Spain the new destination for expat entrepreneurs

Spain the new destination for expat entrepreneurs

Spain the new destination for expat entrepreneurs

Spain is better known as a retirement destination for disenchanted Brits than for its encouragement of foreign entrepreneurs, but new laws are now attracting expat self starters.

The typical Spanish attitude to work over the decades since dictatorship was replaced by democracy has been that labour is definitely not something to be enjoyed. Most Spaniards’ idea of employment heaven was a cosy, cushy public sector job.

Nowadays, with a massive 25.98 per cent unemployment statistic or, in real terms, six million jobless people, the traditional mentality is being forced to change. Spaniards and expats alike may still enjoy a siesta during the heat of the day, but the new Entrepreneurship and Internationalisation law is making sure ambition is nurtured.

The law is aimed at budding entrepreneurs under the age of 30 years, with access to unemployment benefits, tax breaks for start-ups, limited liabilities and a flat monthly €50 social security contribution available for the self-employed.The law also promises to cut the infamous Spanish red tape to allow start-ups to actually start up without the traditional hassle.

New regulations also makes it far easier for would-be entrepreneurial expats from outside the EU as they allow 12-month residence visas including permission to work and guarantee fast processing of visa applications. Thinking outside the restrictive box of English teaching or the tourist trade is required as the new law is aimed at encouraging ambitious young immigrants to think big.

Britons Paul Reidy and David Genis are the brains behind an online football-inspired fashion site for men, and are living the entrepreneurial dream in Madrid. They admit it’s not been easy due to Spain’s economic breakdown, but believe that changes are taking place, albeit at a slow pace.

It seems that expats with dreams will still need to take risks, but the new law is levelling the playing field in interesting ways. Advice includes finding a niche in the market and taking full advantage of all resources offered.

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