Consultoria de empresa familiar

Starting a business in Spain: obtaining a digital certificate for a foreign company

Are you hoping to set up a business in Spain? Did you know that the lack of a digital certificate for that business could lead to a fine? Do you know the steps you need to take to obtain a digital certificate? If you have decided to build a business in Spain it is important you know how to get one. Here are our guidelines on what a digital certificate is, how it should be used and what steps you need to take to obtain one.

What is a digital certificate and what is it for?

A digital certificate provides a means to guarantee on a technical and legal level the identity of a person on the internet. Furthermore, it allows that person to electronically sign documents, proving the authenticity of their signature to the person receiving it.

Therefore, an electronic certificate is a digital signature that is registered on your browser and allows your identity to be guaranteed on the internet.

The digital certificate provides access to public entities such as Inland Revenue, Social Security and the Companies Register. Having this certificate allows you to make tax returns, sign documents and carry out other operations.

Who is obliged to have a digital certificate?

The Common Legal Framework and Administrative Procedure Act states which notifications and administrative communications require electronic means for their presentation before Inland Revenue. The obligatory electronic submissions are as follows:

Do you fall into one of these categories and don’t have a certificate? The consequences of not having a certificate are outlined below.

What happens if you don’t have a digital certificate?

Perhaps you are under obligation to communicate officially with Inland Revenue via a digital certificate but you are unaware of this. Or maybe you have been made aware of this obligation but are not heeding it. Either case could be considered a tax violation and could lead to a fine.

Tax violations are divided into three classes: minor, serious and very serious. The penalties that may arise are economic and could take the form of a monthly deduction of a fixed amount or could be a fine based upon the amount in question (for example, 20% of the tax due).

Moreover, Inland Revenue could take into consideration the following factors in order to further compound the fine, such as:

Covering up data. This happens when we do not file a mandatory declaration or when we do so with false information. For example, we fail to mention one source of income the company has had over a set period of time.

 Using false invoices or other fraudulent documentation

How can you obtain a digital certificate?

If you want to start up a business in Spain and obtain a digital certificate, you must follow these steps:

This certificate must also carry the Apostille of the Hague Convention and be translated by a legal translator.

It is also important to bear in mind the following:

Bearing in mind the above, it is important that you frequently access the notifications in order to avoid problems with Inland Revenue or a fine.

How can LEIALTA help?

Starting a business in Spain requires diverse procedures which imply an understanding of Spanish legislation and experience of working with Spanish Inland Revenue.

In LEIALTA, we can help in the following ways:

Do you need help starting a business in Spain? Look no further! Give us a ring!