Life in Spain


A new country, a strange language and an unfamiliar legal system can seem daunting when you first move to Spain.

BENCH & CO can support you through this time and beyond with a range of services designed to take the hassle out of living in Spain.

Resident or Non-Resident?

One of the first things you should consider is if you plan to be a resident or non-resident of Spain.

If you plan to be in the country more than 184 days in any tax year then you will be considered a Spanish Tax Resident and your personal taxation regime will be subject to Spanish tax levels.

If you plan to spend less than 184 days a year in Spain or are buying a property for investment (ie. not living in the property) then you are still obliged to submit a Non-Resident Tax Return plus make regular payments for IBI and Basura. (see below for non-resident services from BENCH & CO)


Non-Residents Services

NIE Number

The initial step if you’re thinking about buying a property in Spain is to apply for an NIE number. This is your fiscal identification number which you will need for virtually every transaction over a value of 3,000 euro. For more information about NIE Numbers and how to apply click here

Taxes and Bills

Paying taxes can be a time-exhaustive procedure, taking up to 167 hours a year to deal with eight separate payments.

If you’d prefer not to spend your valuable time dealing with the water company and the Spanish taxman then BENCH &CO can offer full assistance with payment of annual local & regional non-resident taxes in Spain such as wealth tax, income tax, IBI & Basura taxes.

We will register you with the Local and Regional Tax Offices (Patronato de Recaudación & Oficina Liquidadora).

Then if you feel that you have been treated unfairly we can prepare and submit appeals to the local and regional tax offices, as necessary.

On a day-to-day basis, we can arrange payment or set up direct debits for payment of bills such as IBI & Basura taxes, community fees, electricity, water, gas and telephone.

Arrangement of Notarised Documentation

Some documents must be officially witnessed and stamped as genuine by the Notary in order for them to be legally valid in Spain and abroad. In this case they will need to be presented before the Notary and stamped and signed as genuine.

Powers of attorney in Spain and Abroad

By giving BENCH & CO a Power of Attorney you are authorizing us to sign and receive documents on your behalf. Many clients find this useful as it saves constantly flying back and forth to Spain in order to sign documents at the various stages of a transaction.

Arrangement of Sworn Translation of Documents

A legally recognized translation may be required for international use. These can typically include:

  • Deed of Sale (Escritura de Compraventa)
  • Property Register (Registro de la Propiedad)
  • Power of Attorney (Poder Notarial/ Poder de Representación)
  • Birth Certificate (Partida de Nacimiento)
  • Marriage Certificate (Acta de Matrimonio/ Partida de Matrimonio/ Libro de Familia)
  • Divorce Certificate/ Decree Absolute (Sentencia de Divorcio Firme/Definitiva)
  • Death Certificate (Partida de Defunción/ Fe de Obito/ Acta de Defunción)


Registration of Luxury Cars and Vehicles

If you are importing a car into Spain over the value of 50,000 euro or have purchased one whilst here we can arrange all the necessary document transfers to correctly register the vehicle.

Alterations to Your Property

If your plan to extend your property, build a swimming pool or erect any fixed structures in your grounds you may be required to apply for Planning Permission (Licencia de Obra) to legalise the changes. We can undertake all the necessary paperwork and applications on your behalf ensuring that the value is added to the property.