The Spanish government has announced a pilot programme to permit non-residents who wish to set-up a business in Spain to carry-out the registration of the business, and obtain a fiscal number (NIF – Número Identidad Fiscal) via the Spanish consulate in their home country.
The pilot will start with eight consulates, located in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Lyon, Naples, Oporto and Washington and the impact of the new system will be evaluated before extending the scheme to other consulates in the middle of 2014.
The pilot programme will permit Spanish citizens living abroad, non-Spanish citizens and companies (type ‘L’, ‘M’ and ‘N’ applicants) to obtain a NIF without needing to personally attend an office of the Spanish Tax Authority – AEAT, also known as Hacienda.
Between January and September 2013 there have been over 15,000 applications for NIF’s among ‘L’, ‘M’ and ‘N’ applicants with 1,300 pertaining to Spanish citizens abroad, 2,000 were non-Spanish citizens while the remainder were foreign companies registering in Spain.
Reforms to the Public Administration
The new programme is part of the general reforms being made to simplify the public administration in Spain with the hope of increasing the level of inward investment by making the process for foreign investors to set-up businesses in Spain more straight-forward. The system will be managed electronically from start to finish and will abolish the requirement to have documentation accredited by Apostille or sworn translations by officially approved translators.
The applicant (or their representative) should apply to their local Spanish Consulate taking with them the required information and documentation. At the Consulate an electronic form is completed which is then sent electronically to the AEAT in Spain whereupon the NIF is issued, with a confirmation sent immediately.
Once the NIF has been obtained, the applicant – individual or company – may manage taxes via the internet and an electronic signature. Of course, it may well be the case that a qualified accountant or tax advisor in Spain would be required to ensure compliance with Spanish tax law. If you need to set-up a company or require assistance with your tax returns in Spain, you can find the expert you need via the Advocate Abroad network of professionals in Spain.