blog shbarcelona català   blog shbarcelona français   blog shbarcelona castellano   blog shbarcelona russian   blog shbarcelona russian   blog shbarcelona   blog shbarcelona   blog shbarcelona
Companies and startup

Guide to Opening A Small Business in Barcelona

Written by Laura

Barcelona is known for drawing in startups and new businesses, and those who decide to open a business in this thriving city may choose to do so for many different reasons. Along with being a business hub, Barcelona is also a cosmopolitan urban area full of unmissable touristic and commercial attractions. The variety of establishments and interests in existence in the Catalan capital allow for all kinds of creative business together their start and succeed here. Many people already have an idea for an interesting business or startup they would love to get going, but aren’t sure of the steps to follow to make it happen. Today in this article from ShBarcelona, we’ll be discussing just that. Entrepreneurs, listen up!

Related article: Best business schools in Barcelona

Steps to follow to open a business in Barcelona

Photo via Pixabay

The first step, and probably most obvious, is to have a clear business idea and strategy in mind with ideas for developing and advancing the company once it opens. For example, you should know the product or service you want to offer and study the market you want to enter into, so you can understand the financial basis for the company as well as learn about any permits you may need to operate your business legally. Another important detail will be scouting out the best place to open your business, both in relation to the distance from your home and the physical space it offers. Both of these aspects can be crucial determiners of the success of your business, since certain zones in a city will bring in more business than others depending on the need for that kind of business in the area. A heavily frequented and easily-accessible area, such as an urban commercial zone, will likely  guarantee higher success for your business. You can also visit this link to view a list of the commercial cores of Barcelona to get an idea of what areas are best.

Photo via Pixabay

Once you determine a location, there will be variety of administrative procedures to tackle. As we mentioned earlier, depending on the type of business you are thinking of opening, there are a variety of permits and licenses you’ll have to apply for. It is very important that the building and location you have chosen comply with the requirements of the licenses you’ll need, and for this reason it is best to review these requirements before deciding on a place to set up shop. If you don’t, and you realize too late that your location does not comply with the laws, your project won’t be able to go through. For example, if you’re opening a restaurant or bar, elements such as the windows and doors and regulation of smoke emissions will have to fulfill the conditions of your permits and licenses. One thing that can make this process easier is choosing a site that has previously served as the location for a similar business (for example, choosing an old restaurant to open a bar or cafe). That way you already know that the site fulfills the necessary permits and characteristics.

Related article: The 6 Essentials To Starting A Business In Barcelona

If the location requires any updates or repairs, it’s best to solicit help from city public works, as you would for repairs in a home. In addition, obtaining an activity license is an obligatory step, as it will allow you to develop a determined activity in an establishment or site. Here, you can view directions for how to request these permits. You’ll also need to register in the census of Agencia Tributaria in order to receive a business ID number, called a NIF in Spain, and get started on your economic activity tax, or IAE.

Do you have a business in Barcelona? Are you thinking of pursuing a startup in the city?

About the author



American journalist living temporarily in Spain. Her passions include news and feature writing, Spanish language and culture and the outdoors.


  • Hey Laura my name is ifty I have just read your article.
    What I would like to know is how to get a barbering permit to open a barber shop in Barcelona and what I need to do to open a Berber shop.

    • Hello Ifty,
      Being a real estate company, we do not have any specific information on how to open a barber shop, but if you need help with the paperwork, you can contact a gestoria.

Leave a Comment