Wednesday, January 26

Less taxes and more investment incentives: keys to the startup law

In the first nine months of 2021, Spanish startups have raised some 2,600 million euros of investment, according to the British consultancy Atomico. It is more than triple that of the previous year, to which we must add that in the last quarter there have been rounds as notorious as that of Jobandtalent, which obtained another 440 million. At the end of the year the figure will comfortably exceed 3,000 million euros, a record that the Government wants to consolidate with the Startups Law that it will approve this Friday in the Council of Ministers.

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Spain has about 10,000 of these emerging companies, but statistics reveal that around 60% die in their first three years of life. The new regulation includes a package of reforms to pave their way in that initial period, among which are to facilitate them to obtain foreign financing or attract non-national or Spanish emigrated workers.

“We want to eliminate entry barriers. That Spain is an attractive country to create new companies, that it can lead the attraction of talent and that investors find here an optimal climate to support national entrepreneurs,” explained high-level sources from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transition in a meeting with journalists.

After several months with a draft in public consultation, the Government hopes that the new Law can conclude its parliamentary process in the first half of 2022. In the “informal contacts” maintained with opposition groups, “very good disposition” has been found. , reveal the same sources, who have advanced some keys to the text that Vice President Nadia Calviño will present this Friday:

What will be considered a “startup”

To be considered “startups” and to be eligible for the tax benefits and aid included in the Law, companies must have been in business for less than five years, not be listed on the stock market, not distribute dividends, invoice less than five million euros and have “innovative character”. In some specific sectors, such as technology or industrial, the period will be a little longer: from its foundation to 7 years.

The last word on the “innovative character” of organizations will be the National Innovation Company (Enisa), dependent on the Ministry of Industry, which will be the body in charge of ultimately deciding which companies can be considered startups and which cannot.

No notarial or registration fees

The fees of notaries and commercial registrars for the incorporation of companies are eliminated, “as long as they are done with the standard statutes and electronically”, detail sources from Economic Affairs. In addition, as already announced, the incorporation of the company can be completed in six hours if requested digitally and with these standard statutes, and in five days for the rest of the cases.

Reduction in corporation tax

The startups will pay a 15% corporate tax, compared to the 25% they have been paying so far. In those first five years of life, startups will also be able to defer paying taxes without paying late payment interest.

Investment tax exemption and only with NIF

The first 100,000 euros that each investor targets in an emerging company will be exempt from taxation. The measure also includes the first 100,000 euros that each of its founders invests. Until now the limit was 60,000 euros. The requirement to obtain the NIE for non-resident investors in Spain is also eliminated: from now on it will only be required that both they and their legal representatives have NIF (Tax Identification Number).

Three startups with grants at the same time

When the Government put out the draft of the Law for public consultation, a certain controversy arose about the trajectory that the founders of these startups had to have to qualify for its advantages, since it established limits. “At no time is multi-entrepreneurship pursued”, Executive sources clarify: “What we want is to avoid fraud by those people whose companies are approaching five years, so that when they meet them they do not dissolve the company and return to it. create with the same assets to extend the aid for five more years “.

In the drafting that Calviño will finally present, a maximum of three emerging companies per entrepreneur is established. From Economic Affairs they remind that in any case the text must now go to parliamentary procedure, where the amendments agreed by the groups can be introduced.

Single window

The Law touches on a large number of factors and ten ministries have participated in its drafting. However, with regard to information and request for the different advantages it offers, it will have a single window: the Government wants everything to be centralized from the National Entrepreneurship Office (ONE), which will open its doors in 2022. Its objective is that ONE also serves as a reference to the rest of the organizations that give aid to entrepreneurship and that collaborates with people, companies and institutions in their applications for international grants.

Make the startup compatible with another job

The duplication of social contributions is put to an end. “A person who works as an employee may be starting to create a startup and find that, for the Administration, he is contributing two salaries: employed and self-employed. We have eliminated the duplication of social contributions of self-employed workers during the first three years “, advances Economic Affairs.

Visas for foreign workers and digital nomads

Special visas will be created for Spanish startups to compete in the “global battle” to attract talent. Both foreign workers who sign up emerging companies and entrepreneurs who found startups based in Spain will be eligible for them.

The Law also regulates the obtaining of these special visas for the so-called “digital nomads”, teleworkers of foreign companies who establish their residence in Spain. In this case, it will not be necessary for them to be hired by a startup to be eligible for them.

Collection in shares

In startups it is common to use the stock options as a form of remuneration or to retain workers. They are preferential options to purchase shares for when the company opens that possibility. With the new Law, the first 50,000 euros received in this way will be exempt from paying personal income tax. Currently the limit is set at 12,000 euros.