Step 3: Find Your Business Premises
An important step… As you would with a residential property, shop around for your business premises. Ask yourself – is it affordable? Are the overheads manageable? Is it in an area of heavy footfall? Does it matter if it isn’t? There are bound to be many more questions you will have to ask yourself, too. But behave in a business-like manner at all times – don’t let the heart rule the head.
Once you have found premises to rent, you will then have to negotiate the contract. It helps if you speak Spanish, or can take a trusted friend along with you who does. Otherwise, appoint a gestor or a lawyer. Most contracts are for a minimum of one year and an average of five. The contract will contain clauses on things like maintenance, repairs, utility installation, etc.
Your landlord is likely to require an “aval”, which is a bank guarantee that can be anything from two to 12 months’ rent. When dealing with foreign tenants like you, they may ask for more. There are no laws stopping them from doing this so, if you’re unhappy, shop around. It is important that you have trust and confidence in your landlord, and vice versa. This relationship can often determine whether your venture is a success or not.
Sign the contract in the name of your company, and the invoices for the monthly rent must state the company’s name and CIF number. You will pay some VAT (IVA) on your rental income – the government likes to “pre-collect” tax from businesses in this way. Some landlords may try to overlook this step in an attempt to have the income you are generating for them being left as undeclared. This is illegal, so be sure to insist on official IVA invoices.
If you are taking over the premises from an existing tenant, then the utility companies will inform the authorities of the name change – a practice that is helping to stamp out rogue landlords.