If you are an entrepreneur and want to
start a business in Spain as a foreigner,
you will be interested in all the legal aspects that this post deals with, and that you must take into account when starting your business. Take note of all these recommendations and procedures so that your entrepreneurial adventure becomes a reality successfully.

Undertaking in Spain as a foreigner means carrying out the same procedures and enduring the same legal tax conditions as a Spanish citizen,but there are a number of additional procedures that every foreign self-employed person must carry out when setting up their own business.

The first step when setting up a company from scratch is the creation of a business plan that has enough investment for you to start your activity as a foreign freelancer.

In addition, if in your case it is a profession with certification, that degree must be approved in Spain,since it will be an enforceable requirement. This is the case, for example, if you want to open a medical consultation.

Also, for the constitution of a limited company by foreigners,

you will be required that, together with the specific investment for your business, you have a sufficient amount for your expenses (€ 532 / month) additional for each family member you have in your charge (€ 260 / month).

What documents do you need to become a foreign freelancer anymore?

Once your business plan has been accredited by a competent professional entity, the step to be undertaken in parallel will be that you obtain your NIE(Foreigner Identity Number),for which you apply for the residence and self-employment permit.

By going to the government delegation, you will process your application for self-employment authorization.

Once the document has been stamped, within approximately three months, you must have applied at the Spanish Consulate of your country of origin for a work visa. From that moment, you can carry out your activity.

The constitution of a limited company by a foreigner will be the most common option when establishing your business,but we recommend that you consult our team of
specialized advisors
about the types of commercial companies existing in Spain and which is the most suitable in your case.

The provisional authorization that you will have to process is granted for one year and differs from the authorization that any foreign person has to work in Spain as an employee.

Meanwhile, if as a foreign self-employed you decide to continue with the activity of the company, you can renew said provisional authorization for a period of two years,repeating at the end of that period. At the end of those four years, you will no longer need to renew your application.

All these legal procedures will not need to be done if your residence permit is permanent,in which case you must carry out the same as any citizen of Spain.

How to own a business without a permanent residence permit?

To set up your own business and be the owner, you will be required to have that residence and self-employment authorization.

The requirements when it comes to the constitution of a limited company by foreigners vary depending on whether you are a European citizen or a non-EU immigrant.

In the first case, the agreements in force between Member States of the European Union would apply to you, which establish that any EU citizen has the right to create their own company in any country, as well as a branch or subsidiary.

To these procedures that you must start to set up a business in Spain as a foreigner, there are other requirements that you will have to meet to issue your residence and self-employment authorization:

  • Duplicate form of the EX-07 application,correctly completed and signed at the Spanish Consular Office.
  • Copy of the valid passport, with at least 4 months of validity.
  • Pay residency and work fees within 10 business days. Currently, they amount to 195.88 euros for the authorization of self-employment, and 10.50 euros for the residence authorization.
  • Certificate of criminal record.
  • Medical certificate.
  • Proof of payment of the visa fee.

If I am in an irregular situation in Spain, is it possible to set up a business?


To set up a business in Spain as a foreigner in an irregular situation (without papers), the first thing will be to regularize your situation or return to your country of origin, in order to obtain the authorization that allows you to become a foreign self-employed in Spain.

There is a social rooting requirement to be met: having lived in Spain for at least three years.

If this is not your case, you must also obtain your visa through the Spanish consulate of your country and return to Spain in less than three months.

Once registered in the Social Security, you must process your NIE within a month.


As you can see, to set up a business in Spain as a foreigner it is necessary to obtain the necessary documentation to comply with all the procedures and requirements to which any citizen, regardless of their origin, is exposed.

If you need more information about it, you can contact any of our advisors so that we can help you.