Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Spain.
Read this page in combination with the general guidance for the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The authoritative source for Spanish market regulations is the Spanish government. This guidance links to official Spanish sources wherever possible.
Trade and services regulations in Spain
If you’re a UK business providing services in Spain, you will need to follow Spanish regulations about:
- getting authorisations or licences to provide a service
- complying with specific local business regulations
- EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors
The Spanish e-government portal for service providers (site in Spanish) can help you to:
- find out what you need to know about providing services in Spain
- understand local regulations
- complete the relevant administrative procedures online
Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Spain to help you comply with specific regulations.
To find out if EEA nationality requirements apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority.
If you have complaints or queries about anti-competitive practices contact the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (site in Spanish).
There are also non-governmental organisations that provide advice to UK businesses operating in Spain, for example the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain.
These organisations and their views are not associated with the UK government.
To sell or provide services to customers in Spain, you must follow local laws. If in doubt, you should get professional advice.
Reservations are part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They reserve the right of each party to keep or make new laws restricting investment, or the sale of services, in ways that would otherwise breach the rules in the agreement.
Check which reservations apply to the sale of services from the UK to Spain. This includes an interactive tool to find reservations that are already in place.
VAT on sales of digital services
To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.
Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.
Ownership of companies registered in Spain
If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Spain or any other EEA country.
Read more about this in our guidance relating to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Setting up a business
You can find out how to set up a business in Spain on these websites:
Ownership of legal firms in Spain
UK legal professionals who have investments in law firms in Spain should contact the General Council of the Spanish Bar (site in Spanish) for information on the implications for your investment.
Business travel and entry requirements
UK business travellers and service providers may need a visa, work permit or other documentation.
Check our travel to Spain for work guide for detailed information on:
- types of visa and work permit routes available
- exemptions that may apply to you or the activity you are planning to undertake
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and Spanish Ministry of Work, Migration and Social Security (site in Spanish) websites have more information about:
- visas including intra-corporate transfers
- work and residence permits
- supporting documentation
- other conditions
Check which actions travellers visiting Europe need to take.
Social security payments for employees
Recognition of professional qualifications
To check what you need to do in Spain, read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.
If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your professional qualification in Spain, these sources can help you:
- Spanish NARIC (site in Spanish), the information centre for the recognition of professional qualifications
- the Spanish singe point of contact on the eugo.es website
- the Spanish government’s website
- the Spanish government’s Hague Apostille exemption for academic documents for equivalence or homologation purposes until 30 June 2021 in Royal Decree 38/2020 (site in Spanish)
- the Spanish government’s extension to 31 October 2021 of the Hague Apostille exemption for academic documents for equivalence or homologation purposes (site in Spanish)
The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ) provides practical assistance and advice to:
- professionals who qualified overseas and are interested in working in the UK
- UK professionals seeking to practise overseas
UK statutory auditors working in Spain
For UK statutory auditors, the Instituto de Contabilidad y Auditoría de Cuentas Spain (site in Spanish) should be able to provide further information.
UK lawyers working in Spain
If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Spain, using either a Spanish or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region in which you are working or the General Council of the Spanish Bar (site in Spanish) for advice.
Data transfer and GDPR
On 28 June 2021, the EU formally adopted ‘adequacy decisions’ for the UK, delivered through:
‘Adequacy decisions’ allow for the ongoing free flow of personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK.
Read guidance on using data in your personal business or other organisation.