Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


8. EU AIDS and incentives


Most European Union incentives (specifically loans and subsidies) generally supplement aid programs financed by the Spanish Government. Such aid is routed through the Spanish public authorities and institutions, as well as through finance entities, which act as intermediaries between the granting of aid and beneficiary. Accordingly, the related applications for subsidies must be addressed to these entities, save in the case of the direct aid under, inter alia, programs to support research, development and innovation (R&D&i) for which applications must be submitted in the respective calls for proposals issued by the European Commission.

The broad range of instruments at the EU's disposal includes, most notably the following:

8.1. European Investment Bank (EIB)

Projects eligible for EIB support are basically those which promote the development of less favored regions and those of common interest to several Member States or benefiting the EU as a whole, such as environmental protection, improved use of energy resources, improved industrial competitiveness in the EU, the development of SMEs and middle capitalization enterprises (MID-CAPs) and improved European transport and telecommunications infrastructures. Additionally, projects aiming at extending and modernizing infrastructure in the health and education sectors may also qualify for EIB support.

The EIB offers two types of loans:

8.1.1. Global loans

Global loans are similar to credit lines granted to financial institutions, which lend the funds to small or medium-scale investment projects meeting the EIB's criteria. This is the main instrument with which the EIB supports SMEs and MID-CAPs since, by granting loans to banks or other intermediaries, access to funding is provided indirectly to small and medium-scale business initiatives.

The loans are granted by the EIB to banks or other institutions in all the Member States, which act as intermediaries. These financial intermediaries conduct an analysis of the investment, and of the economic, technical and financial viability of each of the projects. They are responsible for granting the loans for small and medium-scale investments and for the administration of such loans.

Specifically in Spain, global loans are routed mainly through Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), Banco Bilbao-Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Santander, Bankinter, Sabadell, Banco Cooperativo, Kutxabank, Banca March, Laboral Kutxa, La Caixa, Unicaja, Bankia and Banco Popular. There are many different types of loans and credits, with varying maturities, amounts and interest rates, but their general terms can be summarized as follows:

  • Coverage of up to 50% of the overall investment costs and, in certain cases, up to 100% of the investment with a guarantee from the intermediary bank.
  • Grace period: Up to three years.

Guide to business in Spain

Investment aid and incentives in Spain


ICEX - Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Economía y competitividad
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