Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Spain. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Spain to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Obtain a certification of uniqueness of proposed company name (certificación negativa de la denominación social)

    Agency: Mercantile Register

    The Certification of Uniqueness of the Company Name is typically requested through the website of the Central Commercial Registry. If the certificate is not requested online, the final document can be obtained by (i) certified mail, (ii) through a notary and the notarial platform SIGNO; (iii) visiting the Central Commercial Registry; or (iv) courier. In all cases, the certificate is issued the following day.

    Once the Registry issues the certification, the requested corporate name will be reserved for a maximum of 6 months from the certification's date of issuance. Each certification of uniqueness of the corporate name is valid for 3 months from its date of issuance. Furthermore, once the certificate's validity has expired (3 months), the certificate can only be renewed once, after which a new certificate must be requested.

    2 days EUR 13.52 (excluding VAT)

    Open a company bank account, deposit capital and obtain a deposit certificate

    Agency: Bank

    In most cases, the entrepreneur deposits the amount of the contributions directly in the bank. Once this is done, the bank issues the relevant certificate evidencing the deposit has been done. However, the contributions can also be directly given to the notary public at the time of granting the deed of incorporation. In this scenario, the notary can deposit them in the company's bank account.

    1 day no charge

    File the Single Electronic Document (DUE) and make an appointment with a notary

    Agency: Help Desk for Entrepreneurs (PAE)

    All type of limited liability companies, regardless of the share capital or the number of shareholders can now start a business through CIRCE, the electronic platform of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. Through CIRCE, the entrepreneur completes a single registration form called DUE that is sent to the notary´s office, the commercial registry, the tax agency and the social security agency.

    The single registration form can be filed at any Help Desk for Entrepreneurs (PAE) or by the entrepreneur himself, in which case a digital signature is required. Once the DUE is sent, an appointment request is generated by the SIGNO system with the notary chosen for the execution of the public deed of incorporation.

    1 day no charge

    Obtain the registered public deed of incorporation and the fiscal identification number (CIF) before a public notary

    Agency: Public Notary

    Within a week approximately, the public deed is granted by the notary, the company is registered with the commercial registry, the tax authorities and the social security agency. Besides the granting of the deed that requires the physical presence of the founders, the rest of the procedures are completed electronically through CIRCE or SIGNO. Additionally, the CIRCE platform offers other services such as registration of personal data with the Spanish Data Protection Agency and request of the trade name of the company with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.

    Alternatively, on SIGNO (the online platform for notaries), the notary can complete other procedures such as obtaining the fiscal identification number, the registered public deed, and the final company name.

    7 days EUR 475 for the notary and EUR 252 for registration costs

    Payment of the municipal tax for urban services (tasa por prestacion de servicios urbanisticos)

    Agency: Bank

    Payment of the municipal tax ("tasa por prestación de servicios urbanisticos") is required before submitting the notification of start of operations ("declaración responsable"). The bank issues a receipt of payment.

    1 day EUR 414

    Submit a notification of start of operations (declaración responsable) to the Town Council

    Agency: Town Council

    The responsible declaration procedure is to be prepared in accordance with an official model, which will include the following circumstances: (i) identification of the owner of the activity; (ii) identification of the office's surface; (iii) identification of the activity declared; (iv) a representation granting that the activity is not undertaken in a building protected due to its cultural interest; and (v) that the activity does not imply the private use or occupation of public domain spaces and goods.

    This declaration will entitle the applicant to undertake the activity declared, subject to further control by physical inspection of the office by the local authorities or by the technical services of the private agencies authorized by the municipality, depending on to which of those entities the declaration has been filed with. This declaration can be filed with the Municipality in person, by mail or online through the CIRCE platform.

    Less than one day (online procedure) included in Procedure 5
    * 7

    Notify the Ministry of Labor and Industry of operations

    Agency: Dirección General Trabajo

    The corresponding autonomous community must be notified within the first 30 days of the start of activities and the opening of the workplace. Every autonomous community has its own form. Some require that work injury and safety documentation (corresponding to the specific business or workplace in question) be filed along with the forms. Other forms and documents might be needed depending on the workplace activities.

    Business founders can notify the Ministry of Labor and Industry online through the CIRCE platform.

    Less than one day (online procedure, simultaneous with previous procedure)
    no charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.