Logo Guide to Business in Spain

Establishing a business in Spain

This Chapter describes the basic aspects of the main structures for investing in Spain, as well as the key formalities that a foreign investor must fulfill in order to set up or start up each of them.

Setting up a business in Spain is simple. The type of business entities available are in keeping with those existing in other OECD countries and there is also a wide range of alternatives capable of meeting the needs of the different types of investors who wish to invest in or from Spain.

This Chapter also examines how to open a branch; the pursuit of the activity directly by an individual entrepreneur as a “limited liability entrepreneur”; the formation of a joint venture with one or more enterprises already established in Spain; the acquisition of real estate; the sale and purchase of businesses; investment in venture capital firms; and distribution, agency, commission and franchising agreements.

Further, it should be noted that, ordinarily, there is also almost total liberalization of foreign investment and exchange control in Spain, in line with EU legislation, notwithstanding the extraordinary measure consisting of the suspension of the regime for the liberalization of foreign investment in Spain, introduced by Royal Decree Law 8/2020 of March 17, 2020, on urgent extraordinary measures to deal with the economic and social impact of COVID-19, which has been extended until December 31, 2024 by means of Royal Decree 20/2022, of December 27, 2022, on measures to respond to the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine and measures to support the reconstruction of the island of La Palma and other situations of vulnerability.