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Starting your own business in Spain

If you are moving to Spain then you have probably heard that the job market is very difficult at the moment. There are some jobs available in customer service, telemarketing or as a waiter, but apart from that it is very difficult to find jobs in Spain.

Many entrepreneurs have started their own business in Spain. Unfortunately, there are who do not dare to think outside the traditional patterns and end up starting a bar, restaurant or a real estate company.

Choice of Business Sector

When starting a business in Spain then you must decide what type of market you want to address to. If you have an education such as hairdresser, then it is easiest for you to target the market that speaks your own language. You can then usually charge a higher price for your services than what is common among the Spanish customer groups. Thus you are no longer competing on price but on language. Many Expats who move to Spain or are living in Spain during the winter speak little or no Spanish at all and therefore prefer to use English speaking services and professionals so that they do not have communication problems and misunderstandings. You may live a good life as self-employed in Spain with English customers.

Among the most successful Expats companies you will find here are hairdressers, dentists, grocery stores, brokers and various other artisans.

Accountant - Gestor in Spain

To start your own business, it pays to use a Gestor or Economista that can help you to register the firm and do the accounting. Spanish bureaucracy is very extensive and regulations for accounting and reporting is constantly changing. Just to receive a form in another language becomes much easier if you have a Spanish accountant helpng you out. It is also recommended to attend a Spanish class, which will make it easier for you to deal with suppliers and communication with the authorities.

The choice of corporate form in Spain

In principle there are three different types of corporate froms that might be worth to choose from: -Autonomo means that you are self-employed. The taxes are about 21 percent of all your income and in addition you need to pay social seguridad so that you are entitled to health care in the Spanish health care system. The amount of Social seguridad follow steps that are dependent on your age - between 180 and 360 euros per month.
-S.L. is a limited corporation. You pay tax on company profits. For all employees in the company need to pay their Social Seguridad as well as a payroll tax which is quite high, about 30 percent of their salary.
-There is also a corporate form where more than one person enters as personally liable to the company. For a married couple to run a business together this can be an advantage in saving taxes.

It is advisable to speak with a Gestor for selecting the type of company that is best suited for your business activities

Business premises for rent in Spain

Centro Nordico located on the border between Mijas and Fuengirola in the Malaga province. The center was designed to contain different types of small businesses and shops. Therefore you will find only smaller premises and offices here, mixed with some larger storage areas. The center currently has a few vacancies for small business. See www.centronordico.com for more information.

Buying a business in Spain

An alternative is to buy an up and running business instead of starting up a business from scratch. There are both advantages and disadvantages with this.

To start an own business is both time-consuming and bureaucratic if you are not working as Autonomo from your own home. This is a good chance to get to know the Spanish maņana mentality and bureaucracy at its worst. We have seen examples of companies that have had to wait up to six months for both electricity, internet and telephone in their new premises. If, for example, you are renting an office or a or a shop you need to have something called Licencia de apertura, ie an opening license. Unfortunately, it is often the case that even if you have followed every rules it can take a very long time to get this opening license. This process can also last up to several months. So imagine the horror scenario that you first have to wait for 3 or 6 months in electricity or internet and then anonter 3 to 6 for the opening license. In the meanwhile, you have been paying rent on a busness premise that you don't have had any opportunity to use. It is also said that it can help to bribe the bureaucrats issuing opening licenses, although the police have been working to remove corrupt bureaucrats this can still be a problem.

Another disadvantage of buying a business is that you also inherit all liability from the previous owner. If the previous owner, for example, have any unpaid bills or if they have not paid all taxes or fees, you will take over these obligations. Other surprises that may lurk is if you take over a bar or restaurant you may find that the previous owners have done all the necessary technical improvements and installations that "FDA" and the municipality requires. It can be issues about about plumbing, wheelchair ramps, air conditioners and other required installations in the kitchen. Therefore you should always consult a professional in the industry to check that all is as it should before taking over a restaurant or bar.

Good luck with starting your own business in Spain.

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