The Guru Guide To Opening A Gran Canaria Business

The Gran Canaria guru guide to opening a Gran Canaria business

Opening a Gran Canaria business: Self-employed or a limited company?

If you’re planning to open a Gran Canaria business, the first thing you need to do (after a market study and lots of research) is to work out what type of company or self-employed status is best.

There are dozens of different company structures allowed in Spain but most people opt for the most common ones. Just for fun, here’s a full, slightly mind-boggling list of the potential options.

Being a sole trader in Gran Canaria: Going autónomo

Most small Gran Canaria companies keep things simple and opt for self-employed status (known as being Autónomo). This allows you to work legally, open a business bank account, send facturas in your name, employ other people, etc.

When we said simple, notice how we didn’t mention cheap. Once your first year of cheap Autonomo status is up, you’re looking at a mandatory 250-270 euro payment per month. This covers social security payments and insurance but doesn’t include tax. Autonomos in Gran Canaria still have to pay income tax (IRPF) and VAT (IGIC).

The total tax bite for a sole-trader in Gran Canaria is roughly 20% of earnings (but you can deduct expenses). You have to do annual or quarterly IRPF declarations and pay IGIC quarterly (we seriously recommend that you employ and accountant or gestoria to do this for you).

Two or more autonomos can further organise themselves into a partnership and obtain a CIF business number which looks better on bids that the NIE o NIF number that autonomos have to use.

A major disadvantage of being autonomo is that there is no limitation so creditors can pursue all your assets including your home if you are in debt. There is a form of autonomo called a Emprendedor de Responsabilidad Limitada which protects your home (to a certain extent) from creditors.

In any case, civil liability insurance is a good idea.

A limited company in Gran Canaria: The sociedad limitada or SL)

Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (almost always referred to as an SL) is the Spanish equivalent of a UK limited company and give you similar protection from creditors in the case of debts.

To set one up you need to register a name with the Registro Mercantil and to put in a minimum capital investment of €3,005.06 (most people take it out the day after the company is set up although you aren’t meant to).

Starting a stock corporation in Gran Canaria: The Sociedad Anónima – S.A.

This is not a common way to start a business in Gran Canaria or Spain as it requires an initial capital of €60,101.21. However, an SA does protect you from personal liability and also allows you to sell the shares to a third party.

If your Gran Canaria startup is going global, this is a good ay to get investors on board.

An SA must have a Board of Directors (Consejo de Administración) and hold an annual Shareholders’ General Meeting (Junta General de Accionistas).

The tax efficient Gran Canaria company: Starting a ZEC

If you plan to come to Gran Canaria, invest a significant amount of money (100K-plus) and employ five people, then consider a ZEC entity. These are legal, low-tax companies based in the Canary Islands that save serious amounts on capital gains and corporation tax.

Read our guide to starting a Gran Canaria ZEC here.

Joining a cooperative in Gran Canaria: Joining a Cooperativa

Cooperatives are a way for autonomos to share costs. Instead of working for n employer as an autonomo, you bill via the cooperative and pay it a percentage of your earnings.

To join a cooperative ou have to find one that works in your business niche (teacher, jeweler, etc). Then you have to persuade the people you work for that cooperatives are a valid way of doing business in Gran Canaria as most people have never heard of them.

Cooperatives are worthwhile provided that you own under around 2000 euros per month. Above this figure and you are better off being autonomo.

Opening a Gran Canaria business

Becoming autonomo isn’t too hard: Just take your NIE to the Ventanilla Unica Empresarial on Leon y Castillo in Las Palmas and hope that everyone is at their desks. You should be able to sign up for tax and social security on site, then register for IGIC with the Canarian tax office (about 10 minutes north of the VUE).

If you are a new resident, you may be asked to provide evidence that you have a business plan and clients before you can sign up.

You need to pick an autonomo code that identifies your line of work. The list is long and rather pedantic so it’s worth having a look before you head off to sign up. Here is the full list in English. The only effect this has on you is that it affects whether you have to declare your earnings annually or quarterly.

You should be able to sign up for tax and social security on site, then register for IGIC with the Canarian tax office (about 10 minutes north of the VUE).

For all other corporate structures in Gran Canaria, we seriously advise you to use an advisor as the paperwork is complex and the options myriad.

In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, we recommend Montelongo Asesores as they have plenty of experience helping foreigners to set up in Gran Canaria. If you are planning a ZEC, they are the most experienced firm on the island.


Useful Las Palmas People: Juan The Taxi Man

A reliable Las Palmas de Gr

A reliable Las Palmas de Gran Canaria taxi driver

If you’re staying in a hotel in Las Palmas, there’s always a taxi outside to whizz you to the airport. 

However, if you stay in an apartment or flat, you may need to find your own.

You can drag your luggage out onto the pavement and wait, or you can call Juan the taxi man; he’s a safe and reliable driver who will pick you up from anywhere in Las Palmas and take you to the airport for around 30 euros.

Juan doesn’t speak much English, but if you know your address and the time you need to be picked up, he’ll be there.

Contact Juan the taxi man on 659 64 27 91.


Gran Canaria Expat Television: TV Mucho Now Available Online

The Guru Guide to watching UK television and programmes in Gran Canaria

TV Mucho is a revolutionary new way to watch British television in Gran Canaria (and anywhere else in Spain). 

We love it because it is a Gran Canaria-based company that lets you watch British telly in high quality and high definition rather than relying on dodgy websites and pixellated streams.

Until now, TV Mucho was available via a simple box that you just plugged into your television. It was a neat and simple way to get British telly.

However, the TV Mucho boffins have just made things even easier. Now, you don’t even need a box.

TV Mucho is now available via your browser so that you can watch it on any device with an internet connection and, of course, on your big screen via any TV box or smart telly.

And, best of all, you can try it for free!

Sign up to TV Mucho online and you get a seven-day free trial. If you like the service (and you will), then you pay just eight euros per month for unlimited, high-quality online programs from the BBC, ITV, Dave, Spikea nd a whole host of other British channels.

Get your free TV Mucho online trial


The Guru Guide To Gran Canaria Currency Exchange

The Guru Guide to fast, safe and reliable Gran Canaria currency exchange

Fast, safe and reliable Gran Canaria currency exchange

Here’s our Gran Canaria currency exchange guide with everything you need to know about …

How to get the most out of your holiday money.

How to transfer money to and from Gran Canaria and get the best possible exchange rates.

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The Guru Guide To Watching UK TV in Gran Canaria

The Guru Guide to watching UK television and programmes in Gran Canaria

There are various ways to watch UK TV in Gran Canaria; some free,some not; some legal, most not; some on your TV and some via the PC, Mac or smartphone.

We’ll try to explain all the different methods, give you the best websites and show you the different costs. If we have missed anything please let us know in the comment section below this article. Read More


The Ultimate Guru Guide To Relocating To Gran Canaria

Complete guide to relocating to Gran Canaria

Unless you try to drive over, relocating to Gran Canaria isn’t really any harder than moving anywhere else in Europe.

That said, the more information you have before you move to Gran Canaria the easier things are. Here’s everything we can think of that you need to know about relocating to Gran Canaria. Read More


The Guru Guide To Making A Spanish Will In Gran Canaria

Why you must make a will in Gran Canaria and how to go about it
Dying as a foreign resident in Spain without a valid will is a wildly inconsiderate thing to do as it leaves your family and inheritors mired in bureaucracy at the worst possible time. 
Spanish inheritance law is spectacularly illiberal and controls exactly who you can leave your assets to when you pop your flip flops.

Here’s how it works …

When you die, your assets are divided into thirds.

  • One-third goes to the kids. Each one gets an equal share.
  • Another third also goes to the children, but you get to decide how much you leave to each one. However, a surviving spouse gets dibs on this third while they are alive.
  • The last third of your assets is yours to give away as you please.
  • If parents survive their children, the resulting pie chart of shares is incomprehensible.

If your assets consist of cash and shares, it’s easy enough to divvy them up. However, as most people in Spain invest in property, dying almost always causes problems.

For example, what if granny won’t move out of a big house even if the grandkids want to go to university and their parents can’t afford it? And does anyone have the contact detail for that long-lost brother in Venezuela?

Fortunately, foreign residents can avoid the whole issue.

The benefits of dying as a foreigner in Spain

The Ley de Herederos Forzosos applies to Spanish nationals and foreign residents. However, guiris can avoid it by making a Spanish will that specifies that they want their estate to be governed by their home country’s rules.

This is why it’s now essential to make a will if you are resident in Spain and don’t want the Spanish state to decide what you can do with two-thirds of your estate.

NOTE: The law changed in 2015 so you now have to specify that you want your home country’s rules to apply to your estate. Prior to 2015, it was automatic.

Source article (in Spanish).

A Spanish will is essential for most Gran Canaria residents

If you’re here as a teacher, rent a flat and spend all your spare money on rum, you don’t need a will. But as soon as you buy a property, get married or breed, you do.

Buy you can’t just scribble down a few instructions and then forget about it; Spanish will-making is as complex as you’d expect.

To start with, there are three types of will.

The three types of Spanish will

  • Testamento abierto: An open will and the most common type. It must be drawn up by a lawyer or notary, witnessed, and a copy registered with the central repository of wills in Madrid.
  • Testamento cerrado: A secret will that is registered by a notary but remains sealed. This kind of will is popular with pirates and vindictive pensioners.
  • Testamento ólografo: A verbal or handwritten will. Verbal wills must be witnessed by at least five people (only three during an epidemic) who then have to tell a notary what you said after you die (and agree with each other). A handwritten will is much simpler as it doesn’t need witnesses or a notary. Once you die, however, a handwritten will has to be verified and this can take time.

Make a will in Gran Canaria: Just go to a lawyer or notary

As you may have gathered, it’s best to get decent advice before you die and blight your family’s life for a generation. The easiest way is to go to a Spanish lawyer in Spain (one who speaks your language) and get them to draw up a testamento abierto or testamento ólografo (which you need to write out by hand; isn’t this fun).

A basic open will doesn’t cost more than 50 euros to get signed, stamped and registered at a notary in Gran Canaria.

Tips on dying neatly in Spain

Consider funeral insurance, which means that someone else deals with the paperwork and haggles with predatory funeral providers on your family’s behalf.

Have a separate will if you own property or assets outside Spain. For example, if you own a British property, it’s best to have a British will that covers it.

Don’t nominate an executor in your Spanish will unless you are advised to by a lawyer. In many cases it confuses things and makes the whole process far more expensive.

Inheritance tax in Gran Canaria

Here’s some good news; the direct families of most Gran Canaria residents and even non-resident property owners  in the Canary Islands get a rebate of 99.9% of the inheritance tax due. This applies to EU and EEA citizens (and Brits for now). See this detailed article for more details.

This exemption became law in 2016 for two reasons…

Other areas of Spain offered the rebate and lots of Spanish people and wily foreigners were moving their money to more generous autonomias to avoid paying inheritance tax.

Inheritance tax in Spain must be paid before the assets are released and many people simply couldn’t afford to inherit.

So, in summary, you will make a will in Gran Canaria, won’t you? Yes, you WILL!

Read More


7 Reasons We Love TV Mucho & You Will Too

TV MUcho gives you high quality and legal UK television anywhere in the world

TV Mucho is the best way we know to get UK television in Gran Canaria and here’s why…

It takes seconds to install

TV Mucho comes in a box and all you do is plug it into your television and your internet. The whole process takes a minute and you’ll be watching your favourite program before you can say “me gusta mucho”.

Founder Vincent Weberink designed the whole system with his mother-in-law in mind. It was only ready for the market when it was easy enough for her to use.

There are no dishes, cables or gizmos

The TV Mucho box looks like a Discman (remember them?) and comes with one cable to connect it to your TV and one for power. To be precise, it’s 12,85 x 12,85 x 3 centimetres.

All you do is connect it to your internet supply via Wifi or cable and that’s it.

You can get rid of all those yellow and red cables that connect the laptop to the TV and forget about the satellite dish on the roof.

All you need to get UK TV is a tiny TV Mucho box.

TV Mucho is completely legal

You can get UK TV online of course, but the quality is patchy, it’s probably illegal and the sites that stream it are riddled with spyware and dodgy links.

With TV Mucho you avoid all this aggro because the whole system is completely legal. The company has negotiated broadcast rights with all the channels you get and beams them to your TV set from a data centre in Switzerland.

Watch TV on your TV

How many times have you given up watching a program because it kept freezing, or because the sound was out of sync with the images?  Forget pixellated images and endless buffering; with TV Mucho you get great quality TV right on your main television screen with no delay.

It’s cheap as chips

TV Mucho costs just 10 euros per month and you can stop and start the service whenever you want.

You get all your British TV favourites on your television for about 25 pence per day.

You can take it anywhere

The TV Mucho box works anywhere so you can use it in Gran Canaria or anywhere else in Spain, then take it on holiday anywhere in the world.

All you need to watch TV Mucho is a television and an internet connection.

New channels all the time

Right now you get all the most popular UK channels like the BBCs, ITVs, Channel 4 & 5 and TV Mucho is adding new channels all the time.

Try it now

TV Mucho are offering a free trial to 50 people in Gran Canaria. Just fill in this form and you get to be one of the first people in the world to get UK TV in a box. Or visit the TV Mucho website for more info.


Mucho TV: The Spotify OF Expat Television

TV Mucho Expat TV is a new and completely legal way to watch Beritish television in Spain

When was the last time you downloaded a song from a dodgy file sharing site? It’s been a while, right?

There’s just no need to do it anymore.

With legal music sites like Spotify, why fill your device with viruses and spyware just to listen to a song? It’s far easier nd safer to pay a few euros per month for unlimited and completely legal music.

The same goes for films and TV series. You can risk finding online, or just sign up for Netflix and watch whatever you want.

But what about television?

Somehow the internet revolution forgot television.

It’s always been difficult to get good quality British TV online.

Okay, you can watch television online, but it’s a faff, often terrible quality, and hosted on websites that try and trick you into clicking on dangerous links.

And it always fails when you most want to watch something.

And, of course, it’ one thing squinting at Eastenders on a laptop and quite another to watch it on your television.

The expat TV revolution is here

Just like Spotify revolutionised music and Netflix radically altered the way we watch films, change is coming to expat TV in Spain.

And this time, the revolution WILL be televised! In your living room.

TV Mucho: Watch British TV the safe, easy & legal way

TV Mucho is a revolutionary new way to plug British television into any TV anywhere in the world.

It works, it’s legal and it’s simple to set up and use.

TV Mucho comes in a box and all you have to do is plug it into your television and the internet. The setup takes two minutes and you get all your favourite UK channels straight away.

Channels including BBC 1, BBC 2, the ITVs, Channel 4, Film4, BBC news, Sky News, Channel 5, CBeebies and CBBC.

And you can take your TV Mucho box anywhere in the world and have British TV on tap (well, on television).

I want British TV at home right now

Welcome to the television revolution. Go to the TV Mucho website right now and order your box.

It costs just €79 and price includes six months of free UK TV. After that, all you pay is €10 per month.