Gestores and Asesorias are often mentioned on the forum and articles around the site when discussing issues of bureaucracy. We realized many of you don't know what a gestor is or how to find one. This article is to inform you about what a gestor is and what he/she can do for you.
The gestor knows his way around the intricacies of Spanish administrative bureaucracy ....
One word that you will hear a lot in Spain is gestor. People will advise you to go to a gestor, or a gestoría with this or that problem. Sometimes you'll see someone in a similar role call themselves an asesoria which has a great deal of overlap with a gestor but whose services are often more generalized (calling utility companies, researching properties, etc on your behalf) and may not have a law degree. For now, consider them one and the same – they help you with complexities and bureaucracies.
The position of a gestor is difficult to describe, simply because this agency does not exist in many countries. The main role of a gestor is to interface between the public - in this case you - and the public administration. Generally, in UK you do not need any kind of interface, and when you do, it is clear that you should see a solicitor. In some other countries there will also be some person, or official in this kind of position.
This idea though helps us a lot, in fact. In UK, the solicitor is the first port of call when the going gets tough. He (or she, but for brevity we will use he) will give you a minimum of free advice which could easily consist of directing you to a lawyer, or an accountant, or somebody better suited to resolving your problem for you, or explaining to you how he can deal with it for you.
A gestor can best be described as an administrator, or an organizer, who is also your first port of call in Spain. He is usually needed at a much lower level of bureaucracy in Spain than in UK. Dealing with taxes, cars, etc are normally done directly in England, but in Spain it is often good to find a reliable gestoría and pay a gestor. He knows his way around the intricacies of Spanish administrative bureaucracy, as well as knowing with whom to speak to get things done quickly.
It is particularly important for people moving to Spain. A gestor or asesoria can save you mountains of time, heartbreak, blood-pressure treatments, hangovers, etc. The fee is worth it. While thinking about that, the gestor’s fees are not cheap, but neither are they out of this world. And in the long run, can often turn out to be a saving! Just ask some expats who tried to “do-it-themselves” before going to a gestoría, and you will find plenty of “if-only” stories!
But some words of warning are also in order. The functions of a gestor overlap with those of an accountant, or contable and an abogado (approximately equal to the solicitor in England and attorney in the US). He will gladly take on the work of property transfer, for instance, and while the gestor is allowed to do this he is not the best person for the job. The abogado is where you should go for this. The gestor will gladly look after your business accounts for you, but in this case he is not only allowed to do so, he’s also a good, cheap option if all you have is a small business with a few employees. Once your company has outgrown the gestor, take the work to a proper contable (accountant). Having said that, many gestores are also contables in their own right.
A gestor is not a licensed professional. In reality, he is just a clerk with experience and good contacts. In theory, you could open a gestoría tomorrow, so you need to be selective when you search one out. He can help you with basic administrative processes, but if you can find a gestoría that doubles as an abogado or contable or some such within the same office, then you can be more confident.
Until recently, to find a good gestor used to be like finding a good solicitor. Word of mouth recommendations were most useful. You'd ask people who are in business, such as your local pub, or shop, but then it was unlikely they would speak English very well. These days most people ask around on the Facebook groups for expats in Spain or for expats in Madrid or in Barcelona, etc. On the other hand, many asesorias are multi-lingual Brits and other Europeans who have an accounting or paralegal background.
The gestor or asesoria, even one who speaks your language, will use words like trámite and gestión thinking that you will understand them. This is because they are difficult to translate exactly. They are sort of interchangeable and mean “administrative process”. This translation is good enough for you to understand what he is talking about.
To sum up, if you have any kind of bureaucratic dealings, find yourself a gestor who can understand you.
Some things have to be done in person by law, unfortunately. In this last case, you'll need to find a local gestoria or asesoria; please see the section above about how to find one. Gestores are usually quite willing to make sure you have your papers in order before you go, thus saving you mountains of time, heartbreak, etc etc in some unhelpful office with huge queues everywhere.
If they are to work for you, they will give you an estimate of costs, and time it will take. Make sure you ask for this information. You can check around, but will usually find the prices are pretty much the same wherever you go. Personal recommendation is also good. If they’ve done well for someone you know, they will almost certainly do the same for you. Alternatively…
For years we have received thousands of visitors to this very article looking for information about gestors and gestorias. In fact, we're even quoted on Wikipedia as a definitive source of English language information about gestores.
In 2021 we decided to make it easier to find help from a gestor. Due to a confluence of changes in the way Spanish bureaucracy had to adapt to the pandemic, it has now become easier for gestorias and asesorias and abogados to work remotely and accomplish the same tasks. It's now possible for a suitably educated and technologically inclined gestoria to help expats all over the country.
We saw this as an opportunity to create a new marketplace for the services expats need to live better, more productive lives, while avoiding the #1 expat complaint – bureaucracy.
The Spain Expat Online Gestoria shop is perfect for those who understand a problem enough to know which procedure they need accomplished – prices are clearly marked and satisfaction is guaranteed.
Some examples of services and solutions offered:
If you aren't sure what your problem is exactly, email the Spain Expat gestoria at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your problem. They will either refer you to the procedure (tramite) you need, refer directly to a gestoria, help you set whatever wheels are needed in motion and tell you who you should be talking to, or they will explain what you have to do yourself.
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