Foreigners over the age of 18 who intend to develop an entrepreneurial and business activity of an innovative nature that is of special economic interest for Spain can apply for a residence permit for entrepreneurs.

There are two ways to access this permit:

  • Applying for a visa, for those foreigners who are in their country and need to come to Spain to carry out the necessary procedures to launch the entrepreneurial activity.
  • A permit, for those who are already in Spain and want to start their project.

Therefore, those foreigners who request to enter Spain or who, being holders of a stay or residence authorization or visa, intend to start, develop or direct an economic activity as an entrepreneur, may be provided with a residence authorization for business activity, which will be valid Throughout the national territory.

General requirements

This type of permit or visa can be applied for by any foreign citizen (non-EU) who wants to develop an entrepreneurial and business activity of an innovative nature in Spain, or who may have a special economic interest for Spain.

In addition to demonstrating that an innovative activity is going to be carried out in Spain, it is necessary to prove that:

  • You are not irregularly in Spanish territory.
  • Are you older than 18.
  • Lack of criminal records in Spain and in the countries where they have resided during the last five years, for crimes provided for in the Spanish legal system.
  • Not appear as rejectable in the territorial space of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.
  • Have public insurance or private health insurance arranged with an insurance entity authorized to operate in Spain.
  • Have sufficient financial resources for themselves and their family members during their period of residence in Spain.
  • Pay the fee for processing the authorization or visa
  • In the event that the applicant is already in Spain when the application is submitted, if they are the holder of a stay or stay for studies of less than six months, they must present an original criminal record certificate from the country or countries in which they have resided for the past five years.
Definition of entrepreneurial and business activity

Entrepreneurial activity shall be understood to be one that is of an innovative nature with special economic interest for Spain and for this purpose has a favorable report issued by the Economic and Commercial Office of the area of geographical demarcation or by the General Directorate of International Trade and Investments.

In the case of foreigners who are legally in Spain, the request will be addressed to the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit, which will automatically request a report on entrepreneurial and business activity from the General Directorate of International Trade and Investments. This report, of a mandatory nature, will be issued within ten business days.

For the assessment, the creation of jobs in Spain will be taken into account especially and as a priority. Also, it will be taken into account:

  • The professional profile of the applicant, his training and professional experience as well as his involvement in the project. In the event that there are several partners, the participation of each of them will be evaluated, both those who request a visa or authorization and those who do not require it.
  • The business plan with mention, at least, of the following elements:

Description of the project: business activity to be carried out, start date, location, expected legal form of the company, potential economic impact of the investment, description of the number of jobs that are estimated to be created and their functions and qualifications, activities promotion plans and sales strategy.

Description of the product or service: the description will be detailed and will include the innovative aspects.

Market analysis: market assessment and expected evolution, description of potential competitors, assessment of potential consumers and analysis of supply and demand.

Financing: required investment, sources of financing and financial plan.

The added value for the Spanish economy, innovation or investment opportunities.

Documentation to be presented
  • The documentation that you must prepare in order to make this request is:
  • Passport
  • Public or private medical insurance with an entity that operates in Spain.
  • Criminal record.
  • Accreditation of economic means
  • In the case of a visa: Favorable report issued by the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish embassy in the area of the geographical demarcation where you reside.
  • In case of the permit: Business plan with the requirements indicated above. The business plan is required for the issuance of the report on entrepreneurial and business activity by the General Directorate of International Trade and Investment requested ex officio by the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit.

The permit for entrepreneurs will last for 2 years.

Place of presentation

This authorization is submitted to the Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos or Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE).


Arts. 68 to 70 of the Law to Support Entrepreneurs and their Internationalization (Law 14/2013, of September 27).