Empresa (set up a company in Spain as a foreigner)Empresa (set up a company in Spain as a foreigner)

Many people travel with the intention of undertaking a project and starting a business in Spain, which raises many questions about how this process should be carried out as a non-Spanish citizen. In this post we will focus on becoming a partner in a Spanish company.

In this post, we explained the requirements for setting up your company, which are the same for any person, but in the case of foreigners, a previous step is required.


Processing of the NIE

To become a partner of a company, a compulsory requirement is to have a Foreigner's Identification Number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero; NIE). The NIE is a document that grants a personal number to the non-Spanish citizen, unique and exclusive, in order to identify him/her and for his/her economic, personal or social interests related to Spain. The process for acquiring the NIE varies depending on where the foreigner is located and whether he/she is an EU citizen or a non-EU citizen.

First of all, it is important to know that the procedures can be carried out in person or through a representative. If the NIE application is made by a representative, this representation will only be valid if it is carried out by means of a power of attorney.

Secondly, if the foreigner is in Spain, the procedures can be carried out directly at any Oficina de Extranjería (Immigration Office) or Dirección General de la Policía (Directorate General of Police). If the foreigner is not in Spain, the procedures must be carried out at the Spanish Consular Office in the country where the non-Spanish citizen intending to obtain the NIE is residing. Another option for foreigners who are not in Spain is to make a power of attorney in their country so that a representative can present the application in Spain, and this power of attorney must be duly legalised or apostilled, and translated if it is in a language other than Spanish.


European Union NIE

In the case of EU citizens, a certificate of registration as a citizen of the Union must be obtained. This certificate grants a NIE to the EU citizen, which is permanent and for life, i.e. it has no expiry date.

  • If the EU citizen is not resident in Spain, or does not wish to reside in Spain for more than three months, but requires the NIE in order to incorporate his or her company, the following documentation must be submitted:
  • Proof of appointment
  • Form EX - 15
  • Copy of the foreign passport or national identity card.
  • Payment of Form 790 fees.
  • Statement of reasons for obtaining the NIE. In this case, it will be for the incorporation of a company. It is advisable to have the certificate of the company name, as well as a notarial certificate containing the declaration of the interested party of obtaining the NIE on the occasion of the incorporation of a company.

In the event of residence for more than three months, the interested party must submit the following documentation:

  • Proof of the appointment
  • Form EX - 18
  • Copy of the passport or foreign national identity card.
  • Payment of Form 790 fees.
  • Proof of financial means. This varies according to the circumstances of the interested party, but if they do not have any work activity in Spain, it is essential to have public or private health insurance valid in Spain, as well as sufficient annual income to support themselves. The approximate reference amount is 6,000 euros.


NIE for non-EU nationals

A non-EU national must be legally resident in Spain, as it is not possible to obtain a NIE in an irregular situation. In order to incorporate a company as a non-EU national, the following documentation is required:

  • Criminal record certificate from the country of origin, apostilled and translated.
  • Birth certificate, apostilled and translated.
  • Copy of a full passport and a visa with a minimum duration of four months.
  • Proof of financial means
  • Model EX - 07
  • Payment of Form 790 Fees

In short, any foreigner can set up a company after obtaining the corresponding NIE that allows them to be a partner in it, but in the case of non-EU nationals it is necessary to present the documentation for obtaining the self-employed work permit.

As this is a complex issue, we will deal with the administrator status of foreigners, both EU and non-EU nationals, in another post.

If after reading this post you still have any doubts, or you need to obtain a NIE and need some help with it, do not hesitate to contact our team of lawyers and managers.

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