In late 2013, Spain enacted various laws to bring in wealthy and talented people who want to start a business or invest in Spain. Spain now allows foreign investors and skilled individuals to apply for extended visas. Most importantly for our firm’s clients, Spain now has very liberal visa policies for foreign entrepreneurs who plan to start a business in Spain.
If you want to start a business in Spain, you need little more than a government-vetted business plan, health insurance and enough money to support yourself while living in Spain. It is quite easy for entrepreneurs to secure initial one-year Residence Visas to carry out the preliminary formalities required to engage in entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurial activity includes just about anything that would create jobs in Spain.
After this first year, entrepreneurs can apply for authorization to live in Spain for an additional two years, renewable for another two years. You need to live in Spain only six months out of the year to be able to secure visa renewals.
Though Spain might seem an unlikely place to start a business, considering that unemployment reached a record high of about 27 percent last year and still hovers at well over 20 percent. But compared with other European and North American cities, Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona have fewer competitors while offering excellent talent and technical expertise at a much lower cost. On top of this, various local and national Spanish government entities offer unsecured lending programs and Spanish law is considerably more favorable to new businesses than other European laws. Just by way of one example, Spain does not require a minimum investment in new businesses. Just last week, the New York Times did a story on Spain’s influx of American tech entrepreneurs, entitled, At Spain’s Door, a Welcome Mat for Entrepreneurs.
For our previous post on securing a Spanish visa by purchasing real estate in Spain for more than 500,000 euros (about $625,000) of real estate see Spain’s Golden Visas. Investors are Beginning to Line Up.