If you are opening a business in Spain or simply planning to relocate your business to the country, opening a business bank account is required by law and helpful to manage your finances. A good business account can save you time and money by providing a seamless experience for your national and international business transactions.
Before diving into a more detailed discussion about business bank account in Spain in general, allow us to provide you with a guide on how to create one first. Here are the steps you can follow to open a business bank account in Spain:
Choose a bank: Researching different banks and comparing their current fees, services, and reputation to find the one that best meets the needs of your business is key. Spain is home to a multitude of well-established banks, including: Banco Santander, BBVA, and CaixaBank.
Gather necessary documents: You will need to provide certain documents in order to open a business bank account in Spain. These may include your:
- business registration certificate (Certificado de Inscripción en el Registro Mercantil),
- tax identification number (Número de Identificación Fiscal),
- identification documents for the business owner(s).
Schedule an appointment: Contact the bank to schedule an appointment to open your business bank account. Make sure to confirm the required documents and any other information you need to bring with you.
Present documents: Bring all necessary documents with you to the appointment. The bank may additionally require you to provide a business plan or other financial information. The bank representative should be able to indicate all the required documents.
Sign the contract: Once the bank has reviewed your documents and approved your application, you will be asked to sign a contract to open the business bank account.
Activate the account: After signing the contract, you will need to activate the account by making an initial deposit and setting up any required account management services, such as online banking or chequebooks.
It's a good idea to shop around and compare different banks before making a decision, as fees and services can vary widely. Keep in mind that you may need to provide additional documentation or information if you are a foreigner or non-resident.
What legal documents do I need to open a business bank account in Spain?
To open a business bank account in Spain, you will typically need to provide the following legal documents:
- Business registration certificate (Certificado de Inscripción en el Registro Mercantil): This certificate confirms that your business is registered with the Spanish Commercial Register and includes important information about your business, such as the business name, legal structure, and owner(s).
- Tax identification number (Número de Identificación Fiscal): This number, also known as an NIF, is assigned to your business by the Spanish tax authorities and is used to identify your business for tax purposes.
- Identification documents for the business owner(s): You will need to provide identification documents for all individuals who are authorised to open and manage the business bank account. This may include a passport or national ID card.
In addition to these documents, the bank may also require you to provide a business plan or other financial information, such as a projected income statement or balance sheet.
It's a good idea to check with the bank in advance to find out exactly which documents you might also need to bring to your appointment. If you are a foreign business owner, there is a chance the bank can ask for additional documentation or information.
How to register a business in Spain
Before opening a business bank account in Spain, you will need to register your business with the Spanish Commercial Register (Registro Mercantil). Here are the steps you can follow to register your business:
Choose a legal structure: the first step in registering your business is to decide on a legal structure. Options include:
- a sole proprietorship (empresa individual),
- a partnership (sociedad colectiva or sociedad en comandita),
- or a limited liability company (sociedad limitada or sociedad anónima).
Each type of legal structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s highly recommended that you carefully consider your options and possibly consult with a lawyer or financial advisor.
Register with the Commercial Register: once you have chosen a legal structure, you will need to register your business with the Commercial Register. This can be done online through the website of the Spanish Companies Registry (Registro Mercantil Central). You will need to provide information about your business, such as the business name, legal structure, and owner(s), as well as any required documents, such as identification documents for the business owner(s).
Obtain a tax identification number: after registering your business with the Commercial Register, you will need to obtain a tax identification number (Número de Identificación Fiscal, or NIF) from the Spanish tax authorities. This number is used to identify your business for tax purposes and is required to open a business bank account.
Register with the Social Security system: If you will be hiring employees, you will also need to register your business with the Spanish Social Security system. This can be done online through the website of the Spanish Social Security (Seguridad Social).
Once you have completed these steps and obtained the necessary documents, you can proceed to open a business bank account. Keep in mind that the process of registering a business in Spain can be complex and may vary depending on your specific circumstances.
Introduction to Spain's banking system
Spain has a well-developed banking system, with a number of large national and international banks operating in the country. The main regulator of the Spanish banking system is the Bank of Spain, which is responsible for maintaining the stability and integrity of the financial system.
The Spanish banking system is composed of both commercial banks and savings banks. Commercial banks, also known as "bancos," offer a wide range of financial products and services, including checking and savings accounts, loans, and investment products. Savings banks, also known as "cajas de ahorros," were traditionally focused on providing savings and mortgage products to individuals and small businesses.
In terms of banking services, Spain offers a wide range of services, similar to most developed countries. Internet banking and mobile banking are widely used, and cashless payments are also becoming more common.
Current banking structure in Spain for non-residents and foreigners
Banks and fintech companies in Spain are now more open to working with non-residents and foreigners, and many continue to try to streamline their processes for opening business accounts. They can even allow now opening business bank accounts to non-residents. The Spanish government has also implemented several measures to attract foreign investment, such as reducing bureaucracy and offering tax incentives. However, regulations and requirements change often so it is important to do your research beforehand to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible for you.
While the current banking structure in Spain for non-residents generally includes a range of services that are similar to those offered to residents, including business accounts, loans, and trade financing, you will probably need to provide extra documentation as a non-resident. This might include proof of ID and residence when opening your business account.
If you’re thinking about opening your account at a traditional or ‘high street’ bank as a non-resident you might be required to go through some extra steps.. Some banks in Spain may also have restrictions on the types of businesses they’ll work with, or may require a minimum deposit or turnover. Take some time to research and compare the different banking options to see what fits your company best.
IBAN in Spain
Much like in the rest of the EU, Spain uses IBAN (International Bank Account Number) to identify bank accounts. IBAN is a standardised format for bank account numbers made up of a combination of letters and numbers. The system was created to help process cross-border payments and reduce the risk of making errors when making international money transfers.
In Spain, an IBAN typically has 24 characters, which include the country code (ES), a two-digit check digit, and the basic bank account number (BBAN) for the account. The BBAN includes the bank code and the account number, which can vary in length depending on the bank.
For example, a Spanish IBAN might look like this: ES00 2345 5678 4568 9876 1235
Where ES is the country code, the next two digits (XX) are the check digits, and the remaining digits are the BBAN.
Traditional banks in Spain that provide business bank accounts
There are many traditional banks in Spain that offer business bank accounts for non-residents. Some of the largest and most well-known banks in Spain include:
Banco Santander: one of the largest banks in Spain, Banco Santander offers a range of business banking services, including business bank accounts, loans, and trade finance.
Banco Sabadell: Banco Sabadell is a leading bank in Spain that offers a range of business banking services, including business bank accounts, loans, and trade finance.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA): BBVA is a multinational bank with a strong presence in Spain. It offers a range of business banking services, including business bank accounts, loans, and trade finance.
CaixaBank: CaixaBank is a leading bank in Spain that offers a range of business banking services, including business bank accounts, loans, and trade finance.
Banco Popular: Banco Popular is a Spanish bank that offers a range of business banking services, including business bank accounts, loans, and trade finance.
These are just a few examples of traditional banks in Spain that offer business bank accounts. There are many other banks in Spain that may also be suitable for your business needs.
Can you open a business account in Spain online?
The simple answer to this is - yes, you can open a business bank account online while you are in your home country.
There are, however, some banks that don’t provide the convenience of an online business account. The process might be more complicated and require you to provide specific documents that will need to be verified before your account is approved. You could also be required to visit a physical branch to complete the process of opening your account, which ultimately complicates the process and costs you time.
You’ll find this is often the case with larger and more traditional banks, such as Santander and BBVA. If you decide on a bank and need to go this route, make sure to factor in the time and cost of travel when considering whether or not to open an account with that particular institution.
Digital banking in Spain for opening a business account
In addition to traditional banks, there are also several digital banks in Spain that offer business bank accounts. Digital banks are banks that operate entirely online, without physical branches. Some examples of digital banks in Spain that offer business bank accounts include:
wamo: With wamo, you can open a business account in all European countries and Spain. The wamo account is designed according to the needs of businesses. Open your account without difficulty with an application that takes only 10 minutes.
N26: N26 is a German digital bank that offers business bank accounts in 28 EU markets including Spain.
Revolut: Revolut is a UK-based digital bank that offers business bank accounts in Spain and several other European countries.
TransferWise: is a London-based financial technology company that offers business accounts in Spain and the rest of Europe.
Monese: Monese is a British-Estonian digital bank that offers current accounts and money transfer services as an alternative to traditional banks.
Digital banks and alternative financial service providers may offer some advantages over traditional banks, such as lower fees, more convenient banking services and faster account opening processes. However, it is important to carefully research and compare different digital banks to find the one that is best for your business needs. Check out the wamo website to open an easy and convenient business account with wamo and to learn more about what wamo can do to help your business thrive.
Why do you need a business bank account for your business?
Having a separate business account can help you stay organised and on top of your finances. When all of your business income and expenses are run through one account, it makes it much easier to track your progress and make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources.
Another benefit of having a business bank account in Spain is that it can help establish credibility with suppliers, customers, and financial institutions. You can trade like a local from wherever you are in the world. It can also make it easier to apply for loans and other types of financing.
Lastly, and importantly, having a business bank account can save you money on taxes by allowing you to claim certain expenses as business deductions.
Overall, having a separate business bank account can make your life easier and keep you on top of your game in Spain's fast-paced business world.
How long does it take to open a business bank account in Spain?
The time it takes to open a business bank account in Spain will vary depending on the bank you choose and the type of account you apply for. Typically, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The process may be quicker if you are able to provide all of the required documentation and information in a short space of time, while also making sure everything is correct. .
As mentioned previously, if you are choosing a popular bank in Spain, the requirements might be stricter. This could mean it would take much longer than a week to get your business bank account up and running. This is why It's important to research different banks and compare their process and requirements for opening a business account before deciding the right path for your company.
It’s well worth looking at newer and more small-business friendly options. It’s becoming increasingly popular for some banks and financial service providers like wamo, Wise and Revolut, for example, to offer faster, simpler account opening processes. They have fewer requirements, provide straightforward processes and tend to be much more flexible than traditional banks.
How to open a business account with wamo in 10 minutes
Unlike traditional banks, at wamo we aim to provide ultimate flexibility and ease when it comes to opening a business account in Spain (or anywhere!). As a fintech company, wamo operates differently than traditional banks, with services tailored especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs and their unique needs.
To open a business account with wamo, all you will need to do is complete the online application form and provide some basic information about your company. Once your application is approved, you can access your account and start using it immediately. The entire registration process can take as little as 10 minutes.
Required documents to open a business account with wamo
Depending on where you’re located and the type of business you run, the requirements for opening an account may vary. However, in general, you will likely need to provide the following documents to open a business account with wamo:
- Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A)
- Proof of shareholder structure
- Proof of company address
Not necessary, but can be required at a later stage
- Registry extracts
- Certificate of Incorporation (COI)
Once you’ve finished uploading your documents and sharing some basic details about you and your business your application will be ready for verifying and, if everything looks good, it will be approved and ready for business within 24 hours! If you need any help or have any questions it is always possible to speak to a wamo team member by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the chatbox on the website.
Advantages of having a wamo account over traditional banks
While traditional banks in Spain offer a range of financial services and a bank account, wamo is a financial service provider that is specifically designed to help small and mid-sized business owners thrive. So, it offers a more customised and easy-to-use local business account that is designed for business purposes. One of the biggest advantages of wamo is the lack of administrative hassle and bureaucracy when compared with a traditional bank.
You can also expect to save time with wamo as:
- where opening a regular business account can take weeks and even months, you can open your wamo account in just 10 minutes.
- wamo's customer service is available via chat, email, or phone with instant human support. You’ll know and feel when you’re taken care of.
- you won't need to visit a physical branch as everything can be done online.
wamo has many more benefits for small businesses like multi-currency accounts, virtual debit cards, faster turnaround time and perhaps most importantly of all, bespoke, personal customer support.
You can get a faster, easier and cost-effective subscription plan that covers most of the extra costs usually charged by banks, starting at €19.99/month. The company does not demand extensive documentation like some banks might. You can join the waitlist now.