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How long does it take to begin doing business in Spain?

There is no need for big structures, nor branch offices, nor subsidiaries – you do not even need to invest a large amount of money – in order to do business in Spain. From a legal point of view, there is a much easier way of doing business in Spain without incurring great costs: this is by obtaining either a Non-Residents’ CIF (Corporate Tax Code) or a NIF (Non-Residents’ Tax Code).

Setting up a company in Spain involves a number of steps which can be complicated and may lead to delays in beginning operations; steps such as filing taxes, accounting procedures, company registration and employment obligations.

However, having a Non-Residents’ CIF allows the following operations to take place in Spain:

 How to obtain a Non-Residents’ CIF or NIF

These are the steps required to obtain a Non-Residents’ CIF or NIF:

It is therefore possible to get your company up and running in Spain within the space of seven or eight weeks.

Other important steps that must be taken, depending upon the type of company, include ROI/ VIES registration of the company’s VAT number for international validation within the European Union, and a delay on VAT payments for imported goods, which must be requested in November and takes three months to be conceded.

If the foreign country needs to take on employees in Spain, these workers must be registered with social security, alongside the Non-Residents’ Corporate Tax CIF number.

Once the above-mentioned paperwork has been completed, the company will then be registered with the Spanish Tax Authorities and will be able to file taxes and make the corresponding payments. Although tax obligations are set in accordance with the company’s activity, certain taxes such as VAT should be declared and settled, whereas corporate tax will not apply because the company does not have a permanent residence.

Once the company grows in Spain, increases the number of employees or rents an office or business premises, it will be time to consider whether it would make better legal sense to set up a limited company, which brings with it more tax and corporate obligations.

All of these steps require advice from a trusted Spanish business consultant who has in-depth knowledge of Spanish rules and regulations, with experience of setting up companies in Spain and who can work through the paperwork with ease.

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