard Corporate Tax (Impuesto sobre Sociedades) rate –from January 1st 2016 is 25% (coming from 30% in 2014 and 28% in 2015).
Notwithstanding the above, as of January 1st 2015, a new lower tax rate (15%) was introduced for newly-formed companies. The above referred low rate applies to the first two years in which the new company obtains a taxable profit, certain requirements have to be fulfilled, such as:
– Corporate Income Tax return must be filled and taxes paid within six months and 25 days following the close of the fiscal year.
– Companies are required to make three advanced payments of income tax in April, October and December of each year.
Companies having a net turnover of more then one million euros per year (first two years of activity are exempted) are required to pay a Business Activities Tax, being charged depending on a number of factors, including industry type, number of employees and size of the premises.
From September 1st, 2012, VAT is taxed at the rate of 21 % (coming from 18%). Certain services and products are taxed at a lower rate of 4% and 10%.
“General Risks” contribution represents 28.3% of an employee’s wages –up to a ceiling of 3,751.20 € per month, with the employer (the new company) paying 23.6% and employee paying 4.7% (+ 1,60% for unemployment benefits).
Said that, the new company may be eligible for some reductions in Social Security Contributions, provided certain requirements are fulfilled.