Spanish Legislation


Spanish laws allow non-residents to purchase property in the country. In this respect Spain is different from many other countries. However even totally legal and transparent laws don’t make foreign property purchase and lease any easier task, as one has to deal with a different mentality, speak different language and address different cultural issues. That’s why VYM Canarias team is your best partner that will help you to deal with all aspects of Spanish legislation and avoid non-transparent transactions.

Obtaining an NIE number (TIN)

NIE or non-resident identification number is a unique tax identification number assigned to non-residents; it is required to perform any financial transaction that is subject to tax retention or application by Spanish tax authorities. All foreign nationals, residents or non-residents, involved in any kind of financial activity in Spain must be provided with an NIE number.

In addition to that, it’s required to perform the following actions:
  • Apply for a bank account;
  • Buy, sell or insure property;
  • Register property in the Property Register;
  • Register as tax resident;
  • Apply for a mortgage or credit;
  • Receive work-related income, be it salary or professional fees;
  • Register a company / start a business in Spain;
  • Register for National Social Security Health plan;
  • Apply for a driver’s licence;
  • Purchase a vehicle in Spain.
How to get your NIE Number.

Ask for the NIE application form at the Foreigners Department of the nearest to your place of residence in Spain police station. You can apply for it personally or through your legal representative.

The following documents need to be enclosed with your NIE application form:
  • completed NIE application;
  • fee payment confirmation stamped by the bank;
  • original and photocopy of your passport or other identification document;
  • in case of a legal representative, corresponding identification documents need to be enclosed.

P.S. The NIE application procedure is subject to change by the corresponding authorities.

Open a Spanish bank account

It’s quite easy for a non-Spanish national to open a bank account. There are two types of such accounts: non-resident account and resident account.

Opening a non-resident bank account necessary to purchase property in Spain doesn’t take long and only requires the following documents:
  • a valid passport,
  • a copy of NIE number,
  • sale and purchase contract or a confirmation of the reserve made on a property (in case the bank specifically asks for it)
  • proof of income documents

If you register a new company in Spain, you can open a bank account in the name of this legal entity.  The bank commissions and charges for resident and non-resident accounts vary insignificantly and are fairly low.  They depend largely on the bank’s “weight” and reputation.  Upon opening an account the banks usually issue both debit and credit cards (if the client’s credit history is impeccable) and provide the account-holder with access to online banking app and operating codes.

Canary Islands Special Economic Zone (ZEC)

  • ZEC was authorized by the European Commission in January 2000 for the promotion of the economic and social development of the Islands.
  • The special tax regime is applied to any newly created entity duly registered in the Official ZEC Register (ROEZEC) and with its registered address within the geographical area of the ZEC.
ZEC entities must comply with the following requirements (briefly):
  • Its registered address and effective place of management must be within the geographical area of the ZEC.
  • At least one member of the administration must reside in the Canary Islands.
  • It is necessary to create, at least, five jobs during the first six months following its registration and this average must be maintained during the time that the ZEC benefits are enjoyed.
  • It must make a minimum investment of 100,000 euros in fixed assets related to the activity within the first two years following its registration. These assets must be located or received within the geographical area of the ZEC.
  • ZEC tax advantages: ZEC entities are subject to the Corporate Income Tax in force in Spain, at the reduced rate of 1-5%, which is calculated depending on the following: year of creation, year of registration and jobs created etc.
  • ZEC entities are exempt from Property Transfer Tax and Stamp Duty (ITP and AJD) in several cases.
  • The supply of goods and services done within ZEC entities, as well as imports of goods made by them, shall be exempt from IGIC tax.