If you're frequently outside Spain, then you're going to need a good online banking service. La Caixa probably has the best online banking, and is available in the major European languages. BankInter and ING have among the lowest fees. Note that the Bank of Spain requires your signature to clear an incoming transfer of over 12,500 euros, so make sure you either work near a branch office or that your bank accepts a signature by fax. Some bank branches focus on companies; others focus on personal banking. Finding someone knowledgeable in the branch you choose can make all the difference in whether that money you've wired to your Spanish account arrives quickly and smoothly or gets tied up for weeks.
If you're North American, you may be shocked by the high fees charged by banks in Spain. The Bank of Spain sets maximum fees that banks may charge their clients. You must negotiate the fees or quite possibly the maximum fees will be applied. Naturally, the strength of your bargaining position depends on how much you use your account. Some sample commissions from La Caixa. The agreements you reach may expire after a year, so we recommend going each year to renegotiate the fees. Since many bank fees are based on a percentage, if you're sending or receiving a large international transfer, you can negotiate the fees on this particular transfer. For international transfers, you can choose to pay all bank commissions, have the other bank pay all commissions, or share the commissions. Be very careful about paying all commissions for a large transfer; you are not a client of the other bank. It is generally best to choose shared commissions.
Checks are not used often in Spain. Bank transfers are easy. If you charge clients on a periodic basis, ask your bank for software to do this automatically. Your bank can also give you software to automate payments to your employees.
The credit card terminal to charge your customers is called a TPV (Terminal punto de venta) in Spanish. Spanish banks will often charge an annual fee or monthly fee for use of a TPV, plus around a 2.75% charge on each sale, but of course, this should also be negotiated. Depending on how much you use it, you should get this down to at least 1.5%.
Use of a company credit card in Spain
Doing business in Spain: tips for the business traveller
Company formation in Spain
How to search for information about a company in Spain
Spanish ID numbers: NIE, CIF, VAT#
Government offices in Spain, with links
Tips on renting business premises in Spain
Types of business entities