Representative Office in Spain

Our corporate lawyers in Spain can establish the Representative Office in Spain for your company to start operating from Spain.

Representative Office in Spain

Are you thinking now about expanding your business into Spain? A representative office could be your perfect starting point. This setup allows you to establish a presence without diving into full-scale operations. 

With representative office offices in Spain, you gain the legitimacy to conduct market research, explore partnerships, and represent your company locally. It’s a strategic move that bridges your international ambitions with Spain’s vibrant business landscape. 

Let’s delve into how you can establish and leverage a representative office in this dynamic European hub.

Establishing Your Representative Office in Spain

Setting up a representative office in Spain is a strategic way to establish your business presence without engaging in commercial activities. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Understanding the Representative Office Concept

A representative office serves as a liaison for your company in Spain, focusing on market research, promoting products or services, and maintaining business contacts. It does not engage in profit-making activities.

Eligibility and Visa Requirements

To establish a representative office, you typically need a representative office visa. This visa allows you to reside in Spain and represent your company legally. Requirements often include proof of sufficient funds, a business plan, and documentation from your parent company.

Registration Process

  • Legal Structure and Registration: Choose a legal structure for your office, such as a branch or a representative office. Register your entity with the Commercial Registry and tax authorities in Spain.
  • Office Space: Secure an office space to operate from. This can be a rented office or a co-working space.

Compliance and Legal Obligations

  • Taxation and Accounting: Ensure compliance with Spanish tax laws and maintain proper accounting records.
  • Employment and Labor Regulations: Adhere to local employment laws if you plan to hire staff.

Operational Considerations

  • Bank Account: Open a bank account in Spain for your office transactions.
  • Networking and Business Development: Build relationships with local businesses, industry associations, and potential clients.

Reporting and Maintenance

File annual reports and updates with relevant authorities to maintain compliance.

Establishing a representative office in Spain involves careful planning, adherence to legal requirements, and strategic decision-making to represent your company’s interests in the country effectively.

Steps to Establish Your Office in Spain

Setting up an office in Spain involves several key steps to ensure compliance and operational readiness:

Steps to Establish Your Office in Spain

Determine Your Business Structure

Decide on the type of office you want to establish, such as a representative office or a branch. Each structure has different legal and operational implications.

Conduct Market Research

Before proceeding, conduct thorough market research to understand the local business environment, competition, and potential customers.

Secure Funding and Prepare a Business Plan

Ensure you have sufficient funds to cover initial setup costs and operational expenses. Prepare a detailed business plan outlining your objectives, target market, and financial projections.

Register Your Business

Register your business with the Spanish authorities. Depending on your chosen structure, this may involve registering with the Commercial Registry and obtaining a tax identification number (NIF).

Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Check if your business activities require specific permits or licenses. Certain industries may have regulatory requirements that need to be met.

Open a Bank Account

Open a business bank account in Spain to facilitate financial transactions and manage local payments.

Secure Office Space

Find suitable office space that meets your operational needs and budget. Consider factors such as location, size, and accessibility.

Hire Employees (if applicable)

If you plan to hire employees, ensure compliance with Spanish labor laws regarding contracts, salaries, and social security contributions.

Set Up Utilities and Services

Arrange for essential utilities such as electricity, internet, and telephone services for your office.

Establish Local Business Relationships

Network with local businesses, industry associations, and potential clients to establish a presence and build partnerships.

Benefits of a Representative Office

Setting up a representative office in a foreign country like Spain offers several advantages:

Benefits of a Representative Office

Market Presence without Commercial Operations

A representative office allows your company to have a physical presence in Spain without engaging in profit-generating activities. It serves primarily as a liaison for communication and market research.

Market Research and Strategic Insights

Operating a representative office enables you to conduct in-depth market research and gather valuable insights into local market conditions, consumer behavior, and competitor analysis. This information can inform your business strategies and decision-making processes.

Building Local Relationships

Establishing a representative office helps build relationships with local stakeholders, including potential clients, suppliers, and partners. It also enhances your credibility and visibility in the Spanish market.

Facilitating Business Development

The office serves as a platform for business development activities such as networking, attending industry events, and exploring partnership opportunities. It can facilitate introductions and negotiations with local businesses.

Support for Parent Company Operations

A representative office supports the parent company by handling administrative tasks, coordinating logistics, and maintaining a brand presence in Spain. This enables the parent company to focus on core operations and strategic initiatives.

Flexibility and Low Cost

Compared to establishing a full-fledged subsidiary or branch, a representative office typically involves lower setup costs and administrative burdens. It offers flexibility in scaling operations and adjusting to market changes.

Compliance with Local Regulations

Operating within the legal framework of a representative office ensures compliance with local regulations and tax requirements in Spain. This reduces the risk of legal issues and financial penalties.

Establishing a representative office in Spain can be a strategic decision to expand your business presence, conduct market research, and build relationships in the vibrant European market.

Legal Requirements and Regulations

Establishing a representative office in Spain involves complying with specific legal requirements and regulations to operate legally and effectively. Here’s what you need to consider:

Registration and Business Structure

To begin with, Marfour must decide on the appropriate business structure for its representative office in Spain, typically choosing between a branch and a representative office. Registering with the Commercial Registry and obtaining a tax identification number (NIF) are essential steps.

Representative Office Visa

Marfour employees planning to work in Spain will need to secure a representative office visa. This visa allows them to reside and work legally in the country under the representative office’s auspices.

Taxation and Financial Obligations

Understanding Spanish tax laws is crucial. Marfour must comply with corporate income tax, VAT (Value Added Tax), and other applicable taxes. Proper financial management and regular reporting are necessary to maintain compliance.

Employment Laws and Contracts

If Marfour plans to hire employees in Spain, they must adhere to local employment laws regarding contracts, wages, social security contributions, and working conditions. Employment contracts should be drafted in accordance with Spanish labor regulations.

Regulatory Compliance

Depending on the industry and activities of Marfour’s representative office, additional permits or licenses may be required from regulatory authorities. It’s essential to research and obtain any necessary approvals before commencing operations.

Data Protection and Privacy

Compliance with data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is mandatory for Marfour when handling the personal data of individuals within the European Union, including Spain.

Intellectual Property Protection

Ensure Marfour’s intellectual property rights are protected in Spain. This may involve registering trademarks, patents, or copyrights with the appropriate authorities to safeguard assets and brand identity.



What is a representative office in Spain?

A representative office is a non-profit entity that serves as a liaison for its parent company, conducting market research, promoting products or services, and managing business relationships.

What are the main advantages of having a representative office in Spain?

Establishing a representative office allows companies to establish a physical presence in Spain without engaging in profit-generating activities. It facilitates market research, builds local relationships, and supports business development.

What legal requirements do I need to meet to establish a representative office in Spain?

You will need to choose a suitable business structure, register with the Commercial Registry, obtain a tax identification number (NIF), and comply with Spanish employment and taxation laws. Employees may also require a representative office visa.

Can a representative office in Spain engage in commercial activities?

No, a representative office cannot engage in direct commercial activities such as selling goods or services. Its primary function is to represent and support the parent company’s operations.

How long does it take to establish a representative office in Spain?

The timeline can vary based on factors such as the complexity of registration, obtaining permits, and completing legal formalities. Typically, it can take several weeks to a few months.


Establishing a representative office in Spain can be a strategic move for companies looking to expand their presence in Europe. It offers a cost-effective way to conduct market research, build local relationships, and support business activities without the complexities of establishing a full subsidiary.

By adhering to legal requirements and understanding the regulatory framework, companies can establish a stable and compliant presence in Spain, contributing to their overall business growth and international expansion strategies.


  • Comprehensive legal advice.
  • Registration at the Tax Agency and Companies House.
  • Opening a bank account.
  • Obtaining the company digital certificate.
  • Company registration at social security.

If you need to establish a representative office in Spain, do not hesitate to contact our corporate lawyers in Spain

Representative Offices IN SPAIN established

CLIENTS assisted


clients satisfied



At Marfour I could find great corporate lawyers. Thank you very much for your legal advice. 

Kara Seda

Corporate Department

Thank you very much for helping me to open a representative office. Great team! Wish you the best guys.

Nicole Th.

Representative Office


Contact us, and Marfour International Law Firm will assist you in establishing a representative office in Spain. One of our specialized English-speaking lawyers in Spain will contact you immediately to help and advise you. Do not hesitate to send us your enquiry.

Phone: +34 615 691 230
Rambla de Catalunya, 90, 1.º 1.ª, 08008, Barcelona
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