In Spain there are multiple types of legal entity structures, such as:
Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S.L.) Private Limited Company.
Sociedad Anonima (S.A.) Private Limited Company.
Sociedad comenditaria Limited Partnership.
Public Limited Companies / S.A.
The Public Limited Company, or Sociedad Anónima, in Spain is highly structured and regulated, decisions are decided by the majority and annual audits are required. This type of Spanish company is an autonomous legal entity and shareholders are not responsible for debts incurred by the company. The minimum capital required is EUR 60,000.
Private Limited Companies / S.L.
Like the Sociedad Anónima, the Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada is an autonomous legal entity and shareholders are not responsible for debts incurred by the company. All sociedades must pay Company Tax (Impuesto sobre Sociedades). Yet the Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada’s minimum required investment is considerably less than for a Sociedad Anónima. The minimum capital requirement is EUR 3,000.
The Partnership, or Sociedad Civil, in Spain is a business relationship formed by two or more people who contribute money, equipment and/or labour and divide the profits amongst themselves as they have agreed. Accordingly, any debts or financial obligations will also be divided amongst the parties. There is no minimum financial investment is required.
On formation of a company a bank account must be maintained.
After the formation the company must register for Corporation tax, VAT and Payroll taxes.
Corporation Tax: The general rate of corporate tax in Spain is 25%. Newly formed companies pay 15% for the first two years of business. The company tax return must be filed within 6 months and 25 days after end of accounting period. Payment by instalments of company tax is in April, October and December. As a general rule, each instalment is 18% of the previous year’s company tax liability. A separate method of calculation applies to large companies whose turnover in the previous year exceeds a set limit.
VAT: Registration with the Tax Office is compulsory for companies or individuals selling products or services which fall within the scope of this tax. It is important to point out that, unlike in some countries, businesses supplying goods or services subject to VAT must register from commencement of trade, as there is no lower threshold limit. The current rate is 21%.