Attractive and Open Economy

Spain occupies a prominent position worldwide for the importance of its economy. The world's fourteenth largest economy, it offers one of Europe's most attractive domestic markets as the fifth economy of the EU. With a GDP of 1.2 billion USD, it counts with 46 million consumers, in addition to 75 million tourists who visit Spain annually.

In terms of purchasing power, per capita income in Spain is significantly higher than some larger economies.


Spain has a modern, knowledge-based economy, in which services represent 75% of its business activity. It is an international focus of innovation with the advantage of having a young, highly qualified and motivated population, with highly competitive costs in the context of Western Europe, especially with regards to university and postgraduate degree holders.

Spain is a member of the European Union which grants it access to the world's largest market: the European Union, with a population of 500 million and a per capita income of 35,990 USD. This means that potential investors can benefit from:

• Free movement of goods and services, capital and people
• Trade without intracommunity tariffs
• A single currency
• European programs and funds

Our country has over recent decades made efforts to fit itself with state-of-the-art infrastructures, capable of promoting future growth. Furthermore, companies with businesses in Spain access not only Spain's market, but also, and with advantages, the markets of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and North Africa) region, as well as Latin America, given its privileged geostrategic position, prestige and significant presence in these regions.

Open to international investment

According to the FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index of the OECD, Spain is the ninth country worldwide with more open regulations regarding international investment.




The highly international profile of the Spanish economy has enabled our country to transform itself into a key platform for international business. In fact, Spain is the 13th country as recipient of foreign investments in the world, highlighting the major role of foreign investment in its economy.

Spain offers business opportunities for companies in sectors and activities with high added value in Spain, something especially attractive for international investors, given their great potential for growth. Over the last 5 years, one out of every three projects received was framed within sectors of high technological value and with a significant contribution of R&D&i, such as in those of ICT, the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and health sciences, smart cities, environment, aeronautics and aerospace, tourism and business services, among others.

In Spain there are already over 12,300 foreign companies representing all sectors of the economy: Industrial, Technological, and Services. According to Forbes, 70 of the 100 leading global leaders have investments in Spain, and according to Thomson Reuters, 90 of the 100 main companies in the field of R&D have a subsidiary in Spain.



Spain also has a highly-developed business fabric with a high degree of internationalization and that offers excellent opportunities for collaboration in third markets. Many Spanish companies have operations in the five continents and are globally renown. In fact, Spain is the world's twelfth most important investor in terms of investment stock in other countries, and the second-largest investor in Latin America. According to the Forbes Global index, 23 of Spain's largest companies are ranked among the world's 500 most important companies.

Spain is also an optimal strategic location for privileged access to the entire Mediterranean, north of Africa, Middle East and, of course, Latin America, regions with which it has solid economic, business, institutional and cultural ties.

In Spain, foreign investors are treated the same as Spanish investors, without discrimination regarding the amount or type of investment. As a general principal, foreign investments in Spain neither require any prior authorization nor any other type of administrative checks. Rather, upon completion of the unrestricted investments and for statistical purposes only, these must be declared in the Foreign Investment Registry of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

The enterprise creation process in Spain is quite simple. The possible company types are in line with those existing in other countries of the OECD and, of course, in the most developed countries of the EU. A wide range of options is also applicable for adapting these to the needs of different types of investors who wish to invest, whether from within Spain or from abroad. An international investor is free to choose among the many alternatives and possibilities offered by Spanish legislation for enterprise creation. The most common option for creating a new company include the establishment of a branch or subsidiary (the main types of commercial companies acknowledged in Spain are the Public Limited Company and the Limited Liability Company), as well joint ventures with other pre-existing entities. Investors may also consider other legal instruments.

Last updated: 04|04|2018

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