The law firm, Garrigues, has prepared the 37th edition of the Business Guide in Spain, for ICEX-Invest in Spain, as it is available on its website, both in Spanish and English. In this new edition, the publication echoes the intense legislative activity that has taken place in Spain since the previous publication of the guide, including the most important measures aimed at dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of its main conclusions is that Spain is one of the largest recipients of foreign investment in the world. According to the latest UNCTAD data, the country is the eleventh largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the world in terms of stock, with an investment equivalent to 853,000 million dollars, which represents approximately 65% of our GDP.
According to the figures from the Foreign Investment Registry of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, some 17,000 companies with foreign capital operate in Spain, employing more than 1,700,000 people.
The guide summarizes, in almost 400 pages, the main regulatory aspects that affect investments in Spain, with special attention to the particularities that the Spanish legal system presents for foreign investment on company law, tax, labor, money laundering, public aid, the financial sector, on intellectual property and industrial, electronic commerce and accounting and auditing, among other regulatory aspects.
Between the novelties which are included this year, highlights the modifications, in the commercial sphere, related to the extension of deadlines for the formulation and approval of annual accounts or the possibility of holding general meetings electronically.
In labor matters, Spanish regulations have followed the path of modernization and the strengthening of social and equality rights. Thus, a pioneering regulation on teleworking has been developed that adapts labor rights to the peculiarities of remote work, which has experienced extraordinary growth. On the other hand, it has continued to deepen in terms of equal treatment and opportunities in the workplace, by developing the content of equality plans and the remuneration register to combat the wage gap.
The 2021 Guide echoes the novelties in tax matters included in the Law on Measures to Prevent and Combat Tax Fraud in relation to the determination of countries that have the character of tax havens, which now change their name to jurisdictions non-cooperatives. In addition, the recent improvements in the deduction for investments in cinematographic productions and audiovisual series are included and the references to the benefits of the Canary Islands Tax Regime (REF).
Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and Innovation 2021-2027
In the chapter dedicated to aid, the Business Guide in Spain 2021 includes a comprehensive summary of the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and Innovation 2021-2027, which is the frame of reference on which all aid is based and incentives for the promotion of scientific, technical and innovation research. A detailed mention is also made of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan for the Spanish Economy With which it is intended to counteract, in the medium and long term, the impact of the pandemic on investment and economic activity in Spain through European funds.
Among other issues, the main lines of the Sustainable Tourism Strategy for Spain 2030 or the range of new privileged financing lines are included. managed by the ICO.
The guide also dedicates a chapter to industrial and intellectual property, which analyzes, among other matters, the consequences that Brexit is having on the protection of trademarks in the United Kingdom and in the European Union.
Finally, in the matter of intra-community electronic commerce, the guide includes the novelties introduced by a package of European measures, effective as of July 1, 2021, which among other aspects creates a single window that simplifies the VAT procedure of electronic commerce. From now on, the declaration of this tax may only be presented in the State where the seller is established and not, as before this modification, in all the States in which it carried out operations that exceed a certain sales threshold, present in them the corresponding declarations and comply with the formal obligations established by each country.