Doing Business in Spain 2015

Author: Subnational Doing Business
Published: September 29, 2015
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Doing Business in Spain 2015 measures business regulations and their enforcement in 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities –Andalusia (Seville), Aragon (Zaragoza), Asturias (Gijón), Balearic Islands (Palma), Basque Country (Bilbao), Community of Madrid (Madrid), Canary Islands (Las Palmas), Cantabria (Santander), Castile and León (Valladolid), Castilla-La Mancha (Albacete), Catalonia (Barcelona), Extremadura (Badajoz), Galicia (Vigo), La Rioja (Logroño), Navarre (Pamplona), Region of Murcia (Murcia), Valencian Community (Valencia), Ceuta and Melilla– and 5 ports –Algeciras, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Vigo. The report measures regulations affecting 5 stages of the life of a small or medium-size business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and trading across borders.

Image Where is it easiest to do business in Spain?

Main Findings

  • Small and medium entrepreneurs across Spain face large differences in regulatory practices depending on where they do business. Differences in regulations and implementation at the municipal, regional and national level determine how easy it is to do business.
  • Except for construction permits, all regions perform below the European Union average, and none perform in the top 25% as measured by Doing Business. High costs stand out.
  • Based on the aggregate rank across the four areas analyzed in the 19 regions and cities, it is easier to do business in La Rioja and the Community of Madrid.
  • It is easier to start a business in Andalusia, obtain a construction permit in La Rioja, connect a warehouse to electricity in Catalonia and transfer property in Ceuta and Melilla.
  • All locations have good practices that they can share with others, but they could also learn from others. If all the good practices analyzed were adopted in a hypothetical city, Spain’s global performance would improve. However, peer-to-peer learning should not be confined to Spain.
  • Coordinating the different levels of government and institutions is essential to reduce the regulatory burden for companies. From an entrepreneur’s point of view, it is irrelevant whether a requirement comes from the municipality, the region or a national institution. What matters is the ease of compliance.

ImageSee trading across borders details on 5 port cities in Spain.