15 Sep, 2010 @ 10:23
1 min read

Business red tape is triple in Spain

BUDDING entrepreneurs setting up businesses in Spain had better be patient.

A report by the World Bank has shown that it takes three times as long as setting up elsewhere in the western world.

The delay, the report says, is down to problems with the transfer of foreign money and the opening of bank accounts and registering with social security.

In Spain it takes an average of 61 days to get set up, compared with a mere 21 days in other countries which belong to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

And even for Spaniards it takes more than six weeks to start up a company, as opposed to less than two weeks in countries like France, the USA and Britain.

Where most countries have an option for registering a new company online, Spain does not offer this and the process takes around two weeks at the bank.

The World Bank says Spain has “excessively restrictive and obsolete laws” that stand in the way of foreign investment.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. “excessively restrictive and obsolete laws”

    Sounds right, no wonder the private sector in Spain is in such a mess. Spain should make it far easier to form companies and automate as much of the process online. That way, the economy might pick up a bit. Why is a supposedley first world country so backward on such basic things that have already been implemented in the rest of the EU? Duh.

  2. Assuming that this really refers to SLs, SAs and the other Spanish equivalents of UK models of incorporation, such as the Limited company, then I would say this…

    Do you really imagine that a serious foreign investor with proper plans to enter Spain and develop a market over the mid to long term will give a stuff whether it takes 61 days of 21 days on average to set up?

    In the grand scheme of things, it is very easy, some would argue ridiculously so, to set up a limited company in either the UK or Spain.

    Admittedly, it costs more in Spain, and is more long-winded.
    But maybe that it is no bad thing either. The UK system may make gaining limited company status easier and cheaper, but the veil of incorporation combined with the speed of the process and the mimimal costs, are also an invitation to crooks and the plain incompentent.

    As it is, most of the Brits that start a business in Spain do not trade as limited companies but as the Spanish equivalent of sole traders. Pick a reliable local gestor and bank and you can be up and running pretty quickly and painlessly. If you opt for a DIY approach to it, you have only yourself to blame.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Left stranded

Next Story

Another of Britain’s most wanted arrested in Spain

Latest from Business & Finance

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press