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16 Mar 2016 | Estimated reading time: 5 minutes |
Open a business

How to start a business in Barcelona - Step by step

How to start a business in Barcelona - Step by step

From idea to opening - The Catalan Capital could be a great place for you to open a new business venture.

Most of us know someone who left everything behind, moved somewhere far beyond the sea, and now sends us a postcard from a sunny place for Christmas to rub it in... What if that person could be you? For all those dreamers who remain, maybe you really should develop your project into reality... And do it in a beautiful city like Barcelona, Catalonia. The steps to transform your project into reality are divided into several stages: An idea, market research, financial projections, business plan, financing, legal status, and implementation. While you go through all that, we offer ideal apartments to rent by the month (most of which have offices) so you can start developing your idea.

Opening a business in Barcelona

First step: The Idea

Planting an idea
Already have an idea to plant?

The old adage of "There's no such thing as a bad idea" isn't true from a business position. You can hardly tell what will work and what will flop. So, before you go running to implement your new business idea it's a good to add some coherence to your project. Keep in mind your expectations and aims, the economic context in which you'll be working, and the competition.

In Barcelona, a local initiative called Porta 22 will be your best friend to get your business ideas off the ground. It's an information centre to guide you towards the economic opportunities in Catalonia. There are conferences and a wealth of documents about different jobs. Once you use it and have your project at hand - analysed, thought out, and validated - then it's onto the next step.

Second step: Market Research

Market research
Is there a market to conquer?

Now you'll have to flesh out everything about your idea. That is to say, listing the competitors, the unique selling point, where and whom to sell to, why, how...? There are a lot of questions to answer and everything should be left clear if you truly want to navigate your market with your project. At the aforementioned Porta 22 there is a lot of helpful resources for just that. This is probably one of the longest parts of the plan as it's important not to rush. Never be afraid to ask for help.

Third step: Financial forecasting

Financial forecasting
Do the figures add up?

The project begins to take shape, it is now necessary to ensure its solvency or put another way, the figures need to add up and make financial sense in order to guarantee a future for your idea. This forecast will pitch wages and material/immaterial expenses against monthly/yearly sales, revenue, assets, and balance sheets.

Fourth step: Business Plan

Making a business plan
Time to make a plan!

This document represents putting your business project to a dossier. It's a document that could potentially be used to present to capital investors and is an explanation of all your work to date. Don't write it in a way that someone else would want to hear it by backing everything up with verifiable facts to ease any doubts on risks. Keep it clear, precise, and always on point. In Barcelona, another local initiative called Barcelona Activa will help you at this most vital stage with impartial advice.

Fifth step: Financing

Financing a business idea
Financing will help your business grow

There are different ways to finance a project:

  • Personal savings.
  • State subsidies and local grants.
  • Unsecured loans
  • Personal bank loans
  • Funding through startup investors

Barcelona Activa also helps entrepreneurs in financing projects. Also, each year they hold a "The Day of the Entrepreneur" for networking and an awards ceremony.


Sixth step: Legal procedures

The legal status of a business is very important. Take a look at the legal statuses available for businesses in Barcelona

Status Minimum persons Minimum capital Taz provisionss Principal Advantages Disadvantages
"Empresario Individual"
Sole trader
1 - IRPF The company and the entrepreneur are one entity. Easy to create, lots of leeway High risk of losses, wholly liable
"Comunidad de Bienes"
Co-ownership
2 persons - IRPF When owned by two or more persons without an obligating agreement Easy to create High risk of losses, assets and company are now one, only for goods
"Societat Civil"
General Partnership
2 persons - IRPF Agreement between two or more people carrying out an economic activity to redistribute the benefits later Quick to create, less administration involved running In the case of debt, the partners are bound to repay, without a limit on assets.
"Societat Limitada"
Limited Liability company
1 €3000 Corporation tax Autonomous legal entity with one or more shareholders (up to 50) Shareholders are not personally liable for debts Slow registration process, administration in running
"Societat Anònima"
Limited Company
1 €60,000 Corporation tax Similar to Limited Liability company. No maximum limit on shareholders. Freedom of movement of shares, limited liabilty Set up costs, large amounts of capital, admin

Seventh step:Implementation

Business installation
Now open the doors to your business

Your idea become a project, you found the investors, and the company now has a legal status. Almost there! Once physically installed it's time to launch everything you worked for and get your first clients. Ensure to keep your accounts up to date to better anticipate and shape the future of your business. Even though you're already stated up by now, you can still depend on the local government initiatives to help small businesses like Barcelona Activa to continue helping you... In fact, you can even find physical places to install with them, like at business incubators and "startup factories".

Where to find the Barcelona Activa offices to help you during your business venture.

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