News & Articles

fiscal, Internacional, 05/11/18

Operating in Spain without a Permanent Establishment


Discover the required Tax Compliance


Today’s globalised context means many companies seek to expand their business activities into other countries. This internationalisation is sought by both Spanish companies wanting a business presence in other countries, and by foreign companies interested in trading in Spain.

In this economic scenario, we often find non-Spanish-resident companies carrying out their business activity without being Permanently Established. This article outlines and explains the different tax obligations that are specifically required in this type of situation.


a) Obtaining a NIF

When a foreign company plans to carry out operations in Spain and receive services, it must obtain a NIF from the Spanish Tax Department. This NIF will begin with the letter N.

To request a NIF, the foreign entity must submit form 036, an official document stating that their company exists in their country, a photocopy of the identification of the person signing form 036, and a photocopy of the document proving that the person who signs form 036 has the legal powers to do so. These documents must be translated into Spanish with the Apostille of The Hague.

Non-resident business owners or professionals must request the NIF using form 030, and provide a copy of their passport.

Processing an application for non-resident persons and entities is currently possible through any branch of the Spanish Tax Department in Spain or in Spanish Consular Offices abroad.


 b) Obtaining an electronic certificate

Once the NIF has been granted, the non-resident person or entity should request an electronic certificate through the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre through any branch of the Spanish Tax Department in Spain or in Spanish Consular Offices abroad.

The electronic certificate allows the person or entity to operate with the Spanish Tax Department electronically on the department’s website and platform. To do this, you must adhere to the Tax Department’s Secure Telematic Notification Service for communications.


c) Communication with the Tax Department regarding the company’s representative and tax obligations

In addition to being used to request the NIF of the non-resident person or entity, form 036 also serves to name, if applicable, the representative, natural or legal person, who will represent the company before the Spanish Tax Department, and to indicate the applicable VAT regime.

In the event that non-resident persons or entities intend to make intra-community deliveries or acquisitions, they must request a NIF-VAT number by registering with the “Intra-community operators Registry” (ROI), also using form 036. Assignment of the NIF-VAT means that the operator will be included in the VIES registry (VAT Information Exchange System).


 d) Value Added Tax (VAT)

In principle, all commercial operators required to be listed as VAT taxpayers have to submit quarterly returns (which in some cases must be monthly), regardless of whether they have made transactions during that corresponding quarter (or month). Persons who exclusively carry out tax-exempt operations without any right to deduct VAT, are not required to submit declarations.

Persons or non-resident entities without a permanent establishment in Spain that invoice with Spanish VAT will have to submit a VAT declaration during the first twenty calendar days of the month following the corresponding monthly or quarterly settlement period, as applicable, (thirty days for the last settlement period in the year) through form 303. In addition, taxpayers must also prepare an annual summary declaration (form 390).


e) Non-resident Income Tax (IRNR)

Meanwhile, residents are taxed through the Personal Income Tax (IRPF) or Corporation Tax (IS) schemes; taxpayers in Non-Resident Income Tax (IRNR) regimes are “non-resident tax persons or entities that obtain income in Spanish territory”.

In general, non-resident persons or entities are obliged to submit a self-assessment of the IRNR for all income obtained in Spanish territory, except income on which the appropriate tax has already been withheld or income exempt under provisions of the Tax Law or applicable Double Taxation Conventions.

A declaration and payment of a tax debt may also be made by the jointly responsible persons, the representatives and, in the case of declarations to be returned, the withholders.


If you would like additional information regarding the different aspects discussed in this article, please feel free to contact us. Àmbit Assessor are experts in national and international taxation and we will be happy to help you.

Maribel Isart Llorente

Rbla Catalunya, 98 5º 2ª
08008. Barcelona

Olesa de Montserrat
Mallorca, 11-13
08640. Olesa de Montserrat

T +34 933 233 100

By Cienpies
legal and financial advisors logo2

MGI Worldwide is a network of independent audit, tax, accounting and consulting firms. MGI Worldwide does not provide any services and its member firms are not an international partnership. Each member firm is a separate entity and neither MGI Worldwide nor any member firm accepts responsibility for the activities, work, opinions or services of any other member firm. For more information visit

Youtube Ambit  Linkedin Ambit  Twitter Ambit