Spain free zones

free zone company registration in Spain The Spanish Government operates 4 Free Zones: i) Ceuta and Melilla free zones ii) Cadiz Free Zone iii) Vigo Free Zone and iv) Canary Islands Free Zone. These zones offer multiple benefits including i) reduced corporate tax rate of 4% ii) reduced VAT rate of 7% iii) transfer tax exemption and iv) stamp duty exemption.

Canary Islands

  1. Companies registered under the Canary Islands Special Economic Zone (ZEC) enjoy multiple fiscal benefits which include i) a low corporate income tax rate of 4% and ii) tax exemption on dividend withholding tax and regional indirect tax (IGIC);
  2. Businesses performing activities relating to industrial, commercial and services are permitted to register under the ZEC;
  3. Basic requirements to secure ZEC registration approval:
    • at least one director/administrator must be resident in the Canary Islands;
    • minimum investment commitment of €100,000 within 2 years of obtaining ZEC status and;
    • within 6 months of registration approval, the ZEC company must hire at least 5 local staff or relocate existing employees and maintain the same throughout ZEC status.

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Ceuta and Melilla

  1. These two are part of the special tax territories that do not impose the Spanish VAT but rather a reduced tax on imports, production and services (IPSI). The IPSI rates vary from 0.5% to 10%;
  2. Resident companies enjoy 50% exemption on corporate income tax, 10% in the first 2 years and 11.5% in the third year and thereafter;
  3. Ceuta and Melilla are considered as free ports, consequently there are no custom duties on import/exports. These make it ideal for trading companies importing from Africa and re-exporting globally or vice versa;
  4. To enjoy the above tax benefits, companies must appoint an administrator locally to control and manage the company to prove the business has actual substance in these territories.

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Free zone ports in Spain

  1. There are in total seven free zone ports in Spain which are located in Vigo, Cadiz, Barcelona, Santander, Sevilla, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife;
  2. These free zone ports all fall under the European Union Customs Union customs allowing free circulation of goods within EU;
  3. Vigo is known to be the biggest fishing port in the European Union, having the one of the largest cold warehousing facilities;
  4. The goods that arrive at these ports for re-export purposes are exempt of custom duties and VAT.

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Free zone comparisonCanary IslandsCeuta and MelillaCadizVigo
Spanish free trade zone used mostly by which industry?ConstructionTextilesManufacturingAutomobile
Average annual Industrial space rent per 1000 sq. m.€35,000€40,000€38,000€35,000
How long to set the company up? 3 months 3 months 3 months 3 months
How long to open company bank account?3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks
Quality of UtilitiesGoodGoodGoodGood
Allowed to sign sales contracts with Spain Clients?YesYesYesYes
Allowed to invoice Spain Clients?YesYesYesYes
Corporate tax payable in Spain4%4%4%4%
Corporate bank accountBanco SantanderBBVALa CaixaBanco Sabadell
Physical office space requiredYesYesYesYes
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYesYes
Can be wholly foreign ownedYesYesYesYes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in Spain?YesYesYesYes
Minimum number of directors1111
Minimum number of shareholders1111
Tax registration certificate requiredYesYesYesYes
Individual shareholders allowedYesYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesYes
LLC company allowed?YesYesYesYes
Annual audited financial statementsYesYesYesYes

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our free zones services in Spain, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi