Company formation in Spain

    "I have used the professional services of Strong Abogados for all my company business in Spain since 2004 and can thoroughly recommend."

    Christopher Locke
    CEO, Oystertrade SL


phone 932 155 393
virtual office singapore BARCELONA:
Balmes 177, 4 2
08006 Barcelona, Spain
(click for map)
General Perón 19, bajo
28020 Madrid, Spain
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Plaza 25 de Julio 4, 1D
38004 Santa Cruz, Spain
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Why Strong Abogados is the leader in company formation in Spain for expats and nonresidents:

  • Lowest price: We offer free company formation when you use our corporate tax filing services for one year. Our flat-fee package for company formation in Spain includes all costs -- taxes, notary, and mercantile registry -- so there are no surprises.
  • Great service: With a single provider for all your needs, all your important documents -- company formation, taxes filed, payslips -- will be in your client area, accessible 24/7.
  • Expertise with international clients: We work exclusively with international clients. We know the issues that matter to you: establishing the proper relation between your parent company and your Spanish entity, getting a NIE and social security ID for the company directors. In fact, the tax authorities request our input concerning international companies in Spain.

Contact us to form your company now.

Learn more about company formation in Spain:
How long will it take?
Do I need a NIE?
What steps are involved in forming a company?
What information do we need from you to get started?
Will the company have a VAT number?
What costs are involved in forming a company in Spain?
Can a foreign company be the sole shareholder?
Can I avoid the trip to Spain?
What are the tax and accounting obligations for a company in Spain?
Why choose Strong Abogados?

Learn more about company formation options:
My company wants to open a branch in Spain. Is this better than creating a new company?
Should I be self-employed or should I form a company in Spain?
Can I save on personal income taxes by creating a company?
What is the difference between a Sociedad Limitada (SL) and a Sociedad Anónima (SA)?
Should I form a new company or buy an off-the-shelf company?
Will creating a company in Spain help me get Spanish residency?
What is a holding company?

NIE, CIF, VAT#: Understanding the terms
Guide to government resources
Types of business entities
Forming a branch office
Forming a joint venture
Foreign investment
How to search for information about a company in Spain

Mercantile Registries


Should I be self-employed or should I form a company in Spain?

If you are self-employed (autónomo) and someone files a lawsuit, then you are liable -- your personal assets may be taken from you. If you form a company, then only the assets of the company are at stake. Normally, self-employment is the option when you're just starting out and aren't ready to commit money for company formation and accounting. See our FAQ on the relative costs and tax rates for the two options.

A common situation is that you live in Spain and work for a foreign company. If the company wants you to be hired as an employee, then depending on the duration of your work, the company can either hire you directly or it can get a Spanish employer number to hire you. If you plan to work as a consultant, then the decision between self-employment and forming a company is primarily a tax decision based on how much you will be earning. Self-employment has an additional issue concerning invoicing the company (click here for more).



What is the difference between a Sociedad Limitada (SL) and a Sociedad Anónima (SA)?

  • An SL is similar to the British "Ltd" or the American "LLC", while an SA is similar to a corporation.
  • Accounting:
    SL: Accounting for an SL is fairly simple, and in the first three years, you can apply for "simplified accounting".
    SA: Accounting for an SA is more complicated, and yearly auditing is required.
  • Share Capital
    SL: Requires backing capital of 3000€.
    SA: Requires 60,102€, though only 25% of this needs to be deposited in the bank at the time of incorporation.
  • Administration
    SL: There is wide flexibility regarding how the bylaws can establish the administrative organization (sole director, joint directors, board of directors). The duration of the director's position is indefinite in this case, unless there is a limit stated in the bylaws.
    SA: The bylaws must establish a concrete administration system. Any changes must be modified in writing. The duration of the directors' positions are limited to six years (with the possibility for re-election in equal periods).
  • Bylaws
    SL: Flexible: The bylaws can contain certain variations from the legal regime.
    SA: Rigid: There are more limited possibilities of establishing variations to the legal regime.
  • Non-monetary Contributions
    SL: Such contributions can be made without the necessity of a report by an independent expert.
    SA: Such contributions must be accompanied by a report from an independent expert.
  • Share Transfers
    SL: The law establishes limitations with regards to the transfer of shares to third parties. These limitations can be expanded or reduced in the bylaws.
    SA: In principle, there is freedom of share transfers, although the bylaws can also establish additional requisites.
  • Meeting of Shareholders
    SL: The meeting can be called by direct communication to the shareholders, if the bylaws allow it.
    SA: The call for a Meeting of Shareholders should be published in the Official Bulletin of the Mercantile Registry, as well as in the newspaper.
  • Dissolution
    SL: If the shareholders agree to dissolve the company, it is not necessary to publish the agreement in the newspaper.
    SA: The agreement for the dissolution of the company should be published in the Official Bulletin of the Mercantile Registry and in the newspaper.

You might choose an SA:

  • if you want to be able to sell stock or company bonds, or go public (IPO).
  • as part of international estate planning.
  • to establish a non-resident company in Spain.

Otherwise, you would choose an SL. Most companies formed are now SLs, and not only for small businesses.



Should I form a new company or buy an off-the-shelf company?

With an off-the-shelf company, you save the step of registering a new name (6-12 days). The problem is that in order to register the change of company director, the mercantile registry can take longer than it takes to register a new company. The law stipulates that a new SL must be registered in 15 business days, but there is no time limit specified for changes to an existing company. The bank account won't be in your name until the mercantile registry delivers the stamped company title, so if the use of a bank account is urgent, an off-the-shelf company is not the best option.



Will creating a company in Spain help me get Spanish residency?

As long as the company will be a real, functioning business, then it can help you get Spanish residency through a vehicle called an investment visa, provided you go through the proper steps.



Why choose Strong Abogados?

  • We are recognized for our expertise in the establishment of international businesses in Spain.
    In fact, the Spanish tax authorities have requested input from our founding partner a number of times regarding modifications to the VAT regulations. Most recently Strong Abogados was chosen along with only two other firms in Spain for a pilot program relating to VAT refunds.
  • We provide the services you need AFTER your Spanish company is formed.
    By having corporate/tax lawyers, accountants, and payroll specialists in the same office, your business needs are covered, and information passes between them without requiring your intervention. Our expert tax planners can help minimize your tax burden, such as advising on the best way to move capital from the parent company to the new Spanish company, and how much salary the company director should receive.
  • Our turnaround time is faster than a "Big 4" firm because of our size and use of cutting-edge technologies.
    We are certified by the tax authorities and by the social security office to send all documents electronically, cutting down on time, costs, and the chance of papers getting lost. Strong Abogados is a leader among law firms in taking advantage of the Spanish government's technological initiatives.