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.

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.


Looking for financial information dealing with Andalucia? Doing business in Andalucia can be a little intimidating, especially if you are new to the region or even new to Spain. Many of the laws are as different as the culture so it is always refreshing to know that you can find trusted information all in one place.

Finance - Investment Time Horizon

When deciding whether or not to invest in a financial product, "risk vs reward" is not the only factor to keep in mind. You also need to consider your investment's "time horizon", or how long it will be tied up. Indirectly, this factor is related to the "risk vs reward" consideration in that the higher the risk involved, the longer the investment's time horizon should be in order to ride out any market rollercoasters with a decent chance of finishing at an increased value.

Tax Planning Considerations

Offshore trusts and companies have in the past been used to structure individuals in a tax-efficient way or for inheritance reasons. However, due to the costs incurred by professional fees, this really is not a cost-effective option for assets below Euro 750,000.

Finance - Risk vs Reward

The most important point to keep in mind when choosing a financial product is that a risk category should be established before you select your investment vehicle. A headline rate of 10 per cent, for example, may be attractive, but the risk of the product must be fully understood before you decide whether or not the product is really right for you and your present financial situation.

When evaluating products, keep in mind that generally the higher the potential return, the higher the risk involved.

Finance - Pension Tax Savings

If you have not been resident in the UK for five years or intend not to be resident for five years, transferring your pension out of the UK can result in large UK tax savings. In certain circumstances you may also have access to 100% of your funds when transferring to an appropriate tax friendly country.

Offshore Financial Basics

September 11, 2001 changed the compliance enviroment throughout the global finance industry. Today, financial institutions follow the "Know Your Client" rule, commonly referred to as KYC. Therefore, you can expect to answer a number of questions in the process of setting up an account.

Offshore Finance

Offshore investing can be a highly attractive option for expatriate residents in Andalucia. Included in this section are neutral descriptions of all types of financial products currently on the market.

Offshore Mortgages & Lending

Offshore institutions are not normally user-friendly when it comes to loaning money. The institution often comes under the laws of the offshore jurisdiction and does not have the resources or expertise to lend funds in another location. Therefore, offshore institutions will probably specialise only in selected areas and fields.

Savings & Investments

Whether you are the first time investor looking for a basic saving programme or you are more experienced but wishing for an overview of all the available investment vehicles offered by offshore entities, you will find here pertinent information.

Single Premium Insurance

Many financial providers offer investment bonds, which are lump sum investments managed by a life company. Technically, these investments are known as a "single premium whole of life assurance bonds". They can be invested in a with profit fund, attracting certain guarantees, or be unit linked and track a certain market.

Fixed Interest Investments

Fixed Interest Investments, or Gilts and Bonds are financial instruments that pay a fixed income from a fixed capital sum. They are mainly issued by governments and large corporations as a means of borrowing money on the international markets.

Financial Planning

Independent Financial Advisers (IFA's) in Southern Spain provide financial planning services on either a time and cost or a commission basis. Local representatives from banks and life insurance companies supplement these services. Generally, an IFA can offer you products that are more competitive than cash. However, proper research is imperative in order to match the best product and provider with the client's needs.

Audits and Auditors

As a business owner in Andalucia you will periodically need the services of an auditor. These professional accountants study your company’s accounts and finances in order to certify that your financial statements are valid and free of error.

Asset Backed Investments

This type of investment is backed by underlying assets, such as shares. Both the capital and income of the investment are variable and are not guaranteed unless underwritten by the provider.

Finance - Asset Allocation

Any investment proposal you are considering should have a defensive mechanism, to ride out any market falls. In other words, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Furthermore, because of the threat of inflation, a small equity exposure is beneficial to take advantage of any market rises.

To balance out the risks, capital should not be invested in a single product. The correct allocation of the funds into various products will reduce reliance on one market sector. Also important is that clients with sizeable assets definitely look into the concept of a managed portfolio.

Alternative Investments

If you are wishing to invest, but don't feel comfortable with mainstream investment products, you might be pleasantly surprised to find your niche among a number of alternatives offered on today's financial market. For example, if you would like to become involved in the equity market, but are not in a position to tolerate a high exposure to risk, you may find a comfort zone in the market linked deposits area.