With the entry into force on 23 December 2022 of Law 28/2022, of 21 December, on the promotion of the start-up ecosystem, for the first time in Spain, the regulatory framework for innovative new technology-based companies with a scalable and stable business model, known as start-ups, is regulated, including a series of incentives which, in order to be applicable, must be an emerging company created under Law 14/2011, of 1 June, on Science, Technology and Innovation, and which meets a series of conditions established in the same Law.
The most relevant measures with a fiscal impact, subject of course to the fulfilment of a series of requirements, include the following:
- Taxation at a rate of 15% on corporate income tax and non-resident income tax during the first period in which the taxable income is positive and in the following three periods. Debts on these taxes may be deferred during the first two periods in which the tax base is positive, with a 12-month grace period for the first tax period and a six-month grace period for the following period, without accrual of late-payment interest.
- No obligation to make instalment payments of corporate income tax in the first two years in which the tax base is positive.
- The annual exemption for earned income derived from the acquisition, free of charge or at below market price, of shares or holdings in emerging or group companies is increased to 50,000 euros, and the obligation for the offer of the company’s shares or holdings to be made under the same conditions for all employees is abolished, with a special valuation rule being necessary.
- The deduction percentage for investment in new or recently created companies is increased from 30% to 50%, the maximum annual deduction amount is increased from 60,000 to 100,000 euros and the period for subscribing shares or holdings is increased from 3 to 5 years and up to 7 years in the case of certain companies.
- The tax regime for workers posted to Spain is extended to those engaged in entrepreneurial activity and to highly qualified professionals providing services to start-up companies. In these cases, income that would qualify as income obtained through a permanent establishment will not prevent the regime from being applied, among others.
- Income derived directly or indirectly from holdings, shares or other rights, including success fees, shall be considered as earned income. It will be classified as income from work that is refundable at 50%, with no quantitative limit.
These measures are expected to increase and strengthen Spanish technological entrepreneurship, as well as attract and retain international talent, entrepreneurs, investors and foreign students. This will position Spain as a technological hub of international reference.