Setting up a business

Options for setting up a business

A foreign investor can invest in Spain by:

Opening a branch or representative office.

Forming a Spanish company: the most common forms used are the corporation (S.A.) and, principally, the limited liability company (S.L.).

Associating with other businesses already established in Spain: joint ventures are a common way of setting up business in Spain, since they enable their members to share risks and pool resources and experience. Spanish law provides for different types of joint venture.

However, creating a new entity or associating with pre-existing entities is not the only way to invest in Spain. It is possible to gain a foothold in the Spanish market without having to physically set up a center of operations in Spain by:

Making distribution agreements.

Operating through an agent.

Operating through a commission agent.

Establishing a franchise.

Pursuit of the activity directly by an individual entrepreneur under the new form of the “limited liability entrepreneur”. 


For further information, visit the extended version of our online Guide to Business:

Establishing a business in Spain

Annex I. Company and commercial law

Annex II. The Spanish financial system

Annex III. Accounting and audit issues


Prepared by:


Last updated: 24|01|2018

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