Duties of a Company Director of a Spanish Limited Company (Sociedad Limitada – SL)



The Sociedad Limitada (SL), the Spanish name for Limited Liability Company  (LLC), is the most common form of company in Spain and is similar to a limited company in other countries.  Like any form of company, a Sociedad Limitada (SL) is aimed at performing all sorts of commercial activities subject to commercial law. It is composed of a limited number of partners, it requires a minimum of capital, and the liability of the owners is also limited.

To incorporate a Sociedad Limitada in Spain the appointment of a company director is required.  It can either be a Sole Director, Joint Directors, Joint and Several Directors, or a Board of Directors composed by a minimum of three members.

This article provides an overview of the implications and duties of a company Director of a Sociedad Limitada.
Duties of a company director


A company director manages and runs the day-to-day decisions of the company and has full authority to represent the company in all activities related to the company’s corporate purpose.  This authority cannot be limited as regards to third parties.


In the case of the joint directors, each director can act independently and represent the company. However, in the case of joint and several directors, all members must agree on all acts or contracts entered into by the company.
The first director’s duty is to comply with tax and social security issues. Below are the instances in which a Director must register as an “autónomo” (freelancer), a legal figure in Spain, as regulated in the Additional Provision 27th of the General Law of the Spanish Social Security RDL 1/1994 of June 20th(Disposición Adicional 27ª de la Ley General de la Seguridad Social (RDL 1/1994 de 20 de junio):

  • Directors with effective control of the company must register as an autónomo (freelancer) in Spain;
  • If the director has been assigned a wage;
  • Whenever the director has actual control of the company (at least half the capital);or when the director happens to be the ultimate beneficiary.
  • When he has a stake equal to or greater than a third of the capital;
  • When the director exercises functions of management and has a percentage of at least 25% of shares in the Company.

The role and responsibilities of the directors are usually regulated in the statutes of the company, or through a Shareholders’ Agreement, which will delimit their role and how to perform their obligations. However, the Spanish Corporations Act regulates a number of basic obligations that the directors must comply with as representatives of a company:

  • Perform their duties diligently and loyally to defend the interests of the company.
  • Must not use the name of the company to conduct business of their own, or take advantage of their position to make business operations for personal gain.
  • Have the obligation to inform the other partners of any conflict of interests with the company, especially those involving competition.
  • Must keep secret any confidential company information, even after their removal or resignation, and should never share any information that may entail negative consequences for the interests of the company.

If they fail to fulfil these obligationsthey may have to respond with their own assets for the damaged caused.
Directors are also responsible for the following duties:

  • Lodge the incorporation deed at the Mercantile Register;
  • Update the shareholders’ book;
  • Call general meetings;
  • Represent the company;
  • Prepare and disclose the annual accounts and the directors’ report;
  • Call a general meeting to dissolve the company, if it is to be dissolved;
  • Challenge resolutions of the general meeting when they are contrary to the objects of the company; and
  • Keep the minutes book

Third party liability

The Spanish Corporations Act states that a corporation may have a cause for dissolution when “it causes losses that reduce the company`s worth to less than half its initial capital.” To avoid this situation the company must raise its capital or reduce it to a sufficient extent, as long as it is not appropriate to request the filing for bankruptcy.
If the company is clearly in the event of dissolution the director is required to call a general meeting within 2 months to adopt the agreements to, either approve the dissolution of the company, increase capital, or agree on a capital reduction. If the director fails to comply with this obligation he or she may be liable for all amounts owed to any creditor acquiring the company after its dissolution.


Being a company director is a serious commitment. Directors represent the company and manage its daily activities, and in principle, are not liable for the acts or debts of the company, provided they act diligently and in accordance with the law. It is, therefore, imperative that directors know the limits of their duties in accordance with the law, statutes or, where appropriate, derivatives of a Partnership Agreement.




Taxing lifestyle and Spanish residence 

Talking to a colleague in Hong Kong I realised how many people still think that residence in Spain is a taxing lifestyle.

This week I was in Seville, Jerez, Sotogrande, Marbella and Malaga and met clients from UK and Malaysia. Looking at their lifestyle and listening to them I am more and more convinced that Andalucia offers an unique destination for expats.

Culture, traditions, education, healthcare, safety and… tanning! are all available by default, and all tax and legalities can be handled clearly if appropriate consideration is give to income, wealth and residence.

As everyone will agree, Tax planning is needed as the NIL tax fantasy is no more available anywhere. 

If you are considering #spanishresidency, there are tax laws and regulations that coupled with sound residence planning allows to get a very reasonable tax residence in Spain. 

If you are EU resident the move is straightforward and if you live in America, Asia or Middle East, the #spanishgoldenvisa makes your residence in the EU possible.

Spain offers an unique lifestyle but all depends on how you plan it. 


Living in Madrid

This week in London I noticed how Spanish gastronomy, music and fashion is going mainstream again.

I am not talking about cheap paella, tacky folklore music or flamenco dresses. I saw gourmet restaurants in W1 and great street’s food at Candem Town inspired by Spain, watched designers’ cloths and listened to contemporary music -all with a Spanish flavour.

But was surprised me the most, far away from being Chauvinist, is that it feels a lot like Madrid, where you can taste great culinary experiments influenced by London, see London inspired fashion and of course, listening to Brit music.

I just want to say that living in Madrid and working in London and/or viceverse feels like being at home in both places.

The fact that Spain is back in London mirrors a slow recovery in Spanish cultural life, economy and tourism.

The property market in Spain is also recovering and many Londoners are back here. Welcome.

The real estate market is recovering on a steady fashion and we shall not see again the property bubble effect.

Both, commercial and residential, show signs of strenght and Madrid is positioning itself as a great destination to live in.

Real estate investment companies: tax advantages and Spanish residence

In the 60`s REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust) were born in the US, with the goal of making large-scale investments in real estate accessible to small investors. The formula chosen was to equate investment in real estate to investment in any industry; through the purchase of stocks in the stock exchange. Therefore, although not required, most REITs are in the public stock exchange.

In Spain REITs are called SOCIMI (Real State Investment Companies) and their purpose is limited to the acquisition of property for rental purposes. They include both urban real estate and plots of land acquired for the development of urban property to be leased after the development is complete, including shopping centers or others.

SOCIMIs are regulated by Law 11/2009 of 26 October, of Real State Investment Companies. The Law marks that these companies must be included in a stock exchange or regulated by the multilateral trading system in Spain, the European Union or the European Economic Area (eg Spain, the UK or Ireland). The REIT may avoid double taxation under EU Directives and tax treaties signed by Spain.

Moreover, there is no requirement regarding a minimum number of assets that a REIT should hold, which means you can have a single asset.

It does require, however, a minimum investment period: assets shall be maintained for a period of at least three years.

Furthermore, if the investment in a REIT reaches one million euros, the Entrepreneurs Act of 2013 will allow the investor to apply for the Spanish Golden Visa, the residence in Spain.

Being able to invest internationally creates many opportunities for small and large investors in real estate investment companies, which enjoy tax advantages over traditional real estate opportunities, and in the Spanish case also may involve access to the residence permit for foreigners. Specifically, the REIT is taxed at 0% provided that the holders of at least 5% of the REIT shareholders are taxed on dividends received at a minimum nominal rate of 10%. When shareholders do not meet this requirement, the REIT is taxed at a corporate tax rate of 19% on dividends distributed to shareholders (the 19% is a tax payable by the REIT and not dependent on dividends distributed).

Currently the investment requirements must comply with the 80/ 80 rule; ie at least 80% of the value of the assets of the REIT must be invested in qualified assets or shares and at least 80% of the income (excluding capital gains) must come from rental income and qualified dividends.

You can also buy a property through a foreign legal company as long as the company is not domiciled in a tax haven and the investor has, direct or indirectly, the majority of the voting rights and can appoint or remove a majority of the members of the board.

Sociedades inmobiliarias de inversión: ventajas fiscales y residencia española

En 1960 nacen en Estados Unidos los REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust), con el objetivo de que las inversiones a gran escala en bienes inmuebles fueran accesibles también a los pequeños inversores. La fórmula escogida consistía en equiparar la inversión en productos inmobiliarios a la inversión en cualquier otra industria; es decir, a través de la compra de valores. Por esta razón, aunque no están obligados, la mayor parte de los REIT son sociedades que cotizan en Bolsa de valores.

En España se les denomina SOCIMI (Sociedades Anónimas Cotizadas de Inversión en el Mercado Inmobiliario) y su propósito se limita a la adquisición de propiedad con fines de arrendamiento. Incluye tanto bienes inmuebles urbanos como parcelas de terreno adquirido para el desarrollo de bienes inmuebles urbanos, para ser arrendados después de que el desarrollo se haya completado, incluyendo centros comerciales u otros complejos.

Las SOCIMI están reguladas por la Ley 11/2009, de 26 de octubre, de Sociedades Anónimas Cotizadas de Inversión en el Mercado Inmobiliario. La Ley marca que deben estar incluidas en una bolsa de valores regulado o sistema multilateral de negociación en España, la Unión Europea o del Espacio Económico Europeo (por ejemplo, España, Reino Unido o Irlanda). Las SOCIMI pueden evitar la doble tributación en virtud de las Directivas de la UE y los tratados fiscales firmados por España.

Por otra parte, no hay ningún requisito en relación con un número mínimo de activos con los que debe contar una SOCIMI, lo que significa que puede contar con un único activo.

Sí requiere, sin embargo, un período mínimo de inversión: los activos deberán mantenerse por un período de al menos tres años.

Si además, su inversión en una SOCIMI alcanza el millón de euros, la Ley de Emprendedores de 2013 le permitirá incluso optar a la Spanish Golden Visa, la residencia en España.

El hecho de poder invertir internacionalmente genera multitud de oportunidades para pequeños y grandes inversores porque las sociedades inmobiliarias de inversión disfrutan de ventajas fiscales con respecto a las inmobiliarias tradicionales, y en el caso español, además pueden suponer el acceso al permiso de residencia para extranjeros. Concretamente las SOCIMI se gravan al 0% siempre que los accionistas titulares de al menos el 5% de la SOCIMI están gravados por los dividendos recibidos a una tasa nominal mínima de 10%. Cuando los accionistas no cumplen con este requisito, las SOCIMI se gravan con un impuesto de sociedades del 19% sobre los dividendos distribuidos a los accionistas (este 19% es un impuesto que debe pagarse por la SOCIMI y no un impuesto de retención sobre los dividendos distribuidos).

Actualmente los requisitos de inversión deben cumplir la regla del 80 / 80; es decir, al menos el 80% del valor de los activos de la SOCIMI debe ser invertido en activos cualificados o acciones y al menos el 80% de sus ingresos (excluyendo las ganancias de capital) debe surgir de los ingresos por alquileres y de los dividendos de acciones de calificación.

También se puede comprar una propiedad a través de una entidad jurídica extranjera siempre y cuando la sociedad no esté domiciliada en un paraíso fiscal, el extranjero tenga directa o indirectamente la mayoría de los derechos de voto y pueda nombrar o destituir a la mayoría de los miembros del órgano de administración.

Investing in Spanish offices

After 7 years of real state inactivity in 2014 International Funds came back, transforming Spain into a hot market for commercial property investments again.

In 2014, investments in non residential assets of €7 billion almost tripled the investments in 2013. 


The investors were looking for well-located large shopping centres and office buildings, although the office market accounted for 39% of the transactions mainly in Madrid and Barcelona.

The tax advantages of investing via SOCIMI with Nil Corporation Tax, makes this type of spanish real state investment funds something to be considered. More information at the Spanish Tax Office site http://tinyurl.com/nhrmhok

We should also mention the advantages of obtaining Spanish residency by investing in Spain, via Spanish Golden Visa as featured in this article at http://www.delcantochambers.com/do-you-have-real-estate-investments-in-spain-apply-now-for-your-golden-visa-residency/

Invest in a Spanish start up and obtain the Golden Visa

Investing in a Spanish start-up not only has numerous tax advantages, but can also open the doors for the Spanish Golden Visa, ie the residency permit in Spain.

A startup company or just emerging company is a term currently used to refer to a business project around ideas that are just beginning. These companies are generally associated with innovation, technology development, web design or web development.

There are currently more than 3,000 start-ups in Spain in which to invest. With the aim of promoting these projects, the government has implemented tax changes that favor investment in these companies. And if you decide to invest as an individual -and not as a society- you will benefit from even higher deductions and rebates.

All this is good news if you wanted to get the Spanish residency since according to the Spanish Law on Entrepreneurs of 2013, if a foreigner invests in a project, as long as they can prove that it will have a positive effect on job creation, have a social or economic impact in the geographical area of ​​investment, or represent a significant contribution to scientific innovation and / or technology, they will be eligible to obtain it.

So an investment of this type may allow you to apply for a Spanish residence, by means of the so-called Spanish Golden Visa scheme. If you want to invest in Spain for residency, you can search among thousands of emerging business projects, and benefit from many tax advantages.

Converting this investment in a residence permit requires the approval of the competent Spanish authorities, so it is advisable that this is managed by a specialized and competent agent.

Invierta en una start up y obtenga la Spanish Golden Visa

Invertir en una start-up española no sólo tiene numerosas ventajas fiscales, sino que  además puede abrirle las puertas para obtener la Spanish Golden Visa, es decir, el permiso de residencia en España.

Una compañía startup o, simplemente, compañía emergente, es un término utilizado actualmente para referirse a un proyecto empresarial el cual busca arrancar, emprender o montar un nuevo negocio y hace referencia a ideas que están empezando. Generalmente son empresas asociadas a la innovación, al desarrollo de tecnologías, al diseño web o desarrollo web.

Actualmente existen más de 3000 start-ups en España en las cuales se puede invertir. Con el objetivo de impulsar estos proyectos, el gobierno ha puesto en marcha cambios fiscales que favorecen la inversión en estas empresas. Pueden leer más aquí: las nuevas ventajas fiscales para inversores que han entrado en vigor este año . Incluso, si decide invertir como persona física ( y no como sociedad) se beneficiará de mayores deducciones y rebajas ( Invertir como persona física)

Todo esto son buenas noticias si usted quería obtener la residencia española ya que según la Ley de Emprendedores de 2013, si un extranjero invierte en un proyecto en el cual se pueda demostrar que el negocio va a tener un efecto positivo en la creación de empleo, o generar un impacto social o económico en la zona geográfica de la inversión, o si representa una contribución significativa a la innovación científica y / o tecnológica, puede obtener el permiso.

Así que una inversión de este tipo puede permitirle solicitar el permiso de residencia española, la llamada Spanish Golden Visa. Si quiere invertir en España para obtener la residencia, puede buscar entre más de 3000 proyectos empresariales emergentes, y apostar con las mejores ventajas fiscales.

Convertir esa inversión en un permiso de residencia requiere la aprobación de las autoridades españolas competentes, así que es conveniente hacer la gestión a través de un agente especializado y competente.


Desea Obtener La “Spanish Golden Visa”?

Si aún se pregunta si cumple las condiciones para obtener la “Spanish Golden Visa,  le contamos cómo realizar una inversión para obtenerla


Una de las maneras de obtener un permiso de residencia en España es obteniendo una Spanish Golden Visa. Para ello debe hacer una inversión en España. Sin embargo, no vale cualquier inversión. Debe cumplir con los criterios expuestos en la Ley de Emprendedores de 2013 con el fin de que valga para obtener la residencia.

La primera, pero no la única manera de obtener el permiso es haciendo una inversión de capital. Y tal vez la inversión de capital más fácil, rentable y segura sea la inmobiliaria. Las condiciones son que debe utilizar al menos € 500.000 de sus propios fondos para empezar. Sin embargo, por encima de ese umbral no hay límite a la financiación de la deuda, por ejemplo, con una hipoteca en España.

Al hacer una inversión de este tipo, hay impuestos y tasas específicas hay que tener en cuenta.

  1. a) el IVA o la transferencia de impuestos: hasta un 10%
  2. b) Impuesto de Sellos, si procede: 1%
  3. c) Registro de la Propiedad, los honorarios notariales y legales: hasta el 2%


Por lo tanto, es importante tener en cuenta que para ser realmente capaces de asumir la inversión, a la cantidad total será necesario sumarle otro 13%.

Una alternativa a la adquisición de bienes inmuebles es la compra de acciones de una empresa española; en este caso la cantidad se eleva a 1.000.000 € o más. Otras opciones son depositar 1.000.000 € o más en una empresa financiera española o la adquisición de Bonos del Tesoro español por valor de 2.000.000 € o más.


Por último, también puede invertir en proyectos empresariales calificados como “de interés general”, si se puede demostrar que el negocio va a tener un efecto positivo en la creación de empleo, o generar un impacto social o económico en la zona geográfica de la inversión, o si representa una contribución significativa a la innovación científica y / o tecnológica. El permiso de residencia obtenida por este tipo de inversión requiere la aprobación de las autoridades españolas competentes.


Como ustedes saben, un permiso de residencia español le da acceso a todos los países “Schengen”, entre ellos Austria, Bélgica, Dinamarca, Finlandia, Francia, Alemania o Suiza, entre muchos otros.

Are you eligible for a Spanish Golden Visa?

In order to obtain a Spanish Residency permit by means of the Spanish Golden Visa scheme, you must make an investment in Spain. However, not just any investment will do. It must comply with the criteria exposed in the Spanish Entrepreneurial Act of 2013 in order to make you eligible for the Residency.

The first but not the only way to obtain the permit is by making a capital investment. And perhaps the easiest, most profitable and secure investment is in real state. The conditions are that you must be using at least €500,000 of your own funds to start with. However, above that threshold there is no limit to debt financing, for instance with a mortgage in Spain.

When making an investment of this type, there are specific taxes and fees one must consider.

  1. a) VAT or transfer Tax: up to 10%
  2. b) Stamp Tax, if applicable: 1%
  3. c) Land Registry, Notary and legal fees: up to 2%


So, it is important to keep in mind that, in order to apply for the Spanish Golden Visa, the total amount needed will rise approximately another 13% in order to actually be able to make the investment.

An alternative to acquiring real state is buying Stock shares of a Spanish Company; in this case the amount rises to 1.000.000€ or more. Other options are depositing 1.000.000€ or more in a Spanish financial company or acquiring Spanish Treasury  Bonds worth 2.000.000€ or more.


Lastly, you can also invest in business projects classified as “of general interest” if you can prove that the business will have a positive effect in job creation, or make a social or economic impact in the geographical area of the investment, or if it represents a significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation. The residency permit obtained by this type of investment requires the approval of the relevant Spanish authorities.


As you know, a Spanish Residency permit gives you access to all “Schengen” countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, or Switzerland, amongst many others.