How to operate in Spain simply with a VAT number

How to operate in Spain simply with a CIF numberDid you know you that it is possible to legally start trading in Spain in a matter of weeks? You do not need to set up a company, the only thing you need is a Non-Resident’s Tax Code. Find out how to obtain this NIF de no Residentes here.

What paperwork is required in order to apply for a Non-Resident’s Tax Code?

Any foreign individual or legal entity wishing to carry out business within the Spanish VAT territory must apply for a Non-Resident’s Tax Code. This is acquired via the 036 form entitled “Census statement of registration, modification or cancellation in the census of entrepreneurs, professionals and withholders.”

If the individual applying for a Non-Resident’s Tax Code does not already have a Spanish tax number then they must request one via form 030 “Census statement of registration in the census of taxpayers, change of address and/or variation of personal data.”

Both forms are available in English here.

So, what documentation do you need to provide so as to obtain a Non-Resident’s Tax Code?

Apart from the two forms mentioned above, the Spanish Tax Authorities will also need to see the following documents:

  • A document certifying the existence of the company in the foreign country. This document can be a deed of incorporation or the articles of incorporation registered with an official register in the home country or a certificate provided by a Notary Public or a tax authority registration form that certifies the company’s existence.
  • Photocopy of the NIF card belonging to the legal representative signing the 036 form on behalf of a foreign entity. The person whose signature appears on the 036 form must attach a copy of their own tax identification number issued by the Spanish Tax Authorities.
  • Photocopy of the document which certifies that the person signing the form has sufficient powers to do so. As well as the above two documents, it is important to prove that the person requesting the Non-Resident’s Tax Code on behalf of a foreign entity has the authority to do so. This power may already be evident in the document which certifies the company’s existence, in which case no other evidence is required.

These documents must be legalised with the Apostille from the Hague Convention and translated by a sworn translator or via the Spanish Embassy or Consulate.

How to obtain a Non-Resident’s Tax Code as a foreign business

As we explain in this video, there are a few simple steps that a foreign company needs to take in order to get a Non-Resident’s Tax Code and begin working in Spain:

  • Issue a power of attorney in favour of LEIALTA. This power of attorney is a public statement that is authorized before a Public Notary and which will allow LEIALTA to act on behalf of the foreign company to obtain a Non-Resident’s Tax Code. The power of attorney must include the following details:
  • It must be issued by the governing body of the foreign company (be they the Board of Directors, Managing Director, sole administrator or joint administrators).
  • Include all the necessary powers to allow the steps to be taken to obtain a Non-Resident’s Tax Code and an electronic signature.
  • It must name a lawyer from LEIALTA as the legal representative of the company in Spain. The tax representative must hold his or her tax domicile in Spain and live in this country for at least 183 days of the year.
  • It must also mention the company name, business address, the full name of the person signing for the company, the role that they hold in the company and since when, the identification details of the representative (in this case, the partner from LEIALTA) and a definition of the powers granted and for what purpose. Obtain a document that certifies the existence of the company in the foreign country.
  • All documents must be certified with the Apostille from the Hague Convention and should be sent to the LEIALTA’s offices in Spain.
  • All documents must be translated by an official translator.
  • Then submit all the documentation with the 036 form mentioned above in order to be given a Non-Resident’s Tax Code.

If the foreign company wishes to employ staff in Spain, they must also enrol with the Spanish Social Security as well as obtaining a Non-Resident’s Tax Code.

What Spanish taxes should be paid by a non-resident foreign company?

In this video we talk you through the tax responsibilities of a foreign company working with a Non-Resident’s Tax Code in Spain.

The foreign company will not need to file or pay certain direct taxes such as Corporate Income Tax because it is not considered to have a permanent presence in Spain.

However, they must pay other indirect taxes such as VAT. These taxes are filed either monthly or quarterly (in April, July, October and January) and annually (in January a consolidated tax return is filed).

It is clear that one easy way to begin trading in Spain is through a Non-Resident’s Tax Code. You can start working in Spain within a short period of time without having to fulfil all the fiscal, employment and business obligations that come with setting up a branch office or a subsidiary.



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