The Challenge of the Entrepreneur: Where to Find Relevant Information!
While completing my internship as a business administration student at SmartWorkPlaza I am writing my thesis about setting up businesses in Spain. As I was gathering information about the subject I experienced first-hand how difficult it could be to find relevant and up to date information.
Clear instructions on what it takes to set up a business in Spain, what the process is like, what to take into consideration or what documentation is required, in Finnish or in English, cannot be found on the internet. What pops up everywhere however, are different law firm websites where you can find some vague guidance, but also where all consulting services come at a cost.
The Walls of Bureaucracy and Language
I have interviewed fresh Finnish companies and entrepreneurs for my thesis about their experiences of starting a business in Spain and about the challenges they faced. Almost everyone agreed that unless one already knows Spanish it is very difficult to research about the process and to take care of things alone.
On the other hand, the culture and bureaucracy of a foreign country bring their own sets of challenges. Everyone that I interviewed had used the services of a solicitor in the process of setting up their business, and felt that this was money well spent for the sake of complying to the rules and regulations in Spain.
Bookkeeping and taxation are also very different in Spain when compared to Finland, and in this case the services provided by law firms is a welcome aid in avoiding unpleasant surprises and payments. Finding a good law firm can however be a challenge on its own; many of the people I interviewed had later changed their service provider when they felt that they weren’t getting their money’s worth or that the know-how of the law firms wasn’t wide enough.
Good networks are a helping factor when looking for professional help. When asked what kind of help the interviewees felt was needed in Costa del Sol when starting a business, everyone agreed that a hub like SmartWorkPlaza was sorely missed in the area.
Help is not Far Away
According to the interviewees SmartworkPlaza provides professional support when starting a business in addition to helpful and trustworthy networks. Everything needed is found under the same roof, which supports speedy processes in everything from practical issues to consulting.
I also interviewed Rocio Palomo from CM Asesores, who together with Pia Pesonen supports Finns in setting up businesses in Spain. Palomo explained that Finns are the most interested in knowing the steps of setting up a business in Spain, what documentation is required and what the costs and projected timelines are.
Moreover, the Spanish business structures differ from Finnish models. Choosing the right one becomes a hurdle of its own for the aspiring entrepreneur, as there is no one size fits all answer to this, nor is there one for how the setting up process goes or for the costs.
There are many factors at play when determining the process for setting up a business in Spain; how many founders there are, what size the business will be, if the company exists abroad already or is it being founded as a new Spanish company, etc. For example, the common Finnish business model “toiminimi” is known in Spain as autonomo, while the corresponding business model for a private limited company (Ltd) would be S.L. in Spain.
Advice and support in all these questions are available at SmartWorkPlaza and CM Asesores can take care of the whole process of setting up a business, as long as the right documentation is provided.
The writer of this blog post Essy Pyylampi is doing her thesis on the subject of Finnish businesses in Costa del Sol (Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences/Bachelor in Business Administration)