Pros and cons of starting a business in Spain

Spain remains an extremely popular location for setting up a business, with trading opportunities and a relaxed business culture. Whether you are setting up a new business in Spain, or establishing a branch of your British business in Spain – there are countless benefits to accessing the Spanish market.

However, there are things to consider before setting up a business in Spain? Here, we discuss the pros and cons of setting up a business in Spain.

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The key benefits of setting up a business in Spain as a foreigner.

Our guide to the potential disappointments of starting a business in Spain.

Find out how Giambrone & Partners can assist you in starting a business in Spain.

What are the pros of starting a business in Spain?

Deep trade partnerships and access to the markets of the EMEA

Spain is Britain's ninth-largest trading partner, so there is a lot of potential for business dealings if you are planning on expanding your business. By choosing Spain you can take advantage of the existing trading links.

Additionally, Spain has a strong strategic location, with access to the markets of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, North Africa) region as well as trade links to Latin America. Deep Trade Agreements are agreements between countries that cover not only trade, but additional policy areas, such as international labour and investment.

Spain’s membership of European Union (EU), also grants it privileged access to the world's largest common market.

Are you considering doing business in Spain? Find out how our multilingual Spanish lawyers can help.

Enjoy the forward thinking business culture

Starting a business in Spain also means you can enjoy the progressive culture. Home to cities popular among tourists, such as Barcelona and Madrid – for industry sectors such as hospitality, retail and bars and restaurants this can be particularly beneficial

Are you considering setting up a business in Spain? Contact our Spanish lawyers today.

Madrid financial district

You can take advantage of Spain’s well-developed infrastructure

Spain's infrastructure has been rapidly modernised over the last few decades, as the country now boasts some of the world's best railway systems, making the process of shipping goods much more convenient. Spain also has three of the top ten container ports in Europe, offering a port framework that is second-to-none.

Spain also offers high-speed internet connections, with more than 70 technology parks providing extensive fibre optic cable deployment.

Spain offers a lower tax burden

All the companies established in Spain enjoy a reduced tax burden which is under the average burden of the European Union and the Euro Zone. The Spanish Tax Agency also offers a completely computerised system where most procedures and arrangements can be performed easily online, avoiding complex time consuming procedures.

Spain also holds many bilateral agreements to avoid double taxation.

Contact Giambrone & Partners’ Spanish lawyers for assistance on setting up a business in Spain.

Spain has undertaken a variety of key structural reforms

Spain has recently taken many steps towards improving national employment conditions and diversifying the national economy. Spain’s economic freedom score is 68.2, making its economy the 41st in the 2022 Index.

Are there any cons to setting up a business in Spain?

You may need to go through multiple procedures to set up your business

The procedures for setting up your business may seem complex without legal assistance if you are uncertain what the requirements are. Once you have your NIE (Identification Number) for foreign nationals, you will have to go through multiple procedures to set up a business in Spain.

Working with English-speaking Spanish lawyers will help to make this process much more straightforward.

You may need to adapt to a different business culture

Known for offering a more relaxed business approach - Spanish business culture may differ considerably from that in your home country. You may find that there is a more laid-back approach in businesses in Spain, which may in some instances involve a different approach to deadlines, payment of outstanding invoices and more.

Spain’s unemployment rates

Spain’s unemployment rates rose slightly again throughout the fourth quarter of 2022. Unemployment in Spain seems to be particularly prominent among younger workers. For example, Spain came second among the 2021 list of EU youth unemployment rates, with a rate of 29.4 percent, therefore there is the potential to be able to quickly attract employees for your business in Spain

How can Giambrone & Partners assist you in setting up a business in Spain?

Giambrone & Partners’ expert corporate and commercial lawyers in Spain have a wealth of experience in advising and assisting British businesses in setting up company structures abroad. Our lawyers can advise you on the best company structure for your business and explain all legal aspects you must consider in your own language. Our experienced commercial and international teams can provide all the advice and practical solutions you will need to succeed in your new venture.

If you would like to set up a business or branch office in Spain please email us at, or fill in our contact form.

Frequently asked questions

What visa options do British citizens have for setting up a business in Spain?

As Britain is a non-EU Member State there are two main visa options to consider - an entrepreneur visa, or a self-employed worker visa, depending on the size and industry sector you are aiming at. Some British citizens may also qualify for the Golden Visa, which is a residence visa issued to a non-EU national who intends to make a significant investment in the Spanish economy.

How do British nationals register as a sole trader in Spain?

You will have to register at the Spanish corporate registry Registro Mercantil.

How long is a self-employed visa valid for?

The self-employed visa is valid for one year and you will also have to apply for a residence permit within a month of your arrival in Spain.

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