Comparison of EU free zones in 2023

Compare the EU free zones of Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Poland and Cyprus.

EU FREE ZONESSpainPortugalIrelandPolandCyprus
Summary at a Glance
Total year 1 engagement set up costs?€14,789€12,200€16,580€14,910€10,535
Total year 2 costs?€3,900€6,400€12,130€2,300€2,300
Corporate tax payable on global sales?4% 5% 12.5%0%12.5%
Name of the most popular free zone?Canary IslandsMadeira IBCShannonPomeranianLarnaca
Free zone mostly popular for:Holding/TradingHolding/TradingTradingManufacturingManufacturing/Trading
How long to set the company up?3 weeks6 weeks2 weeks4 weeks2 weeks
Our Client must travel?NoNoNoNoNo
Recommend corporate bank account?Deutsche BankDeutsche BankHSBCDeutsche BankByblos Bank
How long to open bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Manufacturing allowed in the free zone?YesYesYesYesYes
Incorporation requirements
Branch office or LLC recommended?SLSpQLLCSp.z.o.oLLC
Resident director required?NoNoYesNoNo
Minimum number of directors?11211
Minimum number of shareholders?11111
Individual shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
Corporate directors allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders & directors?YesYesYesYesYes
Special permit or license required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum amount of paid-up capital?€3,000€1€1€1,230€1
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable on global sales?4%5%12.5%0%12.5%
Average customs tax on imports?4.2%4.2%3.5%4.2%0 to 30%
Annual tax return to be submitted?YesYesYesYesYes
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesYesYes
Statutory audit required?YesYesYesYesYes
Must register for GST or VAT?21%23%23%23%19%
Non EU sales exempt from GST/VAT?YesYesYesYesYes
Access to double tax treaties?YesYesYesYesYes
Logistics considerations
Can rent premises outside free zones?YesYesYesYesYes
Can make sales to overseas Clients?YesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to make sales to local Clients?YesYesYesYesYes
Local sales subject to corporation tax?4%5%12.5%0%0%
Can the entity hire local staff?YesYesYesYesYes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff?YesYesYesYesYes
Average local monthly salary?€3,500€2,000€4,500€1,100€1,200
Monthly warehouse rental (per sq. m.)?€4€4€5€5€5
Monthly office rental (per sq. m.)?€10€9€12€21€8
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYesYesYes
Proximity to large port?8.9 Km3.9 Km56 Km43 Km2 Km
Proximity to international airport?21 Km23 Km4 Km38.8 Km5.9 Km
Proximity to train network?8.9 Km4.3 Km27.8 Km33.2 Km34.6 Km
Quality of country infrastructure index?13/14412/14436/14479/14430/144
How long get expatriate work permit?1 month2 months4 weeks1 month1 month

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