Before you can open a branch of your company or a subsidiary in Spain, you need to decide what legal form your business will take. There are several options available to foreign businesses, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we will outline some of the key legal considerations you need to be aware of before opening a branch of your company in this country. However, we strongly advise you seek professional counselling before doing it.

Are branch and subsidiary the same thing?

First of all, we have to make this clear: no, a branch and a subsidiary company are not the same. It is true that both of them are ways of setting up your business in Spain, but they are very distinct. Both, legally and logistically speaking. So, we will see the differences and try to find the perfect option for your case.

Setting up a branch in Spain

The branch office is a dependent establishment of you existing company, know as “parent company”. So, it will be a permanent installation with limited autonomy in the Spanish territory dependent from the main company. This means that the branch is not a legal entity itself and cannot take its own decisions. The parent company is always going to be responsible for everything and the branch do not have company responsibilities in Spain. So, this option does not have limited liability protection, but it is the easiest and cheapest way of establishing your business in this country.

How to open a branch in Spain

The process starts in your company’s board of directors. You need to take the decision there and writing an authorization to open a branch in Spain. You will also need to name a representative, giving that person the authority through a power of attorney to make the constitution procedure.

The branch owner will need an identification number. After getting one, opening a bank account in Spain is needed. Once that is done, the next step is signing the public deed before the notary. All the documents required must be deposited at the Mercantile Registry. And, once you are given the Tax Identification Number (NIF), you have to register the company in the business census and notify the city hall.

Opening a subsidiary company in Spain

This is the other main option you have to set up your business in Spain: establishing a subsidiary. This is a separate legal entity from your company abroad. This means it has all the company responsibilities required in Spain. But, this also means it has limited liability protection, so your personal assets will not be at risk. Nor the main company assets.

So, the subsidiary is owned by your foreign company, but it is a separate legal entity with limited liability. 

How to open a subsidiary in Spain?

Opening a subsidiary in Spain is not complicated, specially if you have the ideal lawyers by your side.

You will need to obtain a certification of your proposed company’s name from the Mercantile Register (it will prove the name is not already taken in the country). You also need to apply for an identification number and open a bank account in Spain. You will have to deposit a minimum of 3.000 euros as the initial capital for the subsidiary.

You will have to sign a declaration you are not laundering money or financing terrorism, execute a public deed of the constitution of the subsidiary before the notary and register the company in the Commercial Registry.

Before all of this, you will also have to write the company bylaws in accordance with the Spanish Law. And there are other forms you may need to fill in order to make your subsidiary a reality, depending on the case.

Which one is better: branch or subsidiary?

The answer for this question is: it depends on the specific case. As we said before, both options have advantages and disadvantages. You should take all of them into account and make a decision helped by your lawyer.

If the business is going to be really dependent on the parent company, it may be better to create a branch. Easier to control everything from the main company and cheaper to have, without any initial capital needed. 

However, if you need a more autonomous office with liability responsibility, a subsidiary is the way to go. And it may have other additional benefits from operating as a company with legal status in the country.

How can we help you?

We have the lawyers that have the answer of the question above. Which is the best option for your company? A branch or a subsidiary? We will study your case and give you the best advise for you to have a good experience expanding your company to Spain. We will make the process really easy, taking every step you need to settle you company in our country. Do not hesitate to contact us to make your Spanish branch or subsidiary a reality!

Are you considering creating a business in Spain? Spain is a demanded territory for investors because of its market and the current acts that have been past in the last year facilitating the creation of new companies. The good weather and the lifestyle are also alluring.

The process of setting up a business in Spain is not complicated, but it has to follow every step needed before each public authority with the documentation required in the exact time limit. In order to get your business created without any surprise you should rely on professionals in this area.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about getting a business started in Spain as a foreigner, but you would need to contact us so we can help you doing it right.

Who is entitled to start a business in Spain?

Almost anybody can start a business in this country. There is no difference whether you are a foreigner or a local citizen. Nonetheless, it is true you are required to be a legal resident in the country and we allow to work here.

If you are part of the European Union (or other countries with the same rights in Spain), you can get a NIE (foreigner identification number) and you are already entitle to work and live in Spain. So you can start your own business too.

If you are not from the European Union, you have to ask for a visa. It can be a working visa or an entrepreneur visa.

Which kind of companies can I start?

You can create a brand new business here or you may extend your business opening a branch or a subsidiary here. There are many ways (with very different responsibilities) of doing so: you can work as a freelance or solo trader, create a limited liability company, a branch office or even a stock corporation. You have to find with your lawyer the perfect option for your situation.

How to start the company?

If you are becoming a freelancer or a solo trader is really easy: you get your identification number and ask to start the adventure. However, if you are creating a company is going to be more complicated. We will go step by step.

1. Getting a NIE (Foreigner Identification Number)

It is required by the Spanish laws to get this number. It is used to identify you and for paying taxes. You will need it to create the company.

2. Certificate of “no coincidence”

You have to ask if the name of the business is available in Spain. You need to get a certificate of “no coincidence”.

3. Writing the bylaws

You write the bylaws of the company paying attention to the Spanish laws and incorporating any requirement.

4. Opening a bank account

A Spanish bank account is mandatory. It is also needed a minimum of 3.000 € deposit for the creation of the company if it is a Limited Liability Company (SL) the one you are creating. If it is a branch of your current business abroad, you do not need to make any investment, but you do need the bank account anyway.

5. Constitution

With all the documents you already have, you will go to the Notary and sign the public deed of the constitution.

6. Register the company

The next steps have to do with registration of the company. You should do so in the Tax Agency, Social Security and the Commercial Registry. You will also get the final Tax Identification Number (CIF) for your company.

In Spain, you have the possibility of having a digital certificate. This will make any process easier, because you will be able to sign important papers from your own computer. It is recommended you get it as soon as you can.

Bear in mind that everything explained above does not come without a cost. You will need to pay several taxes for almost every step. It is true that they are not huge expenses, but you will need to be paying them at the same time you are filling all those documents and submitting them in the right time. The best option in order to not be bother with the administrative stuff, as well as being calm knowing that everything is in expert hands is hiring the lawyers that know you to do it.

We have English speaking lawyers specialised in Business Law and extensive experience setting up companies in Spain. We work in a flexible way and without any unnecessary costs. Our rates are close, so you will know from the fist day exactly how much it is going to be to start you know business here in Spain. We will help you with everything you need. You just need to let us know you we can do it!


Whenever you have concerns going on in a different country, language may be a barrier. Law can be complicated and intimidating, especially for those who do not speak the language. We are willing to make it easier for you and your needs in Spain. Helping people from other parts of the world is what brought us to have English speaking lawyers in Barcelona and Madrid to do the services you need in Spain.

Our offer of legal services in Spain is quite fresh: we find the best talent and use the latest technology. And we do so in a flexible way and without any unnecessary costs. So, you will find a professional that knows the Spanish law but speaks the same language as you do. This lawyer will be able to explain the legal terminology to you in a way that you will be able to understand. This can help you to make informed decisions about your case and ensure that you are taking the right steps to protect your legal rights.

When could you need our lawyers?

If you would like to move to Spain, bring your family or do anything business related, you will need legal advise and, most likely, a lawyer itself. Even if you have a misunderstanding when you are taking a walk through our streets, it is advisable to have someone to call. Someone that speaks a language you can speak too.

So, the best way to go is to find a lawyer that can be in charge of everything you need. This way, you will have all your time to settle in the country or do your business, without worrying about bureaucratic stuff. You can sign a power of attorney, so it will allow your lawyer to act in you name.

You will be able to relax and keep your mind where you need it while we will be taking care of your legal procedures.

The lawyer can help to ensure that all legal documents are translated properly, so that you can understand the full implications of what you are signing and making sure you understand everything at every step of any process.

In which areas can we help you?

Our strong point is not just what we do, but how we do it. We select the best lawyers for the matter you need. We do not bill by the hour, we charge with closed and transparent rates. And we work with flexibility and using the latest technology, offering digital services. So you can be properly advised from any part of the globe you are in.

For example, if you are moving to Spain or you are already living here, you will need a lawyer who can help you with the visa, residency and citizenship process. We will also advise you on the legal requirements for working and living in Spain too.

Buying a house may be the next step for you, so real estate law is another area in which an English-speaking lawyer can be highly beneficial. We can help you with the purchase or sale of a property. Family law is another area where our English-speaking lawyers can offer significant value. We can help with child custody arrangements, divorce proceedings and other legal issues related to family matters.

Business law is a crucial area for all business owners, regardless of whether they are based in Barcelona, Madrid or elsewhere in Spain. We will be counselling the setting up of your business in the country and anything else needed. And all these areas are always going to be linked to the tax law. We can help you understand the intricacies of Spanish tax law, including the different types of taxes, tax requirements for non-residents and tax compliance for businesses operating in Spain. We will guide you to avoid any penalties.

We are highly specialized in different types of industries such as Artificial Intelligence, Gaming, Startups, Entrepreneurs, Venture Capital and Alternative Markets. However, as we said before, we select the best lawyers for the task, so we will have the ideal professional for you.

Why should you chose our company?

Because we think our expertise and our language skills are exactly what you need. We have the balance of knowledge from the international world (and other countries realities) and we also have deep understand of the Spanish legal system.

So our aim having English speaking lawyers in Barcelona and Madrid is not only to eliminate cultural and linguistic barriers (making sure you are properly assisted), but also you have a lawyer that fully understand your case. Knowing more about the Law in other countries, makes easier the task of advising a person who has that background and it will be effortless for you to understand how the things work here, avoiding conflicts of laws (or having the tools to navigate through them).

So, we have proactive English speaking lawyers in Barcelona and in Madrid, that can find legal solutions for anything you need related with your legal process, but also we will provide valuable insight into the cultural nuances that may arise during the case. We make sure our services are based on clear communication, legal expertise and cultural understanding. Do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you with anything you need. We are ready to help you navigate the complexities of our system and ensure your legal rights are protected.

In today's business world, legal administration is essential for the success of any company. Business law firms require legal support to ensure that their clients' corporate affairs are in order. At our law firm, we offer corporate legal administration services that provide comprehensive solutions for business law firms. Our services include secretarial services for shareholder meetings and board of directors, corporate domiciliation, legalization of commercial books, and corporate agreements.

Secretarial Services for Shareholder Meetings and Board of Directors

Our legal administration services include secretarial services for shareholder meetings and board of directors. We provide support for companies to ensure that their meetings are conducted in accordance with legal requirements. Our team of legal professionals ensures that meeting minutes are accurately recorded, and all necessary documentation is filed.

Corporate Domiciliation

We provide corporate domiciliation services for businesses that need a legal address for their operations. Our services include the provision of a legal address, mail management, and the management of legal documentation.

Legalization of Commercial Books

Our legal administration services also include the legalization of commercial books. We ensure that all legal documentation, including accounting books, is correctly legalized and filed. Our team of legal
professionals ensures that all documentation is in compliance with legal requirements.

Corporate Agreements

Our legal administration services also include the drafting and review of corporate agreements. Our team of legal professionals ensures that all agreements are in compliance with legal requirements and that they protect the interests of our clients.

Our corporate legal administration services offer comprehensive solutions for business law firms. We provide secretarial services for shareholder meetings and board of directors, corporate domiciliation, legalization of commercial books, and corporate agreements. Our team of legal professionals ensures that all legal documentation is in compliance with legal requirements and that our clients' interests are protected. Contact us today to learn more about our services.


Oficinas en Barcelona
Calle Travesera de Gracia, 30
Planta 3C
08021, Barcelona (España)

Oficinas en Madrid
P.º de la Castellana, 163,
28046, Madrid (España)
911 98 98 64
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