Guide to Business in Spain logo

4. Formation of a company

4.2. Telematic legalization of books

In accordance with article 18 of the Entrepreneurs Law and with the Instruction of February 12, 2015, of the Directorate-General of Registries and the Notarial Profession, on the legalization of traders’ books in accordance with article 18 of Law 14/2013, of September 27, on support to entrepreneurs and their internationalization, all of the books that traders must keep in accordance with the applicable legal provisions will be legalized telematically at the Commercial Registry after they have been completed in electronic format and before four months elapse after the year-end date.

Regarding the books that are mandatory, their key features are as follows:

  • Minutes book:
    • All of the minutes of the meetings of the collective bodies of commercial companies, including decisions adopted by the sole shareholder, must be reflected in electronic format and be submitted telematically for legalization within four (4) months after the fiscal year-end.
    • The company may keep just one book for all of the minutes of all of the collective bodies of the company, or a different book for each one of the collective bodies.
    • Each book must state the date of the start and the end of the fiscal year.
    • At any time of the fiscal year, the company may legalize books of details of minutes with minutes from the current fiscal year for purposes of an evidentiary or any other nature, and notwithstanding that all minutes must be included in the minutes book for the entire fiscal year.
  • Register of shareholders (S.L.) or register of registered shares (S.A. with registered shares):
    • Once the company has been registered at the Commercial Registry, it will be necessary to legalize a book which records the initial ownership of the founders and, once this initial book has been legalized, it will only be necessary to legalize a new book within the four months following the end of the fiscal year in which there has been any change in the initial or successive ownership of the shares or encumbrances have been created over them.
    • These books must record the full identity of the owners, their nationality and domiciles. The omission of the recording of the nationality or domicile will not preclude the book in question from being legalized, but this omission will be recorded in the legalization note.
  • Book of contracts with the sole shareholder: This book is subject to the same rules as those applicable to the register of shareholders / register of registered shareholders.

It is possible to legalize any of the above books from a given year without those from the immediately preceding years having been legalized.

The signatures of the persons who authorize the request and the list of digital signatures generated by the books whose legalization is requested must meet the requirements laid down in the current legislation on qualified electronic signatures and with the mandatory certification of the certification services provider.