The Guru Guide To Getting A Gran Canaria Fishing License

You need a sea fishing license to fish anywhere in Gran Canaria unless you go on a sports fishing boat with its own license.

You have to get the license (which is a plastic card) from an office in Las Palmas. Non-residents pay €12.84 for a year, or €3.22 for a 15-day license. Residents pay €5.18 for a year’s license.

Getting the license in Las Palmas is fine if you live in Gran Canaria as you can just do it on your next trip to the capital. However, it’s a right pain for tourists and short-stay visitors.

Maybe that’s why the police don’t tend to bother tourists if they are shore-fishing in Gran Canaria without a license.

How to get a Gran Canaria fishing license

Download and fill in this fishing license application form.

Take the form and a copy of your passport or NIE to the Ministry of the Environment (Servicio de Medio Ambiente) offices on the first floor of C/ Agustín Millares Carló s/n: It’s just over the road from San Telmo bus station.

Then you’ll have to pay the fee at a nearby bank and come back with the receipt. You should get your license on the spot, but it can take up to 48 hours to be ready.

People under 18 need a guardian or parent to sign the form for them.

Types of Gran Canaria fishing license

A type three fishing license covers shore fishing and bottom fishing from boats. A type one license covers recreational trawling. A type two license covers spear fishing (you also need a health certificate stating that you are fit enough to do it).

There’s a different type of license for freshwater fishing in the island’s freshwater reservoirs. You get it from the same place.


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.

If you plan to run a business in Gran Canaria you’ll need to speak at least some Spanish: Here’s our Guru Guide to Learning Spanish in Gran Canaria.


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 Gran Canaria Walking Festival Is Ideal For Residents & Visitors

The Gran Canaria Walking Festival 2016 starts on November 2nd

The Gran Canaria Walking Festival starts on November 2nd and is an ideal opportunity for island residents and visitors to get to know more about the Miniature Continent. 

Now in its fifth year, the GCWF is designed to give visitors and residents alike a walking experience in Gran Canaria with fun, tasty and educational activities included along the way.

There are six different walks between November 2-6, each on with a knowledgeable local guide that speaks English. This year there are even two nocturnal routes that include a guided tour of the Gran Canaria night sky.

Times and routes of the the six walks in the 2016 Gran Canaria walking festival

The six walks in the 2016 Gran Canaria walking festival

Each route includes bus travel (to & from Playa del Inglés and Las Palmas), an activity such as a tasting or guided visit to a local attraction, and a guided walk.

You can sign up for the full package of six walks for 120 euros, the weekend pack, or choose any of the walks for 18 euros each.

Full details of the routes, times and pickup points for each walk are on the GCWF website.

Register for the Gran Canaria Walking Week by October 30, 2016.


Legal Expat TV Now Live Across Spain

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

 

Ever wished you could watch British TV in Gran Canaria any time you wanted? Legally, and without any complicated hookups or dodgy websites?

Well, now you can, thanks to Gran Canaria-based pioneers TV Mucho.

TV Mucho’s home television box just plugs into any television and internet (wifi and cable) and gives you instant access to al the top British TV stations.

We’ve been testing TV Mucho for a week and we can say that it works perfectly.

The picture you get is high quality and the system is fast and really easy to use. It takes two minutes to set up and all works via a simple remote control.

Testers Needed

It’s taken two years for TV Mucho to negotiate legal rights to show British TV abroad and to develop a system that is easy to install and use.

Now, TV Mucho are about to launch their service across Spain and Europe. After seeing it in action, we think the world of expat TV is about to change forever.

These guys are the Spotify of television.

But before the launch, TV Mucho want to be absolutely sure that their system works perfectly so they are asking for 50 Gran Canaria resident volunteers to test TV Mucho boxes for a week.

The TV Mucho Trial has now ended and was a huge success. You can buy TV Mucho boxes from the website


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.


Anticompetitive Canarian Holiday Rental Restrictions Challenged In Court

Canary Islands tourist rental laws challenged on competition grounds

Canary Islands tourist rental laws challenged on competition grounds

The Spanish Competition Authority is to challenge the Canary Islands Tourist Rental Law in the Canarian Supreme Court.

The Comisión Nacional del Mercado de la Competencia (CNMC) believes that the law imposes a range of unnecessary restrictions that don’t correct a fault in the market or protect a public service. As such, it is to challenge the rules in court.

Amongst the rules that the CNMC regards as unjustified or anti-competitive are the ban on private rentals in resort areas, the ban on single renting out rooms in a private property, and the need to register each property before renting. Read More


The Zen Art Of Surviving Gran Canaria Bureaucracy

The zen art of surviving Gran Canaria bureaucracy

The zen art of surviving Gran Canaria bureaucracy

This article contains the secret to effortless paperwork in Gran Canaria. A secret that guarantees that you’ll never sit for hours in the wrong queue for a paper you don’t need. 

Then we’ll tell you where the toothless 15th Century pirate Pedro Cabrón buried his treasure.

No, we won’t. We’re only Gurus, not gods.

All we can do is help with the creeping darkness that consumes your soul when you deal with Gran Canaria’s bureaucracy.

As for El Cabrón’s treasure, legend has it that it’s buried somewhere on the east coast of Gran Canaria. Find his false teeth and you get the booty.

Know your adversary

The Spanish civil service is a sprawling conglomerate created by committee and run by middle management. The boss is on holiday and the one person who knows how it works is on Maternity leave. Forever.

The Canarian Government is a franchise that lost the rule book but carried on regardless.

Your local ayuntamiento is a lemonade stand run by aliens.

Tráfico is an out-of-control ATM that only works in reverse.

Hacienda is a bigger ATM. With a gun.

Before you give up and move to Norway, remember that nobody ever died while queueing for a form. Government offices in Gran Canaria don’t open for long enough for that.

Inefficient but not corrupt, unless you’re rich

Saying that Gran Canaria bureaucracy is inefficient is unfair to the hard-working funcionarios who dedicate their  days to making problems go away.

Unfortunately, they only accept very big bribes.

That’s a joke.

An awkward, edge-of-the-seat joke that makes people squirm. Especially if the envelope of Bin Ladens (500 euro notes) is still in their back pocket.

And it really isn’t fair to the many funcionarios who do try their hardest to help the sweating messes who sit down at their desks.

There are far more of them than you think.

Zen Tip: When you find one, befriend their families, bring them chocolates and offer them no-strings sex.

The zen art of surviving Gran Canaria bureaucracy

The first stage of survival is preparation.

The photocopier is your friend

You need the originals and at least five photocopies of every single identity document that you possess. Think five is too many? It isn’t, especially if you plan to visit multiple offices in one day. Make it 10.

Remember that while the NIE is a universal ID number in Spain, the social security issues it’s own ID numbers. Yes, it makes our eye twitch too.

And that the Libro de Familia does have a use (let us know if you discover it).

Do it write: Take a pen

Government departments don’t provide them because disgruntled folk stay sane by stealing them.

Zen Tip: Take two and make someone’s day.

Pay the price; Take money

You need change to pay for the forms that you queue to fill in. Just to annoy, the form desk never has change.

And take cash as trips down Funcionario Lane often involve popping out to the bank to pay a fee.

Where’s the nearest bank?

Ask the security guard on the door.

Zen Tip: The security guard knows everything.

Queueing is an opportunity

Since you know that you are going to spend all day queueing, treat it as an opportunity.

An opportunity to catch up on your emails, or read that book you nearly finished on the beach. Or to catch up on your meditation. Odds are that you’ll attain enlightenment just before Desk 6 calls your number.

But  you won’t be allowed into Nirvana because you forgot a photocopy.

Zen Tip: Never use headphones  in Spanish queues. Funcionarios regard them as a personal insult and will ruin your day.

Accept the inevitable

The zen art of surviving the Canarian queue is to accept that you are doomed to fail, at least temporarily.

When you find out that you’re missing a final bit of paper, or that Señor Vital Stamp is on holiday, take it in your loser stride.

Zen Tip: Always tell yourself that everyone gets their paper in the end. It’s not true, but it’ll keep you going until rum O’clock.

Pay someone to help

Italy recently made headlines because of a new breed of professional queuers. Spain invented them years ago.

They are called gestorias. For a reasonable fee, a gestoria takes over the entire process of getting your Gran Canaria paperwork sorted out.

You do, of course, have to queue in their office to sign the bits of paper that authorise them to do it. Good ones give you a biscuit while you wait.

Never lose control

If the whole process is getting you down, if queue rage is growing within you and your inner shouty guiri is about to escape, do what the locals do and go for coffee.

Scared you’ll lose your place in the queue? Get another number as you leave, or find the coffee machine. There’s always a coffee machine.

Then picture yourself walking out of the door into the sunshine. The Canaries are singing in the trees, a stranger high fives you, there’s a unicorn under the rainbow.

You have the paperwork. You are free.

Until mañana.


Vote For The 2017 Las Palmas Carnival Theme

Vote for the Las Palmas carnival theme

Vote for the Las Palmas carnival theme

Voting for 2017 Las Palmas carnival theme opens at midday April 28th. You can cast your vote until midday on May 9th.

The three options are

  • Eternal spring (eterna primavera)
  • La dolce vita
  • Around the world in 80 days (la vuelta al mundo en 80 días)

Cast your vote on the LPACarnaval website.

The results should be announced on the day voting closes.