A Guide to Taxes in Spain

It is vital to fully understand the Spanish tax system to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that you do not make inappropriate decisions with regards to investments, business and private transactions. Not knowing the system is not an excuse and a bad decision made in ignorance can lead to higher taxes in the future or even fines and penalties.

Here is a simple guide to some of the key taxes which may affect you whilst living, doing business or even just being on Holiday in Spain.

Self Employment in Spain

Starting up in business in Spain, requires careful consideration to ensure you meet all the compliance requirements. It's easy to get carried away and rush into starting up your business without taking the time to research into the Spanish environment, or even without seeking professional advice. It's amazing how many foreign residents in Spain will not take the same level of care in setting up their business in Spain as they would in their own country. Although Europe has been working towards harmonization for several decades there are still important differences in the amount of compliance obligations imposed on businesses, so its vital that you are fully informed before you start trading.

Employing Staff in Spain

Most businesses will at some point in their growth need to employ staff. Unfortunately, doing so in Spain is complicated by very strict labour laws and regulations, so it's important to be fully informed and confirm with your payroll adviser before taking this step.

Starting a Business

Starting a business is an exciting, yet daunting process. If you are planning to operate in Spain make sure you have all the essential information before you start. Take things slowly so you can be sure to take the best route for your particular circumstances. To get you started we have answered the most commonly asked questions:

Before you start trading, you need to register with the tax authorities.

Finance - Banking

The number of banks has increased considerably over the last few years. There are two main types of bank in Spain, clearing banks and savings banks. In the latter category Spain has over 80 savings institutions called "cajas", in Spanish, which were originally charitable organisations granting loans for public interest and agricultural policies. They comprise co-operative savings banks whose members are agricultural co-operatives, although they play only a small part in Spain's banking system and hold just a few percent of total bank assets.


If you are buying property in Spain, investing or starting a business, or making a will (among other reasons), you should definitely employ the services of an experienced lawyer. You will find that fees are generally lower than those charged by lawyers in northern European countries and when preparing contracts involving a sum of money, (ie property purchase), fees are calculated as a percentage of the sum involved.

Professional Advisors

There are various legal and professional advisors in Spain that you may need if you purchase property or decide to become a resident. This section is intended to help you understand what the role of different professions is and how they can help you.


Every year Andalucía welcomes thousands of tourists, business people and new residents from other countries. Although many have a good understanding of the Spanish language, at one time or another they will usually all need the services of either a translator, who converts the written word of one language into another, or an interpreter who does the same with the spoken word.

Interpreting services

Every year Andalucía welcomes thousands of tourists, business people and new residents from other countries. Although many have a good understanding of the Spanish language, at one time or another they will usually all need the services of either a translator, who converts written texts from one language into another, or an interpreter who does the same with the spoken word.


Living in a foreign country is a wonderful and enriching experience, which requires that you understand the local customs and ways of doing things - these may be considerably different from what you've experienced in your home country.

Data Protection

If you are living, working or running a business, club, association, community or any other organisation in Andalucia, you are advised to understand data protection law as it applies to you. “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence” according to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.

Hotels - Business and Wellness Packages

Andalucia is known around the world as a top destination for business meetings, conferences, seminars and trade fairs. World-class hotel facilities provide the ideal venues for every kind of business gathering with meeting facilities, cutting edge business centres, on-site catering and a full range of spa and wellness facilities.

Recent trends in business travel combine work, pleasure, health and well being in exclusive hotel packages designed to not only plan and carry out high quality conferences, but also to provide luxury incentives to those who attend.

Technology Parks

There are several important business and technology parks in Andalucia. They are located outside the main cities of Andalucia. Each one has a different industry sector focus.

Business Networking Organisations

Business networking is an increasingly popular concept in Andalucia. It is particularly useful within English speaking where local, mutually beneficial business relationships can seem thin on the ground and often take years to establish. Here is a outline of the main business networking organisations in Andalucia.

Invoicing - the process

Invoicing is a key part of doing business and most experienced business-people believe they know all there is to know about producing a sales invoice. However, it is surprising to see how many companies' invoices do not meet the minimum requirements. Whether you are just starting in business, or have been invoicing for years, double check that you know the key information and are following all the rules. Here's an overview:

Foreign Exchange

Clearly, the foreign exchange needs of a business differ a great deal from those of the individual. Depending upon your type of business, you might only have to make periodic, large transfers on short notice. Or maybe your business is an international concern making it susceptible to fluctuations in worldwide exchange rates. Perhaps the nature of your business means that you can plan money transfers well ahead of time, thereby making it possible to minimise the costs of such transactions through intelligent forward planning.

Financial Professionals

The individual relationships that develop with financial professionals are very important for the business client because it will be an ongoing one which can rely as heavily upon personal interaction as upon the level of service that the professional provides. Therefore, your choice of a foreign exchange company is an even more important one. Before making any selection, there are a number of basic questions that you will need to ask.

Corporate Events

Andalucia is an excellent location for any corporate event, from team-building to incentive trips. With a wide variety of destinations, from cities to beachfront to countryside, all enjoying a superb climate, with year-round sunshine.

Conference Centres

There are numerous purpose-built conference centres and exhibition centres in Andalucia with all the supporting facilities one would expect. They are usually owned by their respective town halls.

Many of the hotels in Andalucia and on the Costa del Sol offer conference and exhibition facilities in comfortable surroundings.

Business Services

Find the information about business services in Andalucia. Whether you are visiting or living in Andalucia.