A Guide to Buying and Running a Business in Spain

A Guide to Buying and Running a Business in Spain

Once you have decided to purchase your new business, this is the time you will need to seek legal advice. You are free to use any lawyer based here in Spain, however our prices do include free legal fees

Their English speaking staff are always on hand to offer friendly and helpful advice on all legal matters in relation to the purchase of your business and your relocation to Spain. Both the legal fees and business transfer costs are additional to the cost of the lease and many of the other agencies are not forthcoming with highlighting these additional cost.

The amount that you would pay a lawyer to oversee the purchase varies between €1,000 and €1,500 euro’s. The lawyer’s service includes the checking of the contracts and to carry out any due diligence in relation to the business. In some areas you will have to pay a licence transfer tax approximately €600 euros. This will allow you to transfer the existing licence into your name and will also include changing the name of the business.

You will also need a technician to obtain a security certificate, these are basic checks such as emergency lights, fire extinguishers, and the cost is approximately €450 Euros. It is also required by Spanish law to obtain a food handling certificate, please note (the UK certificate is not valid in Spain). The cost per person is approximately €50 euro’s It is compulsory to apply for Spanish residency; the fee for two people is €150 euro’s


Buying a leasehold bar in Spain is a good way of acquiring a business without the massive outlay of a freehold and this is the preferred method for most buyers. A lease in Spain is called a ‘Trespaso’.

Leasehold bars in Spain – a simple guide;

Purchase price

The price quoted is for a new lease at the terms stated in the lease. You will normally pay this in one lump sum on the signing of the new lease. It is normal practice to secure a sale in the first instance with a 10% deposit (or 6000€ if the bar is under 60000€).This deposit is non-returnable unless the sale falls through because of the seller. If you simply change your mind, you will lose your deposit.

Length of lease

This will be clearly stated in all publicity advertising of the business and will be written into the lease agreement. The normal lease length is 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. Sometimes an endless lease is offered.

You have an automatic right to renewal of the lease providing you pay the rent on time and keep within the terms of the lease.

During the lease

  • You will pay the agreed rent on a monthly basis.
  • You can run the business in accordance with the terms of the lease (i.e. as a bar or shop).
  • You can alter the theme of the bar, the décor, the furniture etc but you cannot, without the landlord’s permission, alter the structure of the premises.
  • You will be responsible for the electricity, water, community charges etc
  • Your landlord is responsible for external repairs and major structural work
  • The rent will increase only by the rate of inflation each year
  • On renewal of the lease the rent will be increased (usually anything from 10% to 20%)
    Upon renewing the lease you do not have to pay another lump sum.

Selling the lease

You can, at any point, sell the lease at whatever price you want. You will normally have to pay your landlord a commission on the sale of 10%-20%. A new buyer will be responsible for any legal costs involved in the sale. You will also have to pay a commission to the agent who sells your lease for you.


If you purchase a business freehold, it is exactly the same as buying a home in the UK. You are buying the building, bricks and mortar. You then own the property and can sell it at any time. You can also sell a lease of your own to someone else or rent it out. In some cases it is possible to raise finance to purchase a freehold. We have mortgage companies who will lend up to 70% of the value. Freeholds in Spain are rising in value each year and can be a good investment. If you purchase a freehold, of course, you have no rent to pay and would pay a mortgage payment instead, where applicable.

Security issues

  • You may be required to insure the property and the contents. Insurance is Spain is considerably cheaper than in the UK and we can advise you on this.
  • You will need to give your landlord a security deposit of 2 months rent. This is returned to you when you leave, providing the premises are in good condition
  • You will also need to pay your rent one month in advance


Your lease is a legal contract and is governed by Spanish law. If you have a disagreement with your landlord, either party can take legal action in the local court.

You have rights as a tenant and your landlord has rights to protect his property.

This is the way that Fiesta Property does business:

  1. Once you have found the right business, you pay your deposit to secure the purchase. This deposit is placed in our client account; we do not give it to the seller at this point in case there is a problem with the sale and we have to return it to you.
  2. We prepare an option contract which usually lasts 30 days but can sometimes be shorter or longer, if required. This means that you have 30 days in which to pay the balance.
  3. During the term of this contract, the seller cannot increase the price, nor offer the business to anyone else.
  4. During the term of this contract, your appointed legal advisor will check the license of the business and check there are no outstanding debts.
  5. On the set completion date, all monies are transferred to the seller, in front of your legal advisor. You get the keys and your new lease is signed by the landlord.

Important Notes

    • If the seller pulls out of the sale for any reason, or it transpires that the business is not 100% correct, your deposit can be returned to you or used against another purchase.
    • If you pull out of the sale because you have changed your mind or cannot raise the balance of the funds, you will forfeit your deposit.
    • If it transpires that there are outstanding debts on the business, these will be paid by the seller.

Leases: Frequently Asked Questions

If I buy a lease how long will it run for?
It will vary but it will be set out in the contract. The normal length is 5, 10, 15 or 20 years

What happens at the end of the lease?
You renew it with your landlord. He can increase the rent at this point by up to 10% or 20%.

How much will the rent rise by each year?
The rent can only be increased by the rate of inflation, one time each year.

Can I alter the inside of the bar?
Yes, but not the structure, unless you obtain authorisation from the landlord. You can redecorate or refurnish in any way you choose.

Can I sell the lease?
Yes, at any point, for whatever price you like. However, you will have to pay a commission to the owner and an agency fee to the estate agent.

How old do I have to be?
You have to be 18 years of age

Am I going to lose all my money?
No, providing that you have bought the right bar – that is our job to advise you – and providing that you maintain a good business; buy well and you will have no trouble selling again.

What about licenses?
You do not need a license to own a business but the premises must be licensed. We check all of that for you and we only sell licensed businesses. Your legal representative will also double check this for you before signing the lease and paying the money.

How much does it cost to set up a business in Spain?
When you purchase a business through Fiesta Property, we always use a lawyer. This is for your protection. The lawyer will check the licenses on the business as well as checking for any outstanding debts. The Lawyer will oversee and translate the lease for you, they will also oversee the completion, making sure everyone gets paid the right amounts. Your total legal fees will be around 2,500 euros. You will also need to allow 3 months rent on your lease. 2 months is a security deposit, returned when you leave, one month is your rent in advance.

The purchase procedure

At Fiesta Property, we have a tried and tested system of purchase. Once you have found the right business;

  1. We negotiate the purchase price on your behalf.
  2. Once your offer has been accepted, you pay your deposit, which we hold securely in our client account.
  3. We then collect all the paperwork from the seller and introduce you to a reliable Lawyer or Gestoria.
  4. Contracts are signed and you have 30 days in which to pay the balance (this can be delayed or made quicker by negotiation with the seller)
  5. We help you open a bank account and register with accountants and tax offices etc
  6. The lawyer meanwhile begins to check the paperwork and obtain a new lease for you
  7. During this 30 days, the seller withdraws the business from sale and cannot sell to anyone else, nor increase the agreed price and terms
  8. On the set day of completion, you will meet with us, the seller, the landlord and the lawyer. Contracts will be exchanged, money changes hands and you get the keys to your new business

Once you have settled into your new business, we are still on hand to give you as much help and advice as necessary.

Nightmare stories?

As with everything in life, there are stories of things going wrong and you will probably have heard many about bars in Spain. We too have heard of people losing all their money, buying an illegal bar, being closed down and many more. Not all the stories you hear are true, however, all these problems can be avoided. It is a proven fact that most of these problems arise through the agent not doing his job correctly, not having a legal advisor or coming across a dishonest agent. There are also many problems with private sales with bar owners as many buyers hand over deposits without proper contracts in place.

Nowadays, buying a business in Spain and the Costa del Sol has become relatively easy. There are however, many pitfalls to avoid. Unfortunately there are too many rogues in Spain that will be very keen to rob you of your life savings. There are even unscrupulous agents that will sell you illegal bars! We see new agents come and go everyday. You must also be aware that Spain is very different to your own country and there are very different laws and taxes relating to your purchase. This guide is by no means exhaustive and in any event when you purchase through Fiesta Property, you will have the services of a legal advisor in every case – we will NOT undertake any sale without the use of a lawyer.

We at Fiesta Property are proud of our reputation for honesty and the thorough way in which we do business. This ensures that our clients do not become the subject of such horror stories. There is no reason why you should not be successful in your new business.

We can assure you with any business purchase that your money will be safe and that you will be purchasing a legal and debt free business – or you simply get your money back – you have no risks with us!

If you are speaking with other agents, please make sure of these things before you even consider doing business with them:

  • Are they a registered SL (Limited Company)? A registered business has directors and a registration number, ensuring that they are traceable and responsible.
  • Can they take you to existing clients who have purchased through them? This is a good way to be sure they have a good reputation and are honest.
  • Have they been working as a Commercial Agent for several years to understand the procedures and requirements? You don’t want to deal with anybody who have just started a real estate business for a few months!

We can proudly boast to comply with all of the above. We are a legal, registered business with an highly experienced team and we have many very satisfied clients who have made purchases through us and we would be happy to introduce you to them.

What about all the other things you have to think about?
Part of the service we offer is total settlement in Spain. Fiesta Property offers you a complete after sales care, which is second to none.

Arriving in a foreign country and trying to arrange services, purchases and deliveries, when you don’t know where anything is and you can’t speak that language, can be daunting and frustrating, we take care of all of that for you.


We don’t walk away from you once you have purchased your home or business and we spend as much time as needed to help, arrange and advise on all issues, for example:

  • Supplier Introduction for your business.
  • Buying Stock for your business.
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Catering Supplies
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Social Security and Taxation advise.
  • Obtaining an NIE Number
  • Opening a Bank Account
  • Long Term Rental Accommodation
  • Purchase of a New Home through our Residential Team.
  • Connection of Services (electricity etc)
  • Spanish Language Courses.
  • Furniture Removals
  • Installing a Sky TV system
  • Registering, Buying or Renting a Car
  • Schools for your children
  • Stationary
  • Pool Tables and Gaming Machines

We have many contacts and we will aim to direct you to companies that will offer you the best value for money and the highest levels of service.

Whilst we do not get involved in actually ‘selling you anything’, we will gladly take you to the necessary suppliers, provide you with contact details, make telephone calls or make arrangements for you. You then pay direct with the retailer or supplier. So, our after sales service really does cost you nothing!

Fiesta Property have built up a reputation for being informative and helpful to all of our clients and should you have any issues, questions or concerns, we are always at the end of a phone or email.

Electricity and water

These will normally be connected and we can help you have the accounts changed into your name. If they are not connected (if the business has been closed for some time), we can help you establish a new account with the suppliers. Electricity in Spain is 220v so all your UK electrical goods will work in Spain. All you do is purchase Spanish two-pin plugs or plug adaptors.  The water is safe to drink on the coast but most people prefer to buy bottled water.


In most places there is no mains gas. Gas is supplied in bottles which are delivered to your door on a regular basis. Gas bottles are approx. 11 euros each for a refill.


If this is connected, we will help you have the customer name changed with Telefonica. If you want a new line installed, we will help you contact Telefonica. We can also put you in touch with a supplier of discount phone calls. This means you can call the UK for as little as 3 cents a minute! Your UK telephone set will NOT work in Spain so don’t bother bringing it over.


All suppliers to your business will call to see you. Deliveries are made on a regular basis and most suppliers speak English. This guide has a separate section on suppliers. Most insist on cash on delivery but eventually you may be able to establish accounts with them.

Accountants and Gestors

We will suggest an accountant for you. He/she will be happy to take care of your income tax returns etc. He/she is a registered Gestor (advisor) and can help with all legal/tax/financial matters.

Social Security

We can help you apply for your social security number which is compulsory to work in Spain. It’s a simple trip to the Police station with your passport (and it’s free). Your social security payments are made on a monthly basis and can be paid at the bank or by standing order.


There are two types of school in the area and we can help you find both. The first is the normal Spanish state schools to which you can send your children, free of charge. The second is an international school. This is a private school and you will have to pay for it each term.

Rented accommodation

We have many contacts in the area who supply rented apartments, houses and villas. We will be happy to introduce you to them and they will take care of your requirements. The minimum rent you should expect to pay is 500- 700 euros per month for an apartment. On taking up a property, you will need to put down two or three months rent in advance. (One month is rent and the other two are security deposit which is returned when you leave). All properties are taken on either 6 or 11 months contracts. We can normally find accommodation close to your business.

Living in Spain – an introduction


We usually suggest a bank account at Banco Popular, mainly because these banks are specially designed for foreign residents. We will introduce you to the manager who will open an account for you. You will need €50.00 to open the account together with your passport. Staff in the bank speak perfect English and will always be keen to help you. We suggest that if you have a UK bank account, you maintain the account for when you visit the UK or return home in years to come. Banks are usually open 9.00am – 2.00pm Monday to Friday and with most banks these days, you have full access to your account via the internet banking service. All major credit cards are accepted in Spain and there is no shortage of ATM’s (cash machines).

Postal services

The Spanish postal service ‘Correos’ is normally quite efficient with international post. Post boxes are yellow with a post horn symbol. Postage stamps can be purchased from post offices or tobacconists. In areas where there is a large English community, there are Royal Mail services. This means that your mail is flown to the UK the next day then posted through the Royal Mail. It is slightly more expensive than the Spanish service but quicker and more secure.


Spain is a shopper’s paradise and wherever you go you will find bargains. The leather in Spain is especially cheap as are ceramic goods. You will find all the designer shops in most resorts and no shortage of bargain shops. Most shops will understand English but you will soon become acquainted with the Spanish names for shops. Some shops on the coast even accept Sterling as well as euros!

Here are some useful shops;

Agencia de Viajes Travel agent
Almacén Warehouse
Artesania Craft shop
Banco Bank
Carniceria Butchers
Correos Post Office
Estanco Tobacconist
Farmacia Chemist
Ferreteria Ironmongers
Fruteria Fruit shop
Joyeria Jewelers
Libreria Bookshop
Optica Optician
Panaderia Baker
Regalos Gift shop
Supermercado Supermarket

English products

There are many stores in Spain that now stock a range of English products, so there is very little that you should miss about your home country. Good old favorites that used to be hard to find such as marmite, breakfast cereals, English biscuits etc are now commonplace. Iceland the big frozen food chain now has stores all over Spain where you can buy lots of English goods.

So what is it really like living in Spain?

Generally, life is slower in Spain than in the UK. Things certainly do not happen overnight and ‘yes’ the ‘Mañana syndrome’ is true. Everything is done tomorrow. The Spanish work hard but also play hard. They enjoy life to the full and every moment of leisure is spent wisely. You too must fit into this lifestyle. Life in Spain, especially if you are going to be working, is not an extended holiday. There will be times when you will suffer with the intense heat. Your diet will change for the better. Diet in Spain is based around fresh foods, especially fruit and it’s so cheap. On most days you can rise and guarantee the weather is going to be fine. Rain is rare but when it rains, it rains!

Because of the language and culture differences, things do take longer in Spain and official procedures are more complex. With the appointment of a good Gestor you shouldn’t have much trouble. Crime is very low (apart from the obvious opportunists that target the holiday makers) and the police have a great respect for foreigners, providing you give them the same.

One thing you will not be short of when you come to live in Spain is visitors. Your home will be constantly inundated with friends and relatives looking for a cheap holiday. Try not to let this interfere with your business.

You will probably want to keep in touch with the UK and this shouldn’t be a problem. Telephone calls are cheap as is internet connection for emails. Flights back are also bargain priced if you know where to look.

The Costa del Sol – an introduction

For the purpose of this guide, we are going to assume that you know nothing of the Costa del Sol.


The Costa del Sol (Coast of sun) is located in southern Spain, within the region of Andalucia. It stretches from Nerja in the north to Gibraltar in the south and encompasses some of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. The coastline is varied and has beaches of fine sand and coarse shingle. Not far inland you can still find tiny Andalucian villages that have been untouched by tourism. You will also find several major cities such as Malaga, Granada, Seville and Cordoba.


The climate is mild and the Costa del Sol has 320 days of sunshine each year. The average temperature of the sea is 22º in the summer and 16º in the winter. The winters are warmer than anywhere else in Europe. This makes the Costa del Sol an all year round holiday destination and a popular haunt for the long-stay pensioners in the winter.


If you arrive by air you will probably arrive at Malaga International Airport. This is the busiest airport in Spain, handling over 11 million people every year. The airport has gone been through a major refurbishment opening its airwaves up to other countries worldwide. You could also find yourself landing at Gibraltar airport which is at the most southern tip of the coast (about one hours drive from Malaga).

This airport now has the name of Gibraltar International Airport and has also recently been through a major refurbishment and extension.

From Malaga airport you can catch the coastal train. This runs as far as Fuengirola, is cheap and runs every 30-40 minutes each way.  The train carries instructions, destinations and current stations in English as well as Spanish and German.  You can also pick up a taxi. Taxis are government owned so in perfect condition, reliable and generally honest. It always pays you to ask for a fixed price to your destination or make sure the meter is running. Taxis are white and when free, have a green light illuminated on the roof. ‘Libre’ means free and is shown in the window. ‘Ocupado’ is occupied and is also shown in the window. There is also an efficient and cheap bus service. Cars can also be hired from the airport as well as all the major holiday resorts.

Fiestas and holidays

Spain has many national holidays and every region has its own fiestas. Andalucia is no exception and when it comes to fiestas, the local people know how to enjoy themselves. Your diary will be full of fiestas and celebrations and to get the best from life in Spain, enjoy as many as you can.

The people

Spanish people in Andalucia are friendly and will make you welcome, providing you respect their traditions and their lifestyle. On the Costa del Sol, you will find every nationality possible, most on holiday but many of them living here on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.

The language

Although you must learn a little Spanish, it is not essential. English is accepted on the Costa del Sol as the second language. There is little you will not be able to do in English. There are however plenty of places where you can learn Spanish at very little cost – and you will enjoy it.

Major resorts

Marbella has been given the nickname ‘playground of the rich’. This is due to the number of celebrities that visit or live in the resort. The resort also encompasses the famous marina of Puerto Banus. The old town of Marbella is a delightful place to visit and has a wide selection of shops, most of which sell high quality designer wear and jewellery. The beaches of Marbella are of a high standard. Property prices in Marbella are of the highest on the coast.

This has to be one of the friendliest family resorts on the coast. The tourism industry has had a firm hold on the town for many years and a perfect infrastructure has been established. There is a massive foreign resident community in the area and a host of business opportunities. The beaches are long, wide and clean. All the beaches also boast the award of the Blue Flag. There are ample hotels and restaurants of all styles and qualities. Fuengirola is linked to Malaga by rail and the N340 highway runs slightly off the coast. It takes just 15-20 minutes to drive to the airport. Gibraltar is less than an hour away. Fuengirola port is popular and offers water sports, sailing and boat trips.

This is one of the original Costa del Sol resorts, established in the 60’s. It is still a popular destination for the package tour industry. The beaches are of a high quality and there are ample bars, restaurants and hotels. The resort has a thriving nightlife. Torremolinos is just 10-15 minutes from the airport, linked by the N340 highway. The train also passes through on its way from Fuengirola to Malaga. This line is planned for extension to Marbella.

A classy resort, well known for its award winning marina, pictured left. Located in between Torremolinos and Fuengirola, this resort is popular with families. There is every kind of activity here and ample hotels of varying quality. The beaches are of high quality and safe for children. Malaga airport is within 15 minutes using the N340 or the coastal road. There are many foreign residents here, divided between the three main areas; Benalmadena Pueblo (a quiet village), Benalmadena Costa (the coastal area) and Arroyo de la Miel (an offspring of the coastal town, based higher up the hill). Arroyo is the location for the famous theme park, Tivoli World.

Mijas is divided into two main areas; Mijas Pueblo, the hilltop village, still very Andalucian in style yet now a major tourist attraction and Mijas Costa, the coastal area, built up with urbanizations, hotels and typical tourist attractions. Both areas have a foreign resident community which also encompasses the areas in between. Both areas are relatively quiet compared with other resorts along the coast.

Ronda is an inland town that perches on a massive gorge. The gorge is bridged by a famous bridge. Ronda is a very popular destination for day visitors and there are many coaches that leave from the coast daily. Here you will find Andalucian architecture at its best, a first class parador and many quality restaurants.


Malaga is your nearest city and more than just the location of the airport. Malaga has one of the most important ports in Spain with regular cruise liners embarking here. Malaga is also a cultural centre with lots of museums, galleries, cinemas and theatres. Seville is one of Spain’s most important cities and is worthy of a visit. Granada is one of Spain’s oldest cities and it is here that you will find the ‘Alhambra’ a Moorish fort with splendid gardens and palaces. Cordoba is another major city, famous for its garden patios and the annual patio competition.

Fancy a shopping trip to Gibraltar?

Gibraltar is located at the far southern end of the coast, past Sotogrande and LaLinea. Gibraltar is British territory and is a tax free haven. There are many coach trips running daily from all over the coast. Simply look in the window of any travel agent or ask at a major hotel. Trips are cheap and you could pick up a bargain. Cigarettes and alcohol are cheap, as are perfumes and some electronic goods. Don’t forget to take your passport and watch for the duty free allowances.

Contacting people whilst on the Costa del Sol

Dialing the UK: Use a public call box or one of the many ‘Call Home Cabins’. The latter is the cheapest option. Simply dial 0044 then the number you require in England. Make sure you drop the first zero of the UK number. I.e.:  0044 (0) 1299 444999.

Dialing a Spanish number: Within the local area (Malaga), all numbers begin with 952 or 951. Spanish mobiles all begin with a 6. Simply dial the number as it reads, no further codes are required, unless you are dialing from a UK mobile, then you must put 0034 before the number.


In Spain there are three police forces;
The National Police deal with major crimes Emergency Tel 091
The Guardia Civil deal with traffic crimes Emergency Tel 062
The Local Police deal with local crime and complaints Emergency Tel 092

Health emergencies Emergency Tel 061
Fire Service (Bomberos) Emergency Tel 080

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be experienced to run a bar in Spain?
As with running any business, experience is always an advantage, however, the main qualification required is “common sense” and the desire to be successful. Many people have purchased a bar/catering business with little or no experience and are running them very successfully. If you approach the running of your new business, as a business, rather than a leisure activity, you will be far more successful. We offer a second to none after sales back up, offering advice and a helping hand if required.

Do we need to speak Spanish? 
Due to the majority of our businesses being British owned and run, situated in a tourist and ex-pat areas, the majority of your customers will be British, therefore whilst learning the language would be an advantage, this is not seen as essential and you do tend to pick up the language quite quickly. There is an abundance of language schools and tutors available if you want to learn quickly.

Can I bring my pets to Spain? 
Yes, you most certainly can! Domestic animals, such as Cats and Dogs can enter Spain from the U.K. without any quarantine, so it’s unlikely you will have to leave them behind. However it is necessary to obtain an international health certificate and a pet passport. Your animal will also need to be vaccinated against rabies. You should contact your local vet to receive advice and to arrange this. You should allow about six weeks before you travel with your pet to arrange this.

Where will I live? 
We are members of an extensive network and can provide you with a massive selection of properties to buy – such as re-sales and new developments. We can also offer you a large selection of rented accommodation. Many of our clients like to rent a home, normally an apartment or townhouse, close to their business and these start from about €600 per month. You will normally also need two months deposit for your landlord. Most accommodation will be fully furnished, so you will have everything that you need to move straight in.

Is the cost of living similar to the UK?
Supermarket shopping is said to be 25% cheaper than in the U.K.  Utility bills are also considerably cheaper than the UK, with the average for two people in an apartment being €100 per month. Water is on a meter and this is 50% less than in the UK. Alcohol and tobacco are considerably less with typical savings of up to 75% compared to UK prices. Petrol is 30% less than the UK.

So, the simple answer is that the cost of living is far cheaper than in the UK.

What about medical care?
The Spanish National Health Service is free to U.K. senior citizens and the service is excellent however, as in the U.K., non-emergency cases will be placed on a waiting list. The A&E service is very good, although for €350 per couple, per year, you can buy into the Air Ambulance service, which will offer you a 24 hour doctor-to-home, service as well as emergency service.  Purchasers of businesses in Spain are obliged to join the Spanish N.H.S. Payment for this service is included in monthly national insurance contributions. There are also many types of private medical health care, which many people decide to join. We do however advise people visiting for purchasing businesses in Spain to bring with them an E11 form to cover yourself until all paperwork is completed; these are available in the U.K. from your post office or downloadable from the internet.

Can I open a bank account in Spain?
In all Spanish banks there is a full range of services available, deposit accounts, cheque accounts, mortgages, debit/credit cards etc. Most of the staff will speak English. All utility accounts such as electricity, water and telephone can be paid by direct debit or over the counter. As part of our service to you, we can help you through the process of opening an account and setting up your bill payments.

What type of education is available for my children?
All state education in Spain is free and compulsory for children aged 6 years and above. Spain is home to many nationalities and most Spanish schools have a large number of non-Spanish pupils. In our experience, young British children attending Spanish school, have a basic understanding of Spanish in 4 months and are fluent within the year. Children will also like to know that school hours are from 9am – 2 pm with plenty of holidays, including 10 weeks in the summer!  There are a number of British / International schools with G.C.S.E subjects being taught and exams taken, these are normally private and you will have to pay, however, these schools are considerably cheaper than UK private schools.  Nurseries in Spain are plentiful. This is an ideal way to introduce your child to the Spanish language. Hours and costs may vary, though prices are very low compared to Britain.

Is my driving license valid? 
Yes, however, once you have applied for residency you have 6 months to register your license with the local transport authority. You can obtain a Spanish driving license and this does make life much easier. All U.K. cars must also be registered into Spanish Registration, although you will be charged import duty. We can assist with this and put you in touch with a legal person who can arrange this for you.

Can I draw my pension here?
You can arrange to have your UK pension paid direct into your Spanish Bank. If you wish to arrange this, you simply need to contact the UK Pension Authorities and let them have your Spanish bank details.

Can I rent a car? 
There are an abundance of car hire firms who can provide you with a car to suit your requirements. You will need to provide your driving license and passport as identification. For a small car expect to pay 120 euros in summer, or for an 8 Seater, 400 euros. Rates are a little less in the winter. You may find it a better option, if moving here to run a business, that you bring your car with you from the UK.

What about electrical appliances? 
The voltage in Spain is 220v. All of your UK electrical appliances from the UK will work here without any problem. Some TVs will not get sound unless you can change the PAL settings, so for this we suggest you check with your local electrical retailer. Telephones from the UK will not work here, so you will need to buy a new phone.

What about a Mobile Phone?
You have two options. Firstly, you can buy a pay as you go sim card; secondly, you can get a contract phone. With a contract phone, although you have a monthly minimum payment to make, you will find that calls are cheaper and for outgoing calls you will save money with a contract phone. Your mobile phone from the UK will only work on a Spanish sim card if it is unlocked. We do not recommend constant use of a UK mobile phone sim card, as with call roaming it will work out too expensive.

What are Spanish Working Hours?
In general the Spanish work 9am to 2pm and then 5pm to 9pm. Many still have the traditional ‘Siesta’ between 2pm and 5pm. This can be very frustrating for the British, but remember, we are in Spain! Many larger stores do tend to open all day, especially in the larger tourist towns.


We hope that this guide has been of interest to you, but we are happy to answer any questions that you have that have not been covered in this guide.

If you would like to arrange a visit to the Costa del Sol, we will be happy to arrange to show you any suitable businesses within your budget and to also show you the different areas of interest. We are please to arrange airport transfers and can assist with arranging accommodation.

We offer a strict ‘no pressure’ policy and will spend as much or little time with you as you require us to and will ensure that you find the business that most suits your requirements.

What’s the next Step? Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

A guide to buying a business in Spain is available here.