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Can A UK Limited Company Buy A Property In Spain?

Dec 27, 2023

Can A UK Limited Company Buy A Property In Spain?

Can a UK Limited Company Buy a Property in Spain?

Investing in foreign real estate can be an exciting opportunity for businesses looking to diversify their assets or expand their operations. Spain, with its picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and thriving real estate market, is a popular destination for such investments. But can a UK limited company purchase property in Spain? In this blog post, we will explore some of the legal and practical aspects of this scenario.


Understanding what is a UK Limited Company

Before delving into the specifics of buying property in Spain, let's briefly review what a UK limited company is. A UK limited company is a business structure that is separate from its owners, offering limited liability protection. This means that the company's shareholders are generally not personally liable for the company's debts and liabilities. Limited companies are commonly used for various business activities, including property investments.


The Legal Framework

EU Membership: Before Brexit, the United Kingdom was a member of the European Union, making it relatively straightforward for UK limited companies to buy property in Spain. However, since the UK's departure from the EU, new rules and regulations have come into effect.

Non-Resident Buyers: Non-residents (including UK limited companies) can still buy property in Spain. However, the process has become somewhat more complex, with additional documentation and compliance requirements.

NIE Number: One crucial requirement for non-residents is obtaining a Spanish tax identification number known as an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero). This number is essential for various transactions in Spain, including property purchases.

Spanish Company: Alternatively, a UK limited company can establish a Spanish subsidiary or branch to purchase property in Spain. This approach may require more administrative work but can offer certain advantages, such as easier access to financing.

Local Regulations: It's essential to be aware of local and regional regulations, which can vary within Spain. Some regions may have specific rules or restrictions on property purchases by non-resident companies.


Tax Considerations

Taxation is a critical aspect of any property investment. When a UK-limited company buys property in Spain, it may be subject to various taxes, including:

Property Transfer Tax (ITP): This tax is typically paid by the buyer and varies depending on the property's value and location.

Value Added Tax (VAT): In some cases, newly built properties may be subject to VAT instead of ITP. The VAT rate is currently 10%.

Corporate Tax: UK limited companies owning property in Spain may be subject to Spanish corporate income tax on rental income and capital gains. 

It's essential to understand these tax obligations and seek professional advice. If you are interested in learning more, get in touch and we can put you in contact with reliable professionals who can help you understand all your options when buying a property in Spain


Practical Considerations

Beyond the legal and tax aspects, there are practical considerations when buying property in Spain through a UK limited company:

Local Experts: Engaging local lawyers who are knowledgeable of Spanish property laws and regulations is crucial. 

Language Barrier: Language can be a barrier when dealing with Spanish authorities and legal documents. Translation services may be necessary.  

Financing: Securing financing for the property may be more challenging for non-resident companies. Local banks may have specific requirements.


Mercers Spanish Property can help you find experts in property law, tax considerations, finance, and also help with translations. 


In summary, a UK limited company can purchase property in Spain, but it's essential to navigate the legal and tax complexities involved. Post-Brexit, the process may require additional documentation and compliance measures, such as obtaining an NIE number. 

Seeking guidance from legal and financial experts with expertise in international property transactions is advisable to ensure a smooth and successful investment experience in Spain. 

As the Spanish real estate market continues to attract foreign investors, careful planning and due diligence can lead to profitable opportunities for UK limited companies.

Get in touch with Mercers Spanish Property to learn more about the process. 


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