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Spain

Branches

Updated 09/2012

Bringing your business to Spain and growing it here is an opportunity you should not overlook.

Investments and Trade in Spain

The door is open. In the European Union and in Spain there are no restrictions on investments from or to other countries. Have you considered it? Limitations exist only in very specific fields, such as defence.

Another possibility is to export goods and services from Spain to other locations worldwide, or otherwise import them into this country. Find out more information and perform related procedures via the Internet.

Business in Spain: create establishments and representatives dependent on your enterprise

Expanding your business in Spain is within your grasp.

This is an economic decision involving an investment of resources, with the aim of obtaining future profits. There could be various reasons to embark on such an expansion: regional diversification, increased market share, execution of a specific project, increased efficiency, start-up of operations in a new economic sector or other factors. It is vital to plan such initiative properly in terms of strategy and implementation

There are various possibilities, depending on the case in question: you may wish to collaborate with other business owners, or otherwise have establishments and representatives dependent on your enterprise.

A) Have you considered a joint venture? In other words collaboration with other enterprises or partners. Collaboration or association with other business owners will allow you to combine capacities, resources, enjoy greater possibilities, go further.

It is important to choose your travelling companions well. Collaboration with other business owners could involve different levels of commitment depending on the case in question, from one-off, temporary collaboration to the incorporation of a stable enterprise with other partners for a significant economic activity.

Get to know other business owners in your economic sector at business forums, Chambers of Commerce, trade fairs, other events or in your personal life. There are numerous possibilities.

You could collaborate with other business owners by means of various legal structures. These will vary depending on your aims.

B) You could also do business in Spain through establishments dependent on your enterprise: a subsidiary company, branches or representation office with a representative. Access further information via the following link. These are dealt with below.

Legal requirements

Subsidiary Enterprise:

Your enterprise could set up a subsidiary or dependent enterprise in Spain. Alone or with other partners. The subsidiary enterprise has its own legal personality and capital stock, separate from the enterprise which founded it. It is liable for its own obligations, responsibilities and debts with its own capital, in other words without affecting the equity of the founding enterprise.

The administrative procedures required to set up a subsidiary enterprise are the same as those applied to the creation of any other enterprise in almost all aspects.

If an enterprise from another country sets up a subsidiary in Spain, the subsidiary is considered to be resident in this country for all purposes: for example regarding taxation, Social Security, registration with official registers and other procedures.

Branch:

Have you considered opening branches? A branch is an establishment which forms a part of your enterprise. It does not have its own separate legal personality, and does not have its own capital stock. Enterprises which set up branches are liable with their own assets for the obligations, liabilities and debts of those branches.

The branches can engage in economic activities on behalf of the enterprise to which they belong, and are normally managed independently.

The procedures to set up a branch are similar to those required to create a new enterprise, with a number of exceptions.

Representation office and representative:

These are establishments which form a part of the enterprise, in other words of their organisational structure. They do not have their own legal personality, or separate capital stock. An enterprise setting up a representation office is liable for its obligations and debts.

Normally the enterprise setting up the representation office grants powers of attorney to a representative. He or she acts in its name, using the office. These offices do not have their own formally established executive body.

The activities of a representation office are typically limited. They generally perform coordination, collaboration and market analysis operations, but not other economic activities.

The following links provide further information:

Many of the requirements and procedures for opening a secondary establishment are the same as for starting up a business.

Administrative procedures

Many official procedures with the Spanish public authorities can be performed in a simple and convenient manner online. On occasion without identification, while in other cases you will need to use passwords, an electronic certificate or electronic ID card.

Accounting and Audits:

Branches need to keep their own accounts, just like any other Spanish enterprise. The company in the other country, on which the branch depends, must file its annual accounts with the Companies Register for the branch.

Subsidiary enterprises are deemed to be resident. Their accounting obligations are the same as any other Spanish enterprise.

Taxes:

Branches in Spain of enterprises from other countries pay Non-Domiciled Income Tax. Subsidiaries in Spain of enterprises from other countries are deemed to be resident in Spain, and so pay taxes in the same way as other enterprises established in Spain. There are international conventions and EU regulations to avoid double taxation.

Resources

Do you need information, online procedures, personalised advice by telephone or at the network of offices?

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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