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This Chapter takes a practical look at the main alternatives open to a foreign investor interested in establishing a business in Spain, as well as the main steps, costs and legal requirements involved.

Several alternatives are analyzed in this Chapter, namely: the setting-up of a company; the opening of a branch; the pursuit of the activity directly by an individual entrepreneur and among the possible alternatives, this Guide highlights in particular the form of the “limited liability entrepreneur”; the formation of a joint venture with another or other enterprises already established in Spain; the acquisition of real estate; the sale and purchase of businesses; investment in venture capital firms; or distribution, agency, commission or franchising agreements.

The steps required to make the following types of investment are explained in this Chapter:

  • Setting-up of a Spanish corporation or limited liability company and formation of a Spanish branch (sections 4 and 6).
  • Pursuit of the activity directly by an individual entrepreneur under the form of the “limited liability entrepreneur” (section 5).
  • Acquisition of shares in an existing Spanish company (section 8.1).
  • Acquisition of real estate located in Spain (section 8.2).
  • Acquisition of a business through sale/purchase or global transfer of assets and liabilities (section 8.3).
  • Investment in venture capital firms (section 8.4).

Finally, this Chapter contains a final section on dispute resolution in Spain, whether through court or arbitration proceedings, a real and effective alternative for the settlement of disputes.