Legal Situation

Legal structure of companies in Spain

The most common types  of companies in Spain are indicated below:

TYPE NUMBER OF PARTNERS CAPITAL LIABILITY
Sociedad Anónima (Public Limited Company or S.A.) Minimum of 1 Minimum of €60,000 Limited to the capital provided
Sociedad Anónima Europea (European Company or S.E.) Minimum of 1 Minimum of €120,000 Limited to the capital subscribed
Sociedad Limitada (Limited Company or S.L.) Minimum of 1 Minimum of €3,000 Limited to the capital provided
Sociedad Limitada Nueva Empresa (Newly Incorporated Limited Company or S.L.N.E.) Minimum of 1 and maximum of 5 at moment of incorporation Between €3,012 and €120,202 Limited to the capital provided

Types of contract

Employment contracts can be for an indefinite or fixed term. The different types of fixed term contracts are shown in the table below:

TYPE PURPOSE DURATION
Contract for project work or services Performance of independent work or services within the context of the company's business Depending on the time taken to execute the project
Short-term contract to cover demand for production To cover market demand or backlogs of work or orders

A maximum of 6 months within a 12-month period (extendable up to a maximum of 12 months in an 18-month period)

Temporary contract Temporary substitution of workers Until the substituted worker returns or the expiry of the established substitution period.
Work experience contract Hiring of university graduates, or workers with higher or advanced vocational training qualifications A minimum of 6 months (may be extended twice) and a maximum of 2 years
Vocational training and apprenticeship contract Acquisition of the theoretical and practical training necessary to do a specific job A minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 2 years (may be extended up to 3 years under collective labour agreement)

Social Security

All employers, workers, self-employed workers, members of manufacturing cooperatives, domestic staff, military personnel, and civil servants who live and/or work in Spain, must register with the Spanish social security system and are obliged to pay the respective contributions. Social security contributions are shared between the employer and the worker. Social security contributions for 2017 are indicated below:

  Employee % Total %
Total contribution
6.35 36.25

These rates are applied to certain minimum and maximum contribution bases, depending on the worker's category, with the minimum base for 2017 set at €858.60/month, and the maximum at €3,751.20/month

National minimum wage

The national minimum wage for 2017 in Spain is €735.90 per month and €10,302.60 per year.

Foreign workers

Spanish immigration legislation makes a distinction between foreigners subject to the European Community regime, and foreigners subject to general immigration rules.

Nationals of EU Member States

Nationals subject to the European Community regime, from other EU Member States, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, do not need to obtain permits to work for companies or as self employed workers, and have the same labour rights as Spanish citizens.

Nationals from non-EU countries

Foreigners who are not subject to the EU regime require authorisation to work in Spain. Employers wishing to hire non-EU nationals must obtain prior authorisation from the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.