Spain (and especially Barcelona), has become one of the greatest European hubs for worldwide entrepreneurs to start their projects. Great international talent, the availability of all the resources you may need and perfect weather conditions makes the Spanish territory one of the best options if you want to succeed in business. Moreover, things are even better if we incorporate immigration. Why? Because setting up your company in Spain can grant you a Spanish resident permit easily. How? Let’s analyze the entrepreneur visa in more depth.
OPEN A BUSINESS IN SPAIN AND GET YOUR RESIDENCE PERMIT EASILY
That is one of the promises that the immigration law for entrepreneurs in Spain delivers.
Unlike in many countries, there is no upfront investment needed. No minimum capital amount to pay beforehand. One of the easiest ways to get your residence permit in Spain is through the entrepreneur visa. And it’s as simple as setting up your company in the country.
WHAT IS THE ENTREPRENEUR VISA IN SPAIN?
If you are a citizen from a non-EU country who wants to start living and working legally in Spain, the startup visa may be your preferred option.
The entrepreneur visa is a residence permit that allows you to live in Spain during a two-year period provided that you start a project in the country that goes in line with the general interest of the Spanish economy.
What do we mean by general interest?
Well, in order to get this kind of residence permit, starting any type of business idea won’t work.
In order to be accepted, your project must fulfil the following conditions:
- Create employment for the country. This means that your project must create new job positions and be a positive stimulus for the general economy.
- It must be innovative and enhance the socio-economic development of Spain
- It will also be highly valued if it creates investment opportunities
- Finally, having patents, recommendation letters or clients already will increase your chances of getting your application accepted
Even that now you know under which bases you need to ideate your project, it can still not be that clear. How can you make sure that your project meets this requirement?
Throughout your business plan. That is the document you will need to send to the Commercial Office. On it, clearly defining how your company works for those beforementioned projects is key. What do we recommend here? Relying on specialized business lawyers to analyze and adapt it. At Balcells Group we make sure that your entrepreneur visa gets accepted by working hand in hand with you with the business plan, so do not hesitate to contact us.
PROCESS: HOW TO APPLY FOR THE STARTUP VISA
In order to give you a step by step process to apply for the entrepreneur residence permit in Spain, we need to make a first distinction. The process will differ depending on whether you are abroad or legally in Spain.
1. BEING OUTSIDE SPAIN
Let’s say that you have never lived legally in Spain, and you are currently living in your home country.
In this case, you will need to apply for the Spanish entrepreneur visa. It consists of a one-year residency permit.
This distinction is not just important by the fact that with the entrepreneur visa you can just live for one year in Spain (you can extend it afterwards). The documentation you will need to send in in order to apply also changes. In this case, you can find the model to be filled in here.
And where should you submit that file? To the Economic & Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in your current country. After 10 days, you will receive a confirmation or denial of your business plan.
2. ALREADY LIVING LEGALLY IN SPAIN
On the other hand, we have the case in which you are already living legally in the Spanish territory.
Whether you hold a residency permit (like the entrepreneur visa mentioned before) or a simple tourist visa, you should apply then for a residency authorization. The main difference is that with this option you will be able to live legally in Spain for two years (plus renewals).
In this case, the required documentation must be sent to the Large Business and Strategic Sector Units. You will need to wait 20 days to get a decision regarding the validity of your business plan.
3. YOU DO NOT QUALIFY
Finally, let’s suppose that you have submitted your residency application, and you get a negative response. Maybe the Spanish Immigration Office considers that your project does not go in hand with the socio-economic interest of the country, so you don’t get your entrepreneur visa. Maybe you directly do not quality under those requirements.
What should you do?
In that case, you should apply for a temporary residence permit; and start working as a self-employed worker. For that, you will just need your NIE number. Contact us for more details.
Another feasible option would be to invest in real estate in order to get your residency, under a scheme called Golden Visa.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE STARTUP VISA IN SPAIN
In order to successfully obtain an entrepreneur visa in Spain, focusing on the project is not enough. You will also need to fulfil the following general requirements:
- Applicants must be from non-European Union countries.
- The entrepreneur must be over 18 years old (legal age in Spain).
- Clear criminal records background. That must hold both for Spain and for any other country during the 5 years prior to the application.
- The applicant cannot be in an irregular situation in Spain.
- The one starting the company must have social security (public or private) with full coverage on the Spanish territory.
- Having sufficient means for her/his and family (if they apply jointly) is also needed. The required amount is 2.130€ for the main applicant and 532€ for each family member that she is in charge of.
WHICH DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO SUBMIT IN ORDER TO OBTAIN MY RESIDENCY AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
If you are in a position in which all the prior conditions are met, you can start your application. Which are the specific documents you will need to fill in?
- Application form. The specific document that states that you want to apply for an entrepreneur visa or for a residency authorization. As we have seen before, the form differs depending on which of the two paths you follow. You will find those documents attached in their specific sections on this post.
- Proof of the payment of the corresponding fee.
- Proof that you meet all the necessary requirements: that you have sufficient economic means, social security, etc.
- Business plan. You will need to submit your business plan, in which you carefully detail your activity and how it is going to benefit the Spanish economy. As we have already mentioned, emphasis on the creation of employment, innovation and positive impact on the socio-economic growth of the country must be placed in this document. It must be sent to the Commercial Office.
- Favourable report. If the business plan gets approved by the Commercial Office, your project will be considered as of economical interest for Spain. Then you will have green light to send that approval document to the corresponding Immigration Office in order to get your entrepreneur visa.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPANY
As we have mentioned above, your project must be innovative and include a technological component. Nevertheless, maybe you have no idea where to start and you would like to get some guidance regarding which company to start.
What is the Spanish market demanding? Which investment opportunities are worth it and which won’t succeed?
Just to help you out with that, we have created a list with some suggestions. We gathered here the 25 best business ideas and companies to start in Spain. Low capital investment and a market with latent demand is what characterizes all of them. Take a look!
MAIN BENEFITS OF THE VISAS FOR ENTREPRENEURS IN SPAIN
So far we’ve been talking about how to apply to the Spanish entrepreneur visa and how to get it accepted. But why incurring the effort in applying for this residence permit? Is it worth it?
Our answer is simple: yes. And, in order to convince you, we are going to give you the main benefits of obtaining a startup visa:
- First of all, as you will be able to develop your economic activity, the entrepreneur visa operates as a work permit in Spain.
- There is no upfront investment needed. Many countries, in order to start your own company, require a minimum amount of money that you invest. It is not the case in Spain.
- Even though it is highly valued that your project creates employment in the country, it is not a strict requirement. This means that the Commercial Office won’t deny your application if you start by your own (with no other employee). That is also the case for renewals: you can renew even if you have not hired anyone else for the first years.
- With the entrepreneur visa, you will have free movement inside the countries that form the Schengen area.
- No presence needed for the application. You can select a representative to apply for you, avoiding the need to come to Spain in order to get your business permit.
- Joint application. You can apply for your Spanish residence permit as long as the one for your family, with just one member of the family starting a project. This makes the startup visa a good ticket for those families who want to move together to Spain.
LIVING IN SPAIN FOR THE LONG-RUN: ENTREPRENEUR VISA RENEWAL
As we have covered before, with the entrepreneur visa you will be able to live in Spain for one year. Then, you can apply for a residency authorization, which will enable you to stay legally in the country for two years.
But what happens afterwards?
That you can renew. Provided that you still meet all the requirements (mainly that your project still enhances the Spanish economy), the renewal will be possible.
If you need help with the general application for the entrepreneur visa, renewal, or even with the creation of your business plan (so that it matches the interest of the Commercial Office), do not hesitate to ask our lawyers for help. We will be glad to answer any question!
Setting up a company and living in Spain must be easy. And that is what we want you to feel.