In recent years Gran Canaria has become a hub for location independent entrepreneurs and remote workers thanks to its life quality, fast Internet and an explosion of co-working spaces and creative events.
This Wiki is a place to share tips about living and working from Gran Canaria. Feel free to add anything and everything you think it might help other fellow travelers.
- 1 Establish yourself in Gran Canaria
- 1.1 European Union Citizens (and EEA, EFTA)
- 1.2 Non-EU citizens
- 1.3 Open a Bank Account
- 1.4 Find a Place to Live
- 1.5 Utilities and Living Expences
- 1.6 Families with Kids
- 2 Establish a Business in Gran Canaria
- 3 Taxation and advantages in Gran Canaria
- 4 The Agency for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria (SPEGC)
- 5 Places to Work From
Establish yourself in Gran Canaria
European Union Citizens (and EEA, EFTA)
Bureaucracy and paperwork
EU and EEA citizens, plus Swiss nationals can come to Gran Canaria for as long as they want without needing to register with the local authorities. However, if you plan to establish for a long undefined period in Gran Canaria, the first thing you should do is to get your NIE, getting an NIE number makes daily life and lots of admin procedures smoother. Many banks, utility companies, government offices and businesses ask for the NIE, and you also need it if you set up a company in Gran Canaria. Once you get your NIE number you can apply for Residency and register in the Spanish Social Security.
The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero - Foreigner Identification Number )
The NIE number is a tax ID number used by the Spanish state to keep track of your economic activity. Once you get a Spanish NIE number it never changes. The actual number also doubles up as your ID number if you decide to become a Gran Canaria resident. However, you can get an NIE number without applying for residence. Your NIE number comes on a certificate that currently doesn’t have an expiry date. It is either an A4-sized piece of white paper or a small credit card-sized piece of green paper (see and example here). Spanish law states that you are eligible for an NIE number if you are employed in Spain, are buying a property here, or have a minimum income level that allows you to live here and not be a burden on the Spanish state and its social security system. The minimum income is defined by Spanish law (see the text here) but the police are also obliged by the law to take your circumstances into account; you need to have enough income to pay your rent, bills and living expenses before the police will register you and give you a certificate. To get an NIE number you also need proof of address. A rental contract, even a temporary one from your holiday let landlord, is enough. If you are staying at a hotel or hostel, your booking receipt is often enough but it’s best to get it printed out on A4 paper with the address and tax number of your host.
Local work contract
If you want to get the NIE so to work for a local employer you have to request your employer a pre-contract with a minimum of 20 hours per week on it.
Getting NIE as Self Employed (Autonomo)
If you cannot provide a work contract because you want to register as a freelance/self employed (Autonomo in Spanish) the police station that issue the NIE will ask you to provide a memorandum, a sort of short business plan, where you state your intention to register as Autonomo and explain the purpose of your business. This document must be in Spanish.
Proving you are financially self-sustained
If you don’t fall into the previous cases, let’s say because your employer is in another country or you have a business registered in another country or simply you don’t work, you will have to prove that you have enough income, as a guideline you need a regular income of at least 600 per month (per person for families), or have a minimum of 6000€ in your bank account.
Posted Worker Certificate
If you work for a company in your home country or own your own company, you can apply for Posted Worker status before you come to Gran Canaria. As a posted worker living in Gran Canaria, your health care is covered by your home country’s system for up to two years and you can even file your taxes at home for up to six months.
Buying a property
Another option to get an NIE which do not require you to have a job or to prove you are financially independent is to buy a property. The property has to have a minimum value of 500.000€.
Do all the process from your country
Before going into the NIE process here in Gran Canaria, mind that you can also apply for an NIE number before coming to Gran Canaria via your nearest Spanish consulate. The exact procedure varies from country to country.
NIE Step by Step
Go to the police station in Luis Doreste Silva, 68 (National Police Central District Police Station, Calle Luis Doreste Silva, 68, 35004 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas) with the following document (and we suggest to always have a printed copy of each one):
A rental contract at your name.
One of the following:
- Your work pre-contract.
- A memorandum in case you want to register as Autonomo or open a company
- Bank statement proving you are financially independent as stated above.
They will give you the form EX-15 for you to fill it up.
The police will then give you the form 790 (see it here). Fill it up. This form is completed only after you pay a tax.
To pay the tax you can go the nearest ATM with your 790 form. In order to make the payment scan the barcode on the machine and then you can pay with your card. Once you have completed this process you can go back to the police station and they may ask you to come back after a couple of days. After that period your NIE is ready and you just need to go back to the police office and collect it.
If you plan to live and work in Gran Canaria for more than a few months, it is worth applying for residency or residencia. Legally you have to apply if you spend more than 90 days in Spain. Becoming a resident gives you some significant perks including a 75% discount on the price of travel between the Canary Islands and 50% between the archipelago and Mainland Spain, local transport discounts, and reduced entry prices at many museums, galleries and tourist attractions. Find below the residency requirements for EU, EEA and EFTA citizens. Essentially they are the same as for you NIE application although you may be asked for more documentation to prove your financial status and/or ongoing employment. For families where only one person is working in Gran Canaria, the rest of the family is entitled to residencia although you could well be expected to provide documents proving that you are married or in a civil partnership. These will need to be translated and verified officially via your consulate or an apostille.
As an autonomo you can apply for Residency after your first-trimester tax declaration (they want the proof that you are actually running a business)
Residencia Step by Step (session under construction)
Go to Delegación de Gobierno with the following documents:
Documents you need if you have a local wok contract
Documents you need if you are a registered Autonomo and apply for residency
1. Contract of your apartment at your name
2. NIE (white paper)
3. Model 130 for the I trimester (tax declaration)
4. Contract of an office (or coworking)
5. Model 400 (IGIC)
6. Model 036 or 037 (Alta de autonomo)
7. Copy of your passport
They give you a green paper Mod 790….you go to the bank and pay a tax of 10,60€….go back to the office and they give you Tarjeta de Residente (residency card).
For a non-lucrative residency permit, you can apply from the Spanish consulate in your home country. This is a non-lucrative residencia which allows you to live in Spain without working (works well if you work online). This residence permit is issued initially for 1 year, but then you can renew for another 2 years, and again for 2 years. After 5 years you can apply for permanent residency in Spain.
In order to request this type of residency, you have to have €30.000 in your bank account and/or proof of ongoing income. Also a police background check, medical certificate and of other paperwork. We suggest calling the local Spanish embassy in your country of origin to ask what's necessary.
For more information visit the Official Government website
If you are a US citizen we suggest reading this article: here on How to Apply for Non-Lucrative Visa for Spain as US Citizen
Coming to Citizens of a large number of countries (see the list here) can spend up to 90 days in Spain without a visa. If you are a citizen of a non-EU country that isn’t on the list, you can apply for a short-stay Schengen visa that allows you to stay in Spain (and to travel to the other 26 countries in the Schengen area) for 90 days. It is best to apply for a Schengen visa at least a month before you travel to Gran Canaria.
If you plan to spend longer than three months in Gran Canaria, you need a long-term work and residence visa. You have to apply for this kind of visa from your home country via a Spanish consulate. See this article for a useful summary of the paperwork you need to apply for a work and residence visa. We advise you to check the exact requirements with your local Spanish Consulate as they will know exactly what documentation you need to provide and the exact requirements. See this useful summary of long-term visa types available for Spain.
Below we focus on those kinds of visa for workers and entrepreneurs. However, you can see this full list of the visa types available to non-EU nationals.
Non-EU nationals can get Spanish residency (and citizenship after 10 years) by investing the sum of €500,000 in property: The so-called Golden Visa.
If you are an entrepreneur and want to start a new business or relocate your business to Spain, you can get an Entrepreneur VIsa. To get that you will have to go through a process.
1. Application form (in Spanish)
2. Business plan
3. Passport (copy)
4. Proof of healthcare insurance
5. Proof of sufficient resources
(Recommended) Resume & Proof of education
If you come from the US: FBI background check
Open a Bank Account
Opening a bank account in Spain could be easy or complicated depending on the bank you approach. Few of them will allow you to open an account with your passport while other will require a lot of paperwork.
However, the main difficulty many remote workers find when approaching a bank are two: first of all is not easy to find someone with a good level of English and second, they would hardly understand your situation as a remote worker, especially if your business is abroad but you live here.
To solve this issue we are getting in touch with bank branches in Gran Canaria to identify those people with a good level of English and that understand the situation of a remote worker.
|Bank||Branch and Address||Contact Person|
|Santander||Oficina 0152, situada en C/ José Franchi Roca, 4 35007 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria||Alejandro Mercado Vizcaínofirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Santander||Oficina 5735, situada en Av. Tirajana, 27 Playa del Inglés 35100 San Bartolomé de Tirajana||Diego Fernández San Millánemail@example.com|
Find a Place to Live
Finding a place to stay is the main concern of most new digital nomads and coworkers when they arrive in Gran Canaria. We recommend this strategy for a hassle-free arrival.
Arriving and finding your first place
The best way to find your feet in Gran Canaria, and especially in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is to book a short-term place in advance. If you rent a holiday let for a few weeks, it gives you time to get to know the island and the property market. Almost all short-term rentals include a decent wifi internet connection. We advise you to book your first place via an established booking website. These give you the best range of options and have secure payment systems. Another option is to book a bed or a room in one of the island’s many hostels. While most modern hostels are in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria but there are also options in south Gran Canaria, and in more rural areas. You can also book a hotel. There is a huge range of options in Gran Canaria, but check reviews and transport links before you opt for the cheapest room on o er. Another excellent option is coworking spaces, that o er accommodation as well as workspace. They also o er the huge advantage of plugging you straight into island’s thriving nomad and entrepreneurial scene and are the best place to meet like-minded people. See Acecanarias for a list of coworking and co-living spaces in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands.
Short- and mid-term options
If you plan to spend less than a year in Gran Canaria, it can be a challenge to find a place quickly as most property owners either rent short-term to tourists or ask for a minimum of a year’s contract. However, the high demand for medium-term rentals means that more owners are willing to consider intermediate rental periods. Again, try the booking websites as some owners are happy to offer a significant discount if you plan to spend more than a month in their property. Coworking spaces are also a good place to ask as they often know of owners who are happy to rent to nomads and professionals. Other places to look are Facebook Groups, like Rent & Share Gran Canaria, where owners and agents share new rental properties and online Spanish property portals. Note that many properties listed on these sites are represented by estate agencies and they charge the tenant a month’s commission. You can also try speaking directly to local estate agencies as they often know about new rental properties before they are listed online. An important local tip is that most Canarians use Whatsapp and their mobile phones to do any sort of business. If you don’t get a reply to your emails, don’t hesitate to call or message people instead.
Short term rental costs
Rental costs vary depending on the location, the time of year and how long you want a property for. The cheapest time to find a short-term property rental is in May and June and then again in September. Prices rise for the winter season when lots of tourists and retired people come to the island to escape the European winter. Short term rental costs start at around 25-30 euros per day for a room or a studio in areas away from the coast. In the resorts and in areas of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria close to the beach, you’re looking at a start price of 35-40 euros per night for a studio. A one bedroom apartment costs a minimum of 40 euros per night with two beds starting at around 50 euros in a central location in Las Palmas city.
Medium-term rental costs
Prices for rental periods of less than a year are somewhere between the cost of short-term and long-term rentals. Expect to pay 1.000 euros per month for a one-bedroom apartment close to the beach and over 1.300 for two bedrooms and above. There is often plenty of scope for negotiation and you need to check what is included in the price; things like utility costs and internet access are not always included in the headline rental rate.
Renting a long-term property
Almost all long-term rental properties in Gran Canaria are listed on the popular online portals. Building concierges are also an important source of information as they always know if a property is coming up for rent in a building a long time before anywhere else.
Most residential property owners in Gran Canaria want a minimum contract of one year so you are at an advantage if you plan to spend 12-months or more in Gran Canaria.
You pay the first month’s rent in advance and a month’s rent as a security deposit. If you nd a place via an estate agency, you’ll also have to pay their commission which is almost always one month rent. Many owners like to see proof of earnings and/ or work contracts before they rent to people who have just arrived on the island. It’s worth bringing good quality copies of any paperwork that documents your employment and/ or income. Note that even though almost all owners insist on a year’s contract, Spanish law allows you to move out after six months provided that you give 30 days notice in writing. Do read your contract carefully as owners have the right to put in a clause that obliges you to pay them a percentage of the rent if you do leave before the rst year is up. Other things to watch out for are clauses that make the tenant responsible for paying local property taxes and community fees. They are legal but can be negotiated before you sign. Once you have spent a year in a rental property, you automatically have the right to remain for a further two years unless the owner needs the property for personal or family use (or wants to sell it). There’s a useful summary of your rights as a tenant in Gran Canaria here.
Long-term rental costs
A studio or small one-bedroom apartment costs a minimum of 350 euros per month in areas away from the coast. A room in a shared house costs a similar amount but normally includes electricity, water and internet costs.
Expect to pay at least 500 euros per month for a small at in a resort area or in Las Palmas (600 euros if it is close to the beach or in the Puerto district). If you are set on living on the Las Canteras beachfront,
bear in mind that you will need patience as front-line apartments are in high demand. Two bedroom apartments in central locations cost 600 euros per month and upwards, while a three bedroom apartment in Las Palmas in a location within walking distance of the beach will cost a minimum of 1.000 euros per month.
Prices away from the coast and in the areas of Las Palmas well back from the beach are much lower. A one-bedroom apartment for 350 euros per month is reasonable.
Buying a Gran Canaria property
Gran Canaria is an excellent place to own a property even if you don’t plan to live permanently on the island. The property market is well regulated and property rights are enshrined in law. After ten years of falling prices, the market is picking up in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and other high-demand areas of the island. The costs associated with buying add up to approximately 10% of the purchase price (around 6.5% in purchase tax plus notarial and property registry fees). Estate agency fees in Gran Canaria are paid by the seller and factored into the advertised sale price so you have nothing to lose by working with a good estate agent when looking for the right place to buy. Most agents working for professional agencies can show you any property via the island’s shared database system so it’s worth seeking out a good agent rather than contacting lots of them.
Cost of owning a Gran Canaria property
Once you own a property here the ongoing costs are relatively low. Annual property tax, charged by the local Town Hall or Ayuntamiento, is known as IBI and rarely comes to more than a few hundred euros per year. The exact cost depends on the size and type of property you buy. If you buy an apartment or on a residential complex you also have to pay a monthly Communidad charge. This covers the costs of maintaining the communal areas such as lifts, doors, gardens, etc. It is normally between 50 and 100 euros per month and you can pay by direct debit.
Non-resident property owners have to do an annual tax declaration, pay tax on their rental income, and pay a sunshine tax (Impuesto sobre la Renta de No Residentes or IRNR) if they own a property in Gran Canaria but don’t rent it out when they are absent from the island.
If you plan to buy a property and rent it out when you aren’t in Gran Canaria you can either let it short-term to tourists, or long-term to residents. Both models have their advantages but bear in mind that you do need a license if you offer holiday lets.
Getting a mortgage in Gran Canaria
EU citizens and people from countries such as Canada, USA, and Australia have little problem getting a non-resident mortgage with Spanish banks. Other nationalities don’t normally have a problem either but should factor in extra time for credit checks and get documentation. Non- residents a pay a slightly higher interest rate and a higher deposit (the standard is 20% for residents and 30% for non-residents). Mortgage applications involve a lot of paperwork and you will be asked to provide a lot of documents that prove that you have the assets and income to guarantee your mortgage. The process can take as long as three months to start planning in advance if you want to buy a Gran Canaria property. We strongly advise you to apply to several banks so that you have the best chance of getting a good deal.
Approximately 10% of the purchase price in tax, notarial and registry fees. 20-30% mortgage deposit, plus a variable sign-up fee. Ongoing costs Annual IBI (land value tax) Monthly community fees Sunshine tax if you are non-resident and don’t rent out your property.
Ongoing costs Annual IBI (land value tax) Monthly community fees Sunshine tax if you are non-resident and don’t rent out your property.
Utilities and Living Expences
Gran Canaria is a relatively cheap place to live by European standards. You can buy a large beer for €1.50 in local bars and get a three-course set menu lunch for under 10 euros at local restaurants. Large supermarkets stock a wide range of Spanish goods and a selection of international ingredients. Prices are reasonable and a couple can expect to spend under 100 euros per week on food and supplies (and eat well).
One good thing about living in Gran Canaria is that heating bills aren’t a consideration and it’s cool enough to live comfortably without air conditioning. Water is reasonable and a family of four can expect to pay around 40 euros per month. Electricity costs around 40 euros per month before you start to use it and an average bill for a family of four is under 100 euros (unless you run aircon). While the tap water in Gran Canaria is drinkable is has a strong mineral taste and almost everyone buys large bottles of drinking water called garrafas. They are sold everywhere and cost around a euro for ve litres. You can even have bottles delivered to your apartment.
Internet and telephony
A pre-paid SIM card that provides call time and mobile internet is an excellent option if you are only in Gran Canaria for a few weeks or months. To nd the best deal, head to a large retail area like Las Arenas shopping center and ask in the main telecoms shops such as Movistar and Vodafone. Virtual carriers such as Yoigo also o er good value deals. All you need to get a prepaid sim card is your passport. For longer-term visitors, a fixed-line and broadband bundle from a company such as Movistar or Vodafone is often the best option because they have their own networks and cables. The big providers tend to be faster at connecting you up once you have signed the contract; this can take anything from three days to three weeks depending on the location and the company. Bundles start at around 60 euros per month and you are often asked to sign up for a minimum of 12 months. You may also be asked to sign up for cable television as part of the package, but you can cancel it before you have to start paying.
Most of Las Palmas and the main towns in Gran Canaria now have fiber-optic networks and fast internet connections. However, fiber still hasn’t reached smaller areas like Mogán and Agaete (although it is coming soon). Mobile phone coverage is excellent across Gran Canaria and only remote spots in the mountains are coverage-free. If you’re bootstrapping, you’ll find plenty of cafes with free wi and even open wi areas in different parts of the island.
Families with Kids
School and education options
Public schools The Spanish state education system is free for all registered residents of any nationality (you have to pay for books, uniforms and materials). However, the application process is fiddly and you have to know when to put your paperwork in and which schools you want to apply to. Most state schools give all their classes in Spanish and follow the Spanish curriculum and are more rigid and based on rote-learning than many foreign residents are used to from home.
Semi-Public Schools One step up from state-schools are "concertado" schools run by private foundations. These are also free but some o er bilingual education and they tend to be more forward-thinking than state schools. Most are heavily oversubscribed and hard to get into at short notice.
Private Schools Gran Canaria has a number of quality international schools that teach in English (plus some Spanish lessons focusing on the national curriculum). They all charge around 600 euros per month not including transport, food, and uniforms.
For English-speakers, the main options are the British School, Canterbury, Oakley College and the American School. The first three focus on a British-style education while the last follows the American system.
For German-speakers there’s the Heidelberg and the Deutsche Schule focusing on German, while Francophones have the Lycée Français René-Verneau de Gran Canaria which o ers a trilingual education and is close to Telde town on the east coast.
Another trilingual option is the Anita Conrad School in Las Palmas. It teaches in English, Spanish, and German. Since Gran Canaria’s Norwegian colony is based in the south of the island around Arguineguín, the Norwegian school is in Patalavaca.
If you prefer the Montessori system, then you have several options close to Las Palmas; the Montessori Gran Canaria in Vegueta, the Ludus and Escuela Montessori in Tafira, and the Casa de los Niños in Arucas.
Homeschooling in Gran Canaria
Homeschooling is in a legal grey area in Spain because the law states that all children between the age of six and 16 must be schooled. This doesn’t really affect people who spend a few months on the island but is a consideration if you plan to spend a long period on the island and educate your kids at home.
Family healthcare in Gran Canaria
If you are European (EU; EEA or EFTA citizen) and in Gran Canaria for less than 90 days, you are covered by the European Health Card system. For anyone staying for more than 90 days, the Spanish social security system is free to all foreign nationals with Residencia. However, you do have to sign up and get a social security number to use it. Another alternative is to take out private health insurance, either a valid multi-trip travel policy or a Spanish health insurance policy (the minimum sign-up period is a year). There’s a useful guide to health insurance in Gran Canaria on the Gran Canaria Guru website.
Establish a Business in Gran Canaria
As a freelancer (autonomo)
When you apply to become self-employed in Gran Canaria (Autónomo) you need to register with the Social Security, Spanish Tax Authorities and the Canary Islands Tax Office. Fortunately, there is a one-stop shop for all of this at the Ventanilla Única Empresaria office at C/. León y Castillo, 24, in Las Palmas city. This is also a good place to go if you have any questions about the official steps you need to take to set up in business in Gran Canaria.
Freelancing from Gran Canaria Most local freelancers in Gran Canaria are self-employed (known as autónomo). Being autónomo means that you contribute to the Spanish social security system and have to declare your earnings and pay tax and VAT (IGIC).
First-time autónomos get a big discount on the cost of being autónomo. It costs 50 euros for the rst six months, 134 euros for the second year and 186 euros per month up to 18 months after you start your activity. However, you don’t need to register as self-employed if you start a digital business based on the island.
Running a digital business in Gran Canaria
If you start an online business in Gran Canaria selling digital products, services or courses, you don’t have to register a company and start paying taxes and social security from day one. Spain allows online business people to start up before they register as self-employed, pay taxes or even open a company. So, all you have to do when you start is get you online business running and go after the sales. Once you make your rst sale, you register with the Spanish tax authorities (Hacienda), and keep your invoices. You can even register online. You will also have to declare your earnings to the taxman every quarter or year (depending on what your economic activity is). It’s only when your sales are regular that you need to register with the social security and start paying into the system. For more info, read this excellent description of the whole process (in Spanish).
Invoicing correctly locally, nationally and internationally
In order to gain a better understanding of how to invoice a client no matter where he is, let’s do it with an example: A company located in Gran Canaria offers an accounting program allowing users to download it by paying in advance.
The program is downloaded by: A company based in the Canary Islands: The company will pay IGIC as a “business to business” operation. A private individual in the Canary Islands: He or she will pay IGIC as a “business to consumer” operation. A company based in the Spanish mainland: The company will pay IVA as a “business to business” operation. A private individual in the Spanish mainland: He or she will pay IVA. A private individual in the UE: He or she will pay the IVA of the country where he or she lives. A company or a private individual outside the UE: Tax-free.
How to register as Autonomo step by step
Becoming an Autonomo in Spain requires going through a process of visiting different governmental offices. However, the Chamber of Commerce of Gran Canaria offers a centralized service that allows you to do everything in one single office. It is called Ventanilla Unica Empresarial and is located in Calle Leon y Castillo 24 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Please, before visiting the Chamber of Commerce to register as a freelancer (autonomo), make sure you have the following:
For EU citizens: your passport (or your national ID card) and your NIE (it has to be the definitive one).
For non-EU citizens: your passport and work permit. Mind that the work permit has to clearly state that you got your permit to work on your own and not because you have a contract.
Have a look at this website (in Spanish) to see all the paperwork needed to start working as Autonomo. However, not all the paperwork listed in this page are necessary to start your activity. Again, we highly recommend searching for the help of an advisor or visit the Ventanilla Unica Empresarial at the Chambre of Commerce.
As a Company
Set up a company in Gran Canaria
To incorporate a company in Spain may take some time due to (i) the time required to open a bank account and (i) the register of the incorporation public deed in the Spanish Commercial Registry. The steps to set up a company in the Canary Islands should not defer to those necessary in the mainland. Please nd below such steps on a high-level basis: To reserve the corporate name of the company. You should send three potential corporate names to the Spanish Central Commercial Registry. This institution will review whether or not the requested names already exists and will grant a reserve for such name during a maximum of 6 months (once you incorporate the entity you will keep the name during the life of the company). This process can be done easily by a Spanish public notary. Once you have the name you need to open a bank account and to put an amount of 3,000 euros in the case that you are incorporating an S.L. (minimum share capital). In the case of an S.A., the minimum share capital is 60,000 euros and you have to put 15,000 euros in the bank account with the engagement of put additional 45,000 euros up to 60,000 euros in the following 5 years since the incorporation. Once the money is in the bank account the bank will issue a certificate that you need to give to the public notary. Incorporation public deed before the Spanish public notary. Register of the deed in the Spanish Commercial Registry.
Do It Yourself: Programa CIRCE
Although it is highly recommended to work with a consultant (asesor) to go through the process (both for becoming Autonomo and startup a Company), you may want to know that you can do everything by yourself, in this case, we recommend to have a high level of Spanish.
Have a look at this webpage of CIRCE: Business information and network creation centre. The Information Centre & Business Setup Network (Centro de Información y Red de Creación de Empresas -CIRCE) is an information system that makes it possible to setup online various forms of mercantile societies in Spain.
The types of societies that can be created through CIRCE are :
- Self-employed worker
- Limited liability entrepreneur
- Jointly owned company
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited company of successive formation
- New Enterprise Limited Company
- Cease the activity of a company
You can start your online process on CIRCE website here to directly access to the Portal where you can start the online process.
Taxation and advantages in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands, an autonomous region forming part of Spain and, therefore, of the European Union. As it is a fully integrated territory, the applicable legal system is that of Spain and the European Union. Moreover, its own special Economic and Fiscal Regime, entirely compatible with European regulations, o ers reduced taxation on company pro ts and on consumer goods as well as access to other incentives to business investment. Tax Incentives
Tax deduction for the production of material assets
This incentive o ers a 50% reduction in company tax, applicable to businesses producing agricultural, livestock, fishing and industrial goods.
Indirect Canary Islands Tax (IGIC)
This is similar to VAT but specific to the Canary Islands, with notably lower charges. Its standard rate is 7%.
Taxes on alcoholic drinks, tobacco, fuel and certain modes of transport are significantly lower than in the rest of the European Union.
Differently, from mainland Spain, where Value-Added Tax (IVA in Spanish) is applied on product and services, the Canary Islands benefit from a special tax regime that allows business based in the islands to substitute IVA with IGIC. Its standard rate is 7%.
IGIC must be applied to business transactions within the Canary Islands, meaning to products and services sold to business and buyers in the archipelago.
You don’t have to apply IGIC if your business is based in the Canary Island but the buyer is based outside of the archipelago, which included mainland Spain and all the other countries.
This is important when you are invoicing to your clients around the world. If your business is based in the Canary Island and you are invoicing to a client based outside the archipelago, you should not charge IGIC.
Tax Incentives for Investment
The Canary Islands Investment Reserve (RIC). With this incentive, the tax burden can be reduced by up to 90% of the company’s pro ts, always provided that certain investments linked to the growth of the company are made.
• Deduction for investment in fixed assets. This means a reduction of company tax equivalent to 25% of the amount destined for the acquisition of fixed assets.
• Greater reductions in company tax in comparison with the general Spanish system, for investments and expenses in activities such as:
-RD&I (32%-45%) -National audiovisual productions (40%-45%) -International audiovisual productions (40%)
Spanish Inbound Manager Regime
In general terms, the individual applying for this regime should only be liable to Spanish Personal Income Tax (PIT) regarding the Spanish sourced income. In principle, income obtained abroad should not be subject to tax in Spain. However, all employment income should be considered as Spanish sourced income. The employee would have a flat tax rate of 24% until 600,000 euros income and the Spanish Wealth Tax should only be applicable for the assets and rights located and that can be executed in Spain. The time period to apply for the inbound tax regime is 6 months since the date in which the employee has started to work and this regime should be applicable from the year in which the individual obtains the Spanish tax residency and in the following 5 years.
Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC)
Businesses set up within the ZEC are subject to a reduced level (4%) of corporate tax. This option is particularly attractive to investors from other countries as no withholding tax applies to repatriations of dividends nor on the payment of interests to their headquarters.
ZEC in depth
As part of the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC), Gran Canaria offers some serious tax incentives to investors who establish a company based on the island. It’s one of Europe’s most generous tax regimes and a heavyweight option for anyone looking to invest their capital in a tax-efficient manner.
These include 4% corporation tax, multiple tax exemptions, as for example on the distribution of the dividends. Gran Canaria is also covered by the Canary Islands Economic and Tax Regime, which o ers a generous set of tax exemptions for international businesses based on the island. This document is an excellent summary of the advantages of setting up in Gran Canaria.
In order to access ZEC advantages, a company needs to meet a few specific requirements and apply to the ZEC authority.
A ZEC company must be a new corporate entity based in the Canary Islands. At least one of the directors must reside in the Canary Islands. A ZEC entity must make a minimum investment of 100,000 euros in Gran Canaria in fixed assets within the first two years. This investment can be in Gran Canaria property. ZEC companies must create 5 full-time jobs in Gran Canaria during the first six months, and maintain this average workforce on an annual basis. ZEC entities must operate in a long list of permitted sectors or service industries.
Please mind that incorporate a company in the Canary Islands does not give a direct access to ZEC. In order to be listed as a ZEC company, the promoters of the company have to apply to the ZEC Consortium. As they state on their website:
"If you want to set up a project under the ZEC regime, you must provide, before the ZEC Consortium, an application form for authorization and a report, using the standard model. These documents will be presented together with:
A copy of the ID or passport of the applicant A documentary proof of deposit or guarantee for the amount of the registration fee Professional or business profile of the applicant and the technical training from the staff intended to hire, unless it is described in the report Bank Comfort Letter from the applicant Any other relevant documentation to better understand the scope of the business project"
People at ZEC are usually very welcoming and eager to help. If you want more information on how to become a ZEC entity we strongly recommend to the get in touch with them.
The Agency for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria (SPEGC)
What is SPEGC and how it can help
The Agency for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria (SPEGC) provides financial and consulting support to entrepreneurs and investors based in Gran Canaria. Their website includes useful resources for looking for funding and investment in Gran Canaria.
They also provide the Business Support Service (SAE). This service, which is provided free of charge, is dedicated to entrepreneurs that are seeking information and advice on starting up a business or taking on innovation projects in Gran Canaria.
According to their website, this service is dedicated to:
- Entrepreneurs with a business idea of an innovative and/or technological nature.
- Entrepreneurs installed in the incubators at the Gran Canaria Technology Park (offices at the Canary Islands Exhibition Centre and University Campus in Tafira).
- Entrepreneurs with social venture projects.
- Entrepreneurs with craftwork projects.
- Entrepreneurs in innovation and/or technology with a Business Plan.
- Businesses with innovation or R&D projects.
You should be interested in having more information or applying for this service fill the form here.
Places to Work From
Here’s a useful list of the main places you can live and work in Gran Canaria. Most are in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city as it is the island’s main coworking and digital nomad hub.
The SPEGC (Agency for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria) offers support and incubation services to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. It has two locations where you can work and get business advice and even help to raise fundings for your project. These are located at the INFECAR exhibition center in Las Palmas city, and at the University Campus at Tafira just inland of the city.