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Spain

Takeovers

Updated 12/2012

Legal requirements

Do you wish to acquire an enterprise?

An enterprise is a source of wealth and job creation. We all want its existence to continue, grow, extend as far as possible.

A business owner may decide to transfer an enterprise to another individual for reasons which may vary widely: personal or professional: transfer of the business to children or heirs. To focus professional efforts in some other field, to generate resources for an investment, to pay down debt.

People wishing to acquire an enterprise act out of different interests: to embark on a corporate venture based on an existing business, to make an attractive investment, to break into a new market, to obtain a competitive edge for their company: size, intellectual property, presence in other countries, acquire a competitor.

An enterprise is a set of different elements in operation, with interconnections between them. An enterprise comprises: 1- Fixed assets: property, premises, buildings. Movable assets: furniture, computer equipment, machinery. 2- Intangible assets: patents, clientele, know-how, intellectual property, suppliers, contacts in other countries and others.

It is this set of elements which makes an enterprise, allows it to generate value.

The transfer of an enterprise to another person means passing on to that person this set of tangible and intangible assets. There are methods for this: sale, inheritance, donation, agreement, court award, comprehensive assignment of assets and liabilities of the enterprise.

When transferring the enterprise it is important to analyse its economic and asset situation. To establish its constituent elements. The economic valuation of the enterprise.

In order to transfer your enterprise you need to distinguish between two possible situations:

- A sole trader. The enterprise is transferred in various forms, for example by means of a sale agreement. It is desirable to sign a public deed before a notary in order to offer greater guarantees in the transfer. It is also vital to include a clear list of the company's elements.

The various elements of the company are transferred by means of this legal act. It is important to be aware of the administrative processes and regulations for the transfer of each element: property, premises, furniture, intellectual property, etc. The changes are subsequently recorded with the various public authorities: tax office, social security, official registers and others.

- A different situation applies to an enterprise with the legal status of a capital company for example a limited or public limited company. The company's capital is represented by stock units or shares. Transfer of the company is performed by transferring these shares or stock units by means of various forms of legal act or business, such as sale, inheritance, donation, court award. The regulations governing the transfer of shares and stock units are significant.

If a company has its shares listed on a securities market, such as the stock exchange consideration must be given to the regulations governing these markets and takeover bids.

Mergers of enterprises with company status also have their own regulations.

If the transfer involves significant changes to the enterprise, then it will often be recorded in the companies register.

In the case of acquisitions or mergers of large enterprises, market competition rules may come into play.

Retiring business owners need to plan the transfer of their business in advance.

Some standard requirements to be completed when taking over a business are the same as when setting up a new business.

Resources

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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