Getting Started in Spain
U.S. Commercial Service
The U.S. Commercial Service (CS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, offers companies a full range of expertise in international trade. Companies can find assistance locally in more than 100 U.S. Commercial Service offices nationwide and in more than 70 international offices.
Please visit the export.gov page on Spain for an overview of economic conditions and opportunities in the region.
I – Exporting to Spain
If you are considering doing business in Spain, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
1. Visit export.gov page on Spain to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.
2. Contact Information and Links for Assistance:
- Contact your local U.S Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to [insert country name here]. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You.
- Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs).
Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Contact in-country business support organizations as the Spain-U.S. American Chamber of Commerce.
- Make use of business matchmaking services: Whether you’re looking to make your first export sale or expand your business in this market, we offer the trade counseling, market intelligence, business matchmaking, and commercial diplomacy you need to connect with lucrative business opportunities.
II – Investing in Spain
This section provides information for current and potential investors in Spain.
1. Potential investors: Getting Started.
If you are considering investment in Spain, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
- Register with the U.S. Embassy: if you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses at the top of this page.
- Review the Department of State’s Investment Climate Statements and the Department of Commerce’s Country Commercial Guides for the latest analysis of the economic and political conditions in Spain.
- Participate in a Direct Line webinar for information on market opportunities provided by Ambassadors and local experts.
- Identify leads on active and potential projects funded by multilateral development banks with the Department of State’s Business Information Database System (BIDS).
- Visit host country resources, such as:
- Contact local U.S. business support organizations, such as the Spain-U.S. American Chamber of Commerce.
- Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed.
2. Current Investors: Staying Connected
If you are a current U.S. investor in [insert country name here], the U.S. Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:
- Register with the U.S. Embassy: if you are active in [insert country name here], let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses at the top of this page.
- Add Commercial and Agricultural Specialists to your mailing lists: we are always happy to stay informed. Send emails to contact addresses at the top of this page.
- Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed.
- Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise. Contact information is listed at the top of this page.
3. Working in Spain
In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.
For information on obtaining a visa to visit Spain, visit the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Make sure to check the current current State Department travel advisory for Spain.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.
More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa/
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.
More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/fcpa-opinions
Doing Business in Andorra
Local Legal Resources
Business Matching Services
Business Information Database System
Direct Line for American Business
US Small Business Administration
Department of Commerce
Export Import Bank of the United States
National IPR Center
Office of U.S. Trade Representative