Bureaucracy, “an excessively complicated administrative procedure”




  • excessively complicated administrative procedure.”the unnecessary bureaucracy in local government”
  • synonyms: red tape, rules and regulations, etiquette, protocol, officialdom, (unnecessary) paperwork

This is a term to get familiar with when starting a business in Spain. I am pretty sure local governments are overstaffed for unnecessary jobs or the standard explanation of, “this is Spain” is the reason but whatever the case is, there is only one way about it, take the bull by the horns so to speak.

There is loads of advice and steps that you get from a simple ‘starting a business in Spain’ Google search. However, with my personal experience there is something that no one can advise you on, how much time will it take? The time taken to reach an end goal can vary from weeks to months with it rarely being days.

The first thing which takes a considerable amount of time is researching and finding out where do you need to go to get x done and finding out who to speak with.

The next thing is that you need to make appointments online which may only be available for the following week. Since most government offices close at 2pm, the morning is the only option. You see, here is the thing, procedures are often complex so its imperative that you need to understand what is being said to you at your appointment and because of the complexity, a very strong command of the language is needed.  I came to learn that the simple nods, smiles and passing off a ’si, si or vale’ is not going to cut it. I had attempted a few of these appointments on my own because I had no other option due to my partner having a full time job. I seemed to always have had something missing and to be honest, despite the language barrier, trying to fulfil all of the legal obligations was challenging enough.

The key is to be patient and persistent. Be well prepared for this process when starting out and try to account a budget for this process. Get Spanish help, there is an array of ‘gestors’ available which help facilitate this process, of course at a cost, however this not only saves time but also headaches and stress. These paper pushers exist for a reason and know the system inside out.

There is no other way around bureaucracy, be determined, everything is possible.

More to come.

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