Set Up a Joint Stock Company in Spain for Foreign Entrepreneurs

In this comprehensive guide, we will lead you through every step of the process of forming a joint stock company in Spain, from the benefits and requirements to the step-by-step process and costs involved.


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    set up a joint stock company in spain

    Are you considering expanding your business horizons and tapping into the European market? Spain offers international entrepreneurs a wealth of opportunities with its advantageous position, thriving economy, and welcoming business community. Setting up a joint stock company (Sociedad Anónima, SA) in Spain can be the key to unlocking your business potential in this thriving market. 

    In this comprehensive guide, we will lead you through every step of the process of forming a joint stock company in Spain, from the benefits and requirements to the step-by-step process and costs involved.

    Is a Joint Stock Company (SA) Right for Your Spanish Business?

    Before diving into the setup process, it’s essential to understand whether a joint stock company (SA) is the right fit for your business. An SA in Spain is particularly suited for medium to large enterprises that require significant capital investment and seek to raise funds through the sale of shares. This business structure provides limited liability protection, making sure that the personal assets of shareholders are protected beyond their investment in the business.

    Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Joint Stock Company in Spain

    1. Choose a Unique Company Name

    The first step in setting up your joint stock company in Spain is selecting a unique name. The name ought to be unique and not already registered by another organization. The Central Commercial Registry allows you to verify whether the name you’ve selected is available.

    2. Draft the Company Bylaws

    The company bylaws (estatutos sociales) outline the rules and regulations governing the operation of your SA. These bylaws should include details about the company’s name, purpose, registered office, share capital, management structure, and shareholder rights.

    3. Obtain a No-Objection Certificate 

    Once you have chosen a name and drafted the bylaws, you need to obtain a certificate of no-objection (certificación negativa de denominación social) from the Central Commercial Registry. This certificate attests to the validity of the name you have selected.

    4. Open a Bank Account and Deposit Share Capital

    You need to set up a business bank account in Spain and deposit the required share capital. The minimum share capital for an SA in Spain is €60,000, with at least 25% of this amount paid up at the time of incorporation.

    5. Obtain a Tax Identification Number (NIF)

    All companies in Spain must have a Tax Identification Number (Número de Identificación Fiscal, NIF). You can apply for the NIF at the local tax office (Agencia Tributaria).

    6. Sign the Deed of Incorporation Before a Notary

    Signing the deed of incorporation in front of a Spanish notary public is required. This deed includes the company bylaws, details of the founding shareholders, and proof of the share capital deposit.

    7. Enroll the firm with the Commercial Registry

    After signing the deed of incorporation, you must register your SA with the local Commercial Registry. This step officially incorporates your company and grants it legal status.

    8. Register for Social Security and Other Obligations

    Lastly, register your firm with the Spanish Social Security system and take care of any outstanding duties, like registering for VAT if necessary and acquiring business permits.

    Documentation for Setting up a Joint Stock Company in Spain

    The following documents are essential for establishing a joint stock company in Spain:

    • Company Name Certificate
    • Company Bylaw
    • Deed of Incorporation
    • Share Capital Deposit Certificate
    • Tax Identification Number (NIF)
    • Notarial Deed
    • Commercial Registry Registration

    Requirements for Setting Up a Joint Stock Company in Spain

    To set up a joint stock company in Spain, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Minimum Share Capital: €60,000, with at least 25% paid up at incorporation.
    • Founding Shareholders: At least one founding shareholder (individual or legal entity).
    • Board of Directors: A board of directors or a sole administrator to manage the firm.
    • Registered Office: A physical address in Spain for the company’s registered office.
    • Tax Identification Number (NIF): Obtain a NIF for tax purposes.

    Cost of Registering a Joint Stock Company in Spain

    Registering a joint stock company in Spain involves various costs, including:

    1. Notary Fees: The cost of having the deed of incorporation authenticated by a notary public.
    2. Commercial Registry Fees: Fees for registering a corporation with the local Commercial Registry are known as the Commercial Registry fees.
    3. Legal Fees: The price for legal counsel in creating the bylaws for the business and other required paperwork.
    4. Bank Fees: Costs associated with depositing share capital and opening a corporate bank account.
    5. Tax Identification Number Fees: Fees associated with getting the Tax Identification Number (NIF) from the tax office.
    6. Miscellaneous Costs: Additional expenses such as translation services, if required.

    Benefits of Setting Up a Joint Stock Company in Spain

    Establishing a joint stock company in Spain offers several advantages:

    Limited Liability 

    Shareholders’ liability is limited to the amount they put in the company in order to safeguard personal assets.

    Access to Capital

    The capacity to raise a significant amount of money by issuing shares is known as “access to capital.”


    Increased reputation and credibility among suppliers, investors, and customers.

    Tax Incentives

    Attractive tax benefits and incentives for businesses involved in specific sectors.

    EU Market Access 

    Easy access to the EU market that promotes international trade and growth.

    Skilled Workforce 

    Access to reasonably priced labor and a staff that is knowledgeable and skilled.


    Setting up a joint stock company in Spain is a strategic move for foreign entrepreneurs looking to expand their business footprint in Europe. Spain provides a multitude of prospects for growth and success due to its favourable business climate, strong legal system, and accessibility to a sizable market. 

    OnDemand International can assist you in navigating the complexities of company incorporation in Spain and other European countries like Poland, the Netherlands, and Germany. Contact OnDemand International right now to begin operating your business in Spain with ease.


    The minimum share capital for a joint stock company (SA) in Spain is €60,000, with at least 25% of this amount paid up at the time of incorporation.

    Indeed, foreigners are permitted to be directors or shareholders in Spanish joint stock companies. However, they must obtain a Spanish Tax Identification Number (NIF) for legal and tax purposes.

    Ongoing compliance requirements include annual financial statements, corporate tax returns, VAT returns (if applicable), and regular filings with the Commercial Registry.

    Yes, certain areas such as technology, renewable energy, and R&D activities offer lucrative tax benefits and exemptions for joint stock businesses in Spain.