Business Setup

If you want to set up a limited company in Spain, there is a defined path to follow. We will go into more detail shortly, but the process works like this.

  • Ensure you have a foreigner’s tax identification number (NIE)

  • Register the company name with the Mercantile Registry (Registro Mercantil Central or RMC)

  • Get a company tax identification number (CIF)

  • Open a business bank account

  • Sign the deed of incorporation

  • Register the company

  • Register for social security

Licenses and permits

Before setting up a business in Spain, all resident and non-resident foreigners with financial affairs in Spain must have a foreigner’s tax identification number (NIE). The NIE is essential for any fiscal transactions in Spain, such as incorporating a company. If you are a Spanish national, you will have a NIF rather than a NIE number. Applications for a NIE can be made at a processing office for foreign citizens (Oficina de Extranjeros) at a national Spanish police station (comisaría).

You can find out how to apply for an NIE with our full guide to the Spanish NIE number.

Registering your business in Spain

The first step in setting up a limited company is to obtain a certificate to verify that the company name you want to use is not already taken. This is called a no-name coincidence certificate and is available from The Mercantile Registry (RMC). You can do this by yourself through the RMC website. This step takes about three days before you receive the answer from the RMC by courier.

Setting up a business bank account in Spain.

After you have obtained a tax code and the certificate of no-name coincidence for a limited business, you will need to open a business account with a Spanish bank and make a deposit of €3,000. This is the minimum share capital allowed when setting up a limited company.

Deed of incorporation

You will now need to apply for the deed of incorporation to establish your company. This is the official document that states the key details of the company (name, address, details of directors, board members, shareholders, etc.).

You can arrange a local notary appointment to sign the deed of incorporation. You can find the nearest one in your area at This step lasts about one to three days depending on the notary.

You must supply the notary with original documents and photocopies of:

  • Tax form 036

  • Your certificate from the Mercantile Registry

  • Your NIE

  • Evidence of having cash in your bank account

  • Registering the deed of incorporation

With the original deed of incorporation obtained from the notary, you should then go to the Local Government Tax Authority to register it. The deed will be stamped certifying this fact. This step should not take longer than two hours. Do not forget to take with you your original documentation and photocopy of the deed and your NIE.

You will then need to take the stamped deed to the RMC where it will be registered in the Spanish Register of limited companies. It should take around 15 days for the deed to be registered and original documents returned.

Finally, you will need to return to the tax office to obtain the permanent Corporate Tax Identification Number (CIF) after the completion of the incorporation process.

Newly incorporated companies must use the 036 form used to request a tax identification number; to describe their business activity, and disclose other business details. Do not forget to take along the original and photocopy of the deed and NIE.

Tax and social security considerations

As mentioned above, your company will need a tax number. To obtain this, you will need to complete the tax form 036; this can be done online or by hard copy, delivered to your local tax office. You can find information about the form, along with form downloads and links to completing online, at the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria).

If you make the application in person at your local tax office, bring the original and a photocopy of your NIE (numero identificacion extranjero).

To register for social security when starting a business in Spain, you will need to take along your deed of incorporation, NIE, CIF, and form TA 0521 (which can be obtained from your local social security office).


To learn more about the private affairs of citizens under civil law click here.