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Administrative procedures relative to foreign investment

Freedom of establishment
Yes. Although, the new regulation (Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, Royal Decree-Law 11/2020) restricts the liberalization regime for certain foreign direct investments in Spain, specifically those that are carried out in sectors that affect public order, public safety and public health.
Acquisition of holdings
The acquisition of majority interest by a foreign company in a Spanish company is authorised. The Spanish government issued new regulations on foreign investment in March 2020. In Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, subsequently modified by Royal Decree 11/2020, the government prohibited the acquisition by foreign investors of 10 percent or more of companies active in critical sectors. Purchases of less than 10 percent are also subject to authorization if they result in participation in the control/management of the company. Under the new regulation on FDI, the sectors which are targeted by the restrictions on foreign direct investment rules in Spain include: critical infrastructures, whether physical or virtual; critical technologies and dual-use items as defined in article 2(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, supply of essential inputs, such as energy; sectors with access to sensitive information and media.
Obligation to declare
Investment portfolios from an EU member state are exempt from all declarations whatever their amount. For transactions in non-target sectors by the new screening mechanism of FDI, the foreign investor must send its administrative authorization request to the General Director of Commercial Policy and Foreign Investment, in accordance with the procedure set out in Royal Decree 664/1999, 23 April 1999, regarding foreign investments and the Order dated 28 May 2001 related to the procedures applicable to foreign investment declarations and their liquidation.
Competent organization for the declaration
Ministry of industry, trade and tourism
Requests for specific authorizations

Although the Spanish system is liberalised for foreign investment, certain sectors require prior authorisation from the corresponding competent public governmental body for investment activity to start, including in relation to:

  • Banking.
  • The stock market.
  • Investment services companies.
  • Collective investment institutions.
  • Insurance companies.
  • The energy sector.
  • Television and radio.
  • Telecommunications.
  • Weapons and national security.
  • Air transport.

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Investment opportunities

Investment aid agency
Invest in Spain (ICEX Spain Trade & Investment)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Ted - Tenders Electronic daily, Business opportunities in EU 27
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Spain
Tenders Info, Tenders in Spain
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide

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