Foreign companies: registering for VAT in Spain

Foreign companies wishing to offer their services or goods here in Spain are generally required to register for Spanish VAT here: known as IVA – Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido.

Compared to setting up a free-standing Spanish company, this process is straightforward and quick.  On presentation of all of the required documents  at a local tax office in Spain, your company’s Spanish tax/ VAT number is issued immediately.

The key, therefore, is to ensure that you prepare the correct documentation at your end. This is as follows:

1. A certificate produced by the Company Registry in the country where your company was incorporated. This document should state the registered address of the company and a list of directors.

The certificate must be issued recently as the Spanish Tax Authorities will wish to have evidence that the company is still in good standing.

2. Two notarised representation documents:

a) A Power of Attorney to your Spanish representatives to obtain your company’s Spanish tax code on your behalf.

b) A letter authorising them to represent you in future communications with the Spanish tax authorities.  This letter is, in general, required at the outset, however it is a simple process for you to change representatives at a later date.

All of these documents should be legalised in your country with the Hague Apostille and then translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

Registered Office in Spain

From a tax point of view, it is not necessary for you to have your own registered office here, as all Tax Office correspondence will automatically go to your representatives.

Of course, as you expand here and wish to have your own people on the ground in Spain, you will most likely require your own office. This will be considered as a Permanent Establishment for Spanish tax purposes, and your company will be required to submit annual company tax declarations.

If your company wishes to take on Spanish employees, it will need to be registered at the Spanish Social Security Office, by presenting Form TA6 along with supporting documentation.

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