Comparison of EU free zones in 2023

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

EU FREE ZONES Spain Portugal Ireland Poland Cyprus
OUR RANKING IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE 1 2 3 4 5
Summary at a Glance
Total year 1 engagement set up costs? €14,689 €12,200 €16,580 €14,910 €10,535
Total year 2 costs? €3,400 €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 Islands Madeira IBC Shannon Pomeranian Larnaca
Free zone mostly popular for: Holding/Trading Holding/Trading Trading Manufacturing Manufacturing/Trading
How long to set the company up? 3 weeks 6 weeks 2 weeks 4 weeks 2 weeks
Our Client must travel? No No No No No
Recommend corporate bank account? Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank HSBC Deutsche Bank Byblos Bank
How long to open bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
Manufacturing allowed in the free zone? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Incorporation requirements
Branch office or LLC recommended? SL SpQ LLC Sp.z.o.o LLC
Resident director required? No No Yes No No
Minimum number of directors? 1 1 2 1 1
Minimum number of shareholders? 1 1 1 1 1
Individual shareholders allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate directors allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Public register of shareholders & directors? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Special permit or license required? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annual financial statements required? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Statutory audit required? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Must register for GST or VAT? 21% 23% 23% 23% 19%
Non EU sales exempt from GST/VAT? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access to double tax treaties? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Logistics considerations
Can rent premises outside free zones? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can make sales to overseas Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to make sales to local Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Local sales subject to corporation tax? 4% 5% 12.5% 0% 0%
Can the entity hire local staff? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proximity to large port? 8.9 Km 3.9 Km 56 Km 43 Km 2 Km
Proximity to international airport? 21 Km 23 Km 4 Km 38.8 Km 5.9 Km
Proximity to train network? 8.9 Km 4.3 Km 27.8 Km 33.2 Km 34.6 Km
Quality of country infrastructure index? 13/144 12/144 36/144 79/144 30/144
How long get expatriate work permit? 1 month 2 months 4 weeks 1 month 1 month

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