Spain free zones in 2024

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 comparison Canary Islands Ceuta and Melilla Cadiz Vigo
Spanish free trade zone used mostly by which industry? Construction Textiles Manufacturing Automobile
Average annual Industrial space rent per 1000 sq. m. €35,000 €40,000 €38,000 €35,000
How long to set the company up? 5 weeks 5 weeks 5 weeks 5 weeks
How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
Quality of Utilities Good Good Good Good
Allowed to sign sales contracts with Spain Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to invoice Spain Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate tax payable in Spain 4% 4% 4% 4%
Corporate bank account Banco Santander BBVA La Caixa Banco Sabadell
Physical office space required Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can be wholly foreign owned Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in Spain? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum number of directors 1 1 1 1
Minimum number of shareholders 1 1 1 1
Tax registration certificate required Yes Yes Yes Yes
Individual shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Public register of shareholders and directors Yes Yes Yes Yes
LLC company allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annual audited financial statements Yes Yes Yes Yes

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our free zones services in Spain, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi