Regulation of business in Spain in 2023

The photograph of our Director of Legal, Mr. John Towell LLB ´Hons´

As with any other country in the world, there are many different types of businesses here in Spain. 

Due to a European law passed a few years ago, some people do not need to have a qualification to run some kinds of businesses, that law was called “Omnibus”

What perhaps may surprise you is that only Lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects, vets, nurses, teachers, pharmacists, and civil engineers need to be qualified and regulated to ply their trade.

That means that if you wish to start any other business you can do so in Spain without a mandatory qualification or regulation by a governing body. Of course, you have to register as autonomo (self-employed) or form a limited company.

For example, anyone in Spain can be an estate agent, they can be regulated by for example the API (Agente de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria) which is the largest Spanish real estate organisation. The API title is issued by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment, after attending a training course and passing the qualification tests. However, it’s completely optional.

You may have noticed the big amount of consultants, experts, advisors, and other people that are running businesses here showing no credentials regarding their own skills in their trade and without being regulated by any official body.

So if you’re going to instruct someone in Spain to provide a service do your own due diligence before you instruct them. If possible, instruct a qualified, regulated, insured professional, someone that has the qualifications recognised in Spain to carry out their trade or profession.

Also if you want to give advice on visas, NIE numbers, or taxes here in Spain you can do so without qualification or regulation if you choose to do so. 

If you’re moving to Spain, applying for a visa, or buying a property here in Spain you can take advice from whoever you want or you can do it yourself like in the United Kingdom. 

If you want to ensure that you are receiving qualified, regulated legal advice, lawyers have studied for 6 years and are regulated by the Bar Association in Spain, but always check that they are who they say they are. 

If you plan on instructing a professional don’t sign or pay anything until you’ve received legal advice. 

We’ve been advising clients regarding visas and property purchases in Spain since 1992. 

We have offices in Marbella, Fuengirola, and Malaga and we cover the whole of Spain online. 

Your lawyer in Spain