How easy is it to open or buy an existing hotel business in Spain? Check our Guide to know the basic steps.

Legal Part

We start with the most important, the legal side. Citizens of all countries in the world may become investors in hotel business in Spain. There are two major ways to run a business in Spain, open an autonomo or establish a SLU (Sociedad Limitada Unipersonal). The main difference is in the responsibility risks: the shareholders of SL are not personally liable for the business debts of the corporation. However, on smaller scales a single-person autonomo is easier to run and tax. A lot of hotels not affiliated with a group are normally run on a basis of autonomo. There is an opportunity to form a Sociedad Civil partnership in case if a business involves more than one owner.

Opening an autonomo does not require holding a residence permit, however, it is a legal base to receive a multiple entry working visa and eventually a residency. The costs of running an autonomo vary according to your income, age, field of business and even gender. Having a stable income and with a flexible program of support for newly launched autonomos, it is a great way to establish your business in Spain.

To buy or to rent: compra or traspaso

There are two major ways to become a hotel business owner in Spain. First, if you buy the entire business: the building, the name, the staff and all the company’s property. Check for the sign se vende if you are interested in sole propriety. Traspaso is another form of ownership. Then you buy the contract which allows you to use the building, name and business for several years on a monthly rental fee. After the contract is out, you can either prolong it or resell. This option is more affordable as it lowers the buying price to averagely 10% of the price of the entire business. You pay a monthly fee above the contract price, but whatever you earn over stays with you. A lot of established businesses are sold by the means of traspaso if they do not require major changes and run healthy. As a new owner, you are able to apply changes though.

hotel business spain

What to start with?

  1. Check the areas. They have different advantages and possibilities.
  2. Outdraw the budgets. This will help you understand how sufficient should your investment be and how much are you leaving for development. In case if you are taking a bank loan to run a business, make sure you are working with a reliable accountant to control your expenses and income. A great advantage is the knowledge of the financial system in Spain. Your gestor will be your long-standing partner.
  3. Find your way. Hotel business gives a lot of opportunities. Boutique hotel in the old city center of Barcelona? Backpacker’s lodge in the middle of the mountains? Luxury ski resort in Sierra Nevada? Kite surfing hotel right across the long beach in Tarifa? Agriculture eco hotel in the mainland with a small farm? A wine bodega with a spacious land? Retreat center in the picturesque landscape of the Balearics? It’s going to be very different.
  4. How much do you want to be involved in the business as an owner? The major understanding of the staff, facilities of the hotel, services offered and required control would set the working basis for a business plan.
  5. In case if you are interested in a start up with a perspective of selling the business once it’s set up, make sure the selling income overlaps the expenses.

Get in touch with us

To contact us is a simple step. We will consult you on the possibilities, ideas, approaches and many other important things regarding buying and selling hotels in Spain.



4 thoughts on “Guide to Buy a Hotel Business in Spain

  1. Kelly Moore says:

    Good day. If a hotel is purchased or established as an _autónomo_ what is the legal basis for applying for a work permit and residency in Spain?
    I refer to this line on your website: “Opening an autonomo does not require holding a residence permit, however, it is a legal base to receive a multiple entry working visa and eventually a residency.”

    Thank you for your time

    1. admin says:

      Hi Kelly,
      The most common ways to go is residencia no lucrativa which is a wealth visa (you show you have enough savings to be able to live and not work in Spain). It is generally considered to be a more secure way to proceed to a residency with working permit after a year. You will need a lawyer to help you obtain the legal status. We can recommend some companies we work with.
      Another way is to get a business visa at the Embassy in your country.
      Third way is to invest over €500.000 and apply for a Golden Visa which allows you to live and work in Spain up to 183 days per year. There are certain restrictions for each Province of Spain on that, so a legal advice would be helpful.
      Drop us a message at if you need any more information.

  2. Huang Yang JIa says:

    Hello, I am Chinese and married to an English man I want to Move to Spain. Is it possible for me to buy A spanish Hotel and live/run the hotel on a Schengen visa, would buying the hotel help me to get a resident permit, I am looking to invest around 1 million Euros, please point me in the direction of more information. Many thanks, Jia Jia

    1. admin says:

      Hi Jia Jia, your investment will give you a straight way to the Golden Visa which allows to work and live in Spain for 183 days per year and also gives a legal status to your family. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll help you though settling with your business and legal documents in Spain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *