Guide to Business in Spain logo

1. Introduction

With the aim of promoting investment, employment, competitiveness and economic growth, the Spanish State and all other public authorities have been developing and consolidating an extensive and complete system of aid instruments and incentives especially targeted at boosting indefinite-term employment, regional investment and at research, development and technological innovation (R&D&I).

Furthermore, since Spain is an EU Member State, potential investors are able to access European aid programs, which provide further incentives for investing in Spain.

These investment aid measures can be classified as follows:

  • State incentives for training and employment.
  • State incentives for specific industrial sectors.
  • Incentives for investments in certain regions.
  • State incentives for innovative SMEs.
  • Preferred financing from the Official Credit Institute (Instituto de Crédito Oficial or ICO).
  • Incentives for internationalization.
  • EU aid.

Most of the aid that can be obtained from the various agencies depends largely on the specific characteristics of each investment project (i.e. the better the prospects of the project, the more possibilities there are of obtaining financing and aid).

Furthermore, the ICEX-Invest in Spain website (www.investinspain.org) offers a search engine for public aid and subsidies granted in Spain. Using this tool, companies can gain easy access to updated information regarding the grants available for their investment projects. Also, this same tool now includes an automatic alert system for aid and subsidies tailor-made to each user.

In any case, this Chapter should be read bearing in mind that the declaration and successive extensions of the state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis may, in some cases, have entailed the suspension or interruption of the administrative time periods in which certain tenders by public sector entities are to be processed and, accordingly, the related calls for applications for subsidies, aid programs or habitual lines of financing may have been delayed.

On the other hand, the state of emergency has also favored the adoption of exceptional measures aimed at mitigating its economic impact (e.g., extension of execution and justification deadlines, changes in loan repayment schedules, more flexible compliance criteria, etc.), with the ultimate purpose of enabling the beneficiaries of such incentives or aid to perform their related commitments and obligations. Accordingly, in the various categories of investment support measures found in this Chapter, references are made to specific provisions of special significance that have been adopted in the context of the public health crisis.

Bearing the foregoing in mind, and notwithstanding the tax incentives analyzed in other chapters (essentially investment tax credits -- for further information go to Chapter 3, section 2 --), the main State incentives for investors are described on the following pages.