Make a Living in Spain: Five Ideas for Supporting Yourself in the Spanish Economy
Posted by Dreamer
Spain Expat presents five ideas for making a living in Spain and how to go about it.
Not being independently wealthy shouldn’t hinder your dream of moving abroad. If you’re looking for a way to earn your bread and make a living in Spain, here are five ideas to help get you going:
Have you ever thought: Wouldn’t it be fun to start a restaurant? Run a hotel? Open a gift shop? Or perhaps a…? If you’re able to discern that it’s not just a passing fancy, then you might want to think seriously about opening your own business to make your living in Spain.
Not for the faint of heart, opening a business in Spain requires lots of determination, tenacity in the face of both adversity and bureaucracy, access to cash or capital, armloads of research and good, old-fashioned hard work. Besides starting from scratch, you could also buy an existing business or franchise location. But whether you choose to create or acquire a business, be prepared to make friends with the various professionals whose services you will most likely need: a lawyer or solicitor, gestor and accountant or financial advisor.
An excellent source of information (in Spanish) is the official Ventanilla única empresarial. There, potential entrepreneurs can find a wealth of information, such as how to choose a legal business structure or the legal and financial obligations of a business in Spain, and can get a good idea of how to navigate the Spanish bureaucracy. A short online questionnaire can help you determine which forms you will need for what you plan to do. Offline you can find a Ventanilla única office in most regions of Spain. You can also find information and support (in Spanish) from Spain's Cámaras de Comercio (Chambers of Commerce), also with local offices throughout the country. If you don’t speak Spanish yet, it would probably be a good idea to have a business partner who does.
To build a business in Spain from the ground up, you should first consider: What kind of business or industry am I familiar with or interested in? What kind of customers should the business be looking for? Where is a good location for the business? How can I raise the needed capital? How involved do I want to be with the everyday running of the business? And not least of all, what is my contingency plan if the business should fail?
Go and buy a book on running a business; talk to some people who have already done it; learn more about your intended industry, region and customers; and then if you’d still like to take the plunge and open up your very own business in Spain, start with writing your business plan. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. (Check out Rich Dad, Poor Dad for some business inspiration.)
If you’d rather attend a meeting than write a business plan, consider going corporate to make your living in Spain.
First, if you already work for a multinational corporation in your home country, check to see if there’s a branch or an office in Spain. If there is, let your research begin! Does the office in Spain do something similar to what the company does in your home country, or is it completely different?
Learn your competitive advantage. Do you possess skills or experience that the local Spanish staff doesn’t have? Can you complement them so that they can do their jobs better? What makes you more qualified than anyone else in your office to be sent to Spain? Do you have a unique insight or perspective?
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be sent abroad as a reward for your work, so instead focus on identifying the decision makers and making them understand why you’re the best thing that’s going to happen to the Spanish office.
Second, it may be time for you to turn corporate. Many major multinational corporations have offices in Spain, including Microsoft, Airbus, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Deloitte, and Google. Check the career section on their websites for the latest openings. Also try Spain Expat’s exhaustive list of job sites in Spain.
Though it may be grim to acknowledge, unless you’re an EU citizen or have some exceptional talent, experience or knowledge, your chances of getting a corporate job in Spain are not good. But if you do have one or more of those assets working for you, there’s nothing to stop you from making a good living in Spain.