Starting a business in Spain: A guide for Indian residents with requirements, fees, and opening Spain business account

Aditya Shrivastava

Spain is a beautiful country with access to the European market, making it an attractive place to open a company. Indian citizens or residents who meet the requirements, like having an NIE, can consider opening a business in Spain. Entrepreneurs or startup founders can also look at specific visas by the Spanish government to establish a business in the country. Read on to learn more about the process of starting a company in Spain and what to expect.

Table of contents

Can you register a company in Spain from India?

Yes, you can technically register a company in Spain from India. However, you may be required to register as a non-resident and get a NIE, which is required for non-Spanish citizens. See more under the requirements section of this article.¹

If you have an existing business in India and don’t want to establish a separate business in Spain, you can look at opening a branch office in Spain. This means that the business would not have its own legal entity in Spain, so the parent company would be responsible for business or legal liabilities. A branch office would have to file with the Spanish Mercantile Registry.

Another option is that an Indian business can partner with company owners that are already set up in Spain. These can be set up as a:

  • Unión Temporal de Empresas (U.T.E.) (Temporary Joint Venture).
  • Agrupación de Interés Económico (A.I.E.) (Economic Interest Grouping).

Ultimately, all businesses must have a registered address and be registered in theMercantile Registry for the corresponding province in Spain. Freelancers or the self-employed may not be required to register with the Mercantile Registry. ²

Different types of companies in Spain

There are different types of company structures you can establish in Spain. Each one is suited for different operating sizes, number of partners, the ability for further investments, and business goals.

Here are common types of companies you can open in Spain:³ ⁴

  • Empresario Individual (Autónomo): This is for individual entrepreneurs. There’s no minimum capital requirement, but you will be responsible, or liable, for business debts.
  • Sociedad Anónima (S.A.): This is a public limited company and is best for larger businesses. An SA requires a minimum capital of €60,000 and shares can be issued. It's often used for companies that intend to go public or want to raise significant investments. This type of company must be filed with the Mercantile Registry.
  • Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S.L or S.R.L.): This is a limited liability company and is best for small to medium-sized businesses, including family-owned ones. The minimum share capital is €3,000 and partners are limited to their contributions. While an S.L. or S.R.L. must register with the Mercantile Registry, the process can be done online.

There are additional structures like a joint ownership or a non-stock corporation that can be opened. Consult with a Spanish business professional to identify the structure that is best for your company.

Requirements to start a Spanish company from India

The requirements to start a company in Spain can differ by the type of business you are starting, but here are some general steps to take:

  1. Apply for a Foreigner's Identification Number (NIE): This is a required number that a foreigner must have for professional or economic activities in Spain. A NIE may need to be issued in addition to a visa that allows you to live and work in Spain. ⁵
  2. Choose a business structure: Decide on the type of company you want to establish, such as Sociedad Limitada (S.L.) or Sociedad Anónima (S.A.). You may need to draft up contracts with partners, draft a charter and establish a residential address. A notary is likely to be required.
  3. Choose a company name: You will need to choose a unique company name for your business and register it with the Mercantile Registry. A name that already exists for a business in Spain is not allowed.
  4. Get a Tax Identification Code (CIF): After registration, the company must obtain a CIF from the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria).
  5. Open a bank account: There are a number of banks in Spain that let you open a business bank account. Compare options to find one that fits your business.
  6. Meet tax reporting obligation: To get started on the right food, ensure that you are complying with Spanish tax laws and requirements. A local Spanish lawyer and accountant can be useful, especially if you are not in the country.
  7. Understand and comply with labour laws: Spain has specific laws when it comes to employees. Make sure you understand what they entail for contracts, wages and working hours. Also, ensure to register with the Spanish social security system.
  8. Apply for any required licenses or permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need specific licenses or permits from local or regional authorities.

There may be additional requirements and it is best to speak to a local lawyer or business professional to ensure you get everything you need to register a company in Spain.⁶

What does it cost to run a company in Spain

The costs to run a Spanish company are going to depend on the size of the business. If you are an entrepreneur or small business, your costs will generally be less than a corporation. While it is hard to say how much exactly, here are some general expenses businesses you can in Spain:

  • Salaries: Employee salaries tend to be a business’s largest expense. Spain has requirements for a minimum wage that must be met. The annual worker wage is roughly €15,108 gross salary per year. ⁷
  • Social Security contributions: For employers, social security contributions can be a large expense when compared to India. Employers typically contribute around 30% of an employee's salary for social security. ⁸
  • Office and maintenance: The cost of an office, whether purchasing or renting, can be high and its operating expenses should be factored into the budget. Prime locations in cities like Madrid or Barcelona are more expensive compared to smaller cities or rural areas.
  • Taxes: Ensure you pay the required national taxes including VAT (Value Added Tax), local taxes, and other business-related taxes.
  • Professional services: Having a local lawyer and accountant will be helpful, especially if you will be spending time away from Spain. They can ensure compliance and have a better understanding of the local business, government and regulatory environment.
  • Licenses and Permits: Some businesses may require specific licenses or permits that need to be paid annually, which can add to the costs.

Starting costs for setting up the company

The total costs for starting a company can vary depending on the business. There are costs for registering your company and getting items notarized and you may have to pay for services like legal assistance during this process.

That being said, some may find the overall costs- not including the capital investment- to be lower than other countries. Here are some approximate costs for a few of the fees to expect:⁹

Type of feeCost in EurosCost in Indian Rupees*
Final registration costs€40 - €100₹3,615 - 9,039
Certificate of company name€14₹1,265
NIE processing fee€10 - €15₹904 - 1,356
Notary€200 - €400₹18,077 - 36,155
LawyerUp to €1,000 or more₹90,387

*As of 04 December 2023

Starting a business account for Spain company

Setting up a business bank account is an important step for entrepreneurs and business owners in Spain. A business bank account will allow you to make local payments, receive money and get financing if needed.

To start, you'll need to choose a bank that suits your business so consider factors like fees, ease of online or mobile banking, and the availability of communications in English if your Spanish is limited.

You are likely to be required to provide documents to open a business account, including personal identification, your NIE, and proof of address in Spain. You’ll also be asked to provide documentation related to your business, such as the articles of incorporation and company tax identification number. Some banks may also request a business plan or financial projections, especially if you are a new company.

Managing a business bank account from outside Spain may not be simple so it's important to be aware of the banking fees, international transfer fees, transaction costs, and any minimum balance requirements. You’ll also want access to the account easily so you can manage payments even if there is a time difference.¹⁰

If you want an easy way to manage multiple currencies for your business, check out the Wise business account.

Meet Wise Business

Starting a business can be hard enough, so get an international business account that makes making payments easier. The Wise business account lets you get paid in 9 global currencies, so your clients can pay in the currency that is most convenient for them. And when you need to make payments to suppliers or staff, a Wise business account can make payments to local bank accounts in 70 different countries.


Our online process lets you open and verify your Spain business account from India. With our customer support available in English and our commitment to providing a seamless digital experience, Wise offers an ideal alternative to traditional banks for your business abroad.

Business categories supported on Wise 👉

With a Wise business account, you can make transfers fast and get the same mid-market exchange rate you know from Wise. Join the over 300,000 businesses each quarter that use Wise Business and get everything you need to go global.

Moving to Spain from India

Any Indian passport holder who is looking to move to Spain will require a visa. While there are student or internship visas, a work visa will allow you to live and earn in the country. Here are the primary work visas for Spain for Indians:

  • Employee visa
  • Self-employed work visa
  • Visa for highly qualified workers and for intra-company transfers
  • Investor visa
  • Entrepreneur visa

An employee visa requires you to have already received an offer to work for a company in Spain and for a work contract to be in place. Indians who are eligible as highly qualified professionalsor members of senior management personnel to work as an employee in Spain can apply for the applicable visa.

Any Indians who are applying as self-employed will have to complete two stages of an application which includes showing qualifying professional experience, financial means and a plan for their stay in Spain. This is different from the entrepreneur visa which is covered in the next section.

To qualify for an investor visa you must meet the basic criteria which includes:

  • An initial investment of at least €2 million Euros in Spanish public debt securities.
  • One million Euros in stocks or shares in a Spanish company, or in investment or venture capital funds incorporated in Spain, or in bank deposits in Spain.
  • A real estate purchase of at least €500,000 Euros.

The Spanish embassy website provides a full list of all the visas available and details. ¹¹

Entrepreneur Visa Program in Spain

Entrepreneurs who are interested in moving to Spain can apply for an entrepreneur visa. The visa allows you and your family members to stay and work in Spain and is ideal for those who can show an economic contribution to the country. Here are some of the requirements to qualify:

  • Complete the visa application form.
  • Have a valid passport and photograph.
  • A favorable report by the Economic and Commercial Office in the consular district in India or from the Directorate-General for International Trade and Investments. The report must show that your business will help create jobs in Spain and a business plan.
  • Evidence that you have financial resources to support you and your family in Spain.
  • Criminal record check certificate.
  • Evidence of valid health insurance for Spain.

Meeting these requirements will not guarantee an entrepreneur visa and you will have to pay a visa fee which is near one lakh rupees. Contact your local Spanish consulate or embassy to understand more. ¹²

Please see the Terms and Conditions for your region and visit our pricing page for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information on Wise products.

This article is not intended to provide financial, legal, immigration or business advice. As each individual and business is unique, seek out professionals who can guide you through the policies and processes to set up a business abroad and help you decide if it’s the right decision for you.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Company registration
  2. Company registration 2
  3. Types of companies
  4. Types of companies 2
  5. Foreigner Identity Number (NIE).
  6. Starting a company
  7. Minimum wage
  8. Social security contributions
  9. How much does it cost to incorporate a company in Spain? – KLEV&VERA
  10. Empresas Bienvenida Account | BBVA
  11. Consular services
  12. Entrepreneur visa

Sources verified on 29 November 2023.

Cover photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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