Residence for entrepreneurs and business activity: permit

What do you need to know?

If you are an entrepreneur looking to start, develop or manage an innovative business project and/or has a special economic interest to Spain, you can opt to apply for a residence permit.

The permit is valid for working and living anywhere in Spain, including family members if they meet the age requirement laid down in labour regulations.


A business plan for the entrepreneurial project needs to be submitted. ENISA (state-owned company dealing with Innovation), which is collaborating with the Spanish immigration authorities, will be in charge of assessing whether that business plan for the project is innovative or is of special economic interest for Spain. You will therefore need to check whether the aspects that are assessed comply.

If the requirements are not met, you must request a visa or permit for residence and self-employment.

Who does it apply to?

It applies to non-EU persons who wish to reside in Spain to carry out a business activity of an innovative nature and/or of special economic interest.

What is your current status?

Depending on where you are at the time of application (outside Spain or in Spain legally), the precedures you must apply vary:

If you are outside of Spain, you must apply for a residence permit for entrepreneurs and business activity. Once this authorization has been obtained, you must apply for the residence visa at the Spanish consular office in your country of residence.

If you are legally in Spain, you must apply for a residence permit for entrepreneurs and business activity.

What requirements must be met?

To apply for this type of permit you must meet the general requirements for entrepreneurs, if applicable, and the project must meet the specific requirements.

 General requirements (individuals)

  • Not being in an irregular situation in Spanish territory.
  • Being at least 18 years of age.
  • Having no criminal record in Spain and in the countries where you have resided during the last five years, for crimes provided for in the Spanish legal system.
  • Not being forbidden to enter Spain or being listed as liable to be refused entry in the territorial area of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to that effect.
  • Having financial resources for you and the members of your family, in accordance with the following amounts:
    • Visa and residence permit holders: a monthly amount equivalent to 200% of the Spanish minimum inter-professional salary (for 2023, the minimum inter-professional salary is €1,080 a month).
    • Family units that include, with the holder and the reunited person, at least 75% of the minimum inter-professional salary. Where necessary, 25% of the minimum inter-professional salary will be required for each family member in addition to the two persons mentioned above.
  • Having a health insurance with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain.
  • Paying the fee for processing the permit.

Specific requirements (project)

The project‘s business plan must be accredited as innovative and/or of special economic interest to Spain. Various criteria shall be taken into account for this evaluation, including:

  • The innovation in some of the following aspects: the business plan; the product or service; the differentiated processes involved in the business; the use of own technology, or the use of patents and other industrial property rights.
  • The entrepreneurial activity‘s degree of scalability: the attractiveness of the market, the vital phase of the company, the work team, etc.

For more information on the criteria to be taken into account, please consult Instruction DGM 1/2023 (only available in Spanish).

How long is it valid for?

The permit is valid for 3 years.

Permit renewal: 2 years

Can I bring my family with me


Your family members may accompany you on your trip and, at any time, they may apply for a permit jointly or at a later stage. This condition applies to:

  • Spouse or unmarried partner
  • Children of the permit holder, or of their legal partner who are below legal age, or who are of legal age and depend on the holder or their partner financially and have not yet formed a family unit.
  • First-degree dependent relatives of the holder or their legal partner.

What do you need to do?

First, you must send the business project to ENISA. Second, you must apply online for a residence permit from the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE), whether you are in Spain legally or in another country.

If you are awarded the permit, and you are already legally in Spain, you may reside in the country and start to develop your activity. However, if you are awarded the permit, but you are in another country, you must carry out a third step: obtaining the national visa in person from a Consulate office or diplomatic mission.

These steps are as follows:

What steps must you follow?

Step 1. Request the ENISA report

  • Go to the ENISA website and start the session. If you are not registered on the system, you must register first.
  • Choose the option  “Autorización de residencia para emprendedores” (Residence permit for entrepreneurs) and then click on ‘Fill in form.’
  • When you have entered, you must fill in the form with the project details, completing the various sections it includes. At the bottom of the form, there is a link to a help guide.
  • The form allows you to save the data you introduce and then recover it in later sessions.
  • When you have completed the form, the system will tell you that this phase has been completed.
  • Once you have completed the questionnaire, ENISA will inform the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE) that you have submitted the application, and once the proposal has been evaluated, it will issue its report.

Step 2. Request a residence permit (whether you are already in Spain or If you are abroad)

  • Fill in the application form
    • You must download and fill in the permit aplication form MI-T. This document must then be attached to the application. The official form is only available in Spanish. In order to help fill in the form, it has been translated into different languages for informational purposes only:
    • If you are travelling in the company of family members, you must also download, fill in and sign the relevant application form for relatives  MI-F for each one in order to apply for a permit jointly. The official form is only available in Spanish. In order to help fill in the form, it has been translated into different languages for informational purposes only:
    • Before the application period begins, consult and prepare the documentation that you will be asked for.
  • Pay the fee
    • You must pay the established fee before submitting the application.
    • To be able to pay the relevant fee (fee 038 relating to standard form 790), fill in the fields of the form (indicating the method of payment) and download it.
    • The form 790 for fee 038 allows payment to be made in cash (by depositing the fee at a bank in a Public Treasury account) or by direct debit from a current account (whose number you will have to provide)
    • To do so, you must identify yourself by means of the digital certificate FNMT-RCM, or through the Cl@ve PIN (PIN code) or Cl@ve Permanente (Permanent code) system.
  • Register the application, attach the documents and sign it. 
    • Once you have filled in the form and paid the fee, you must access the procedure "Submission of applications for residence permits for international mobility regulated by Law 14/2013", from the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE). 
    • Select the "Alta de solicitud" option to start the process and register your application.
    • To do so, you must identify yourself by means of  a digital certificate, or through the Cl@ve PIN (PIN code) or Cl@ve Permanente (Permanent code) system. You must allow the signature applet to run in order to continue with the application.
    • When the identification is validated, you access the page where you must select the type of application you want to make, in this case, the initial application.
    • At the top of the page you will find the personal data you must fill in (country, address, postcode and telephone number).
    • At the bottom, you will see the mandatory documents that must be attached (detailed below). You can also attach any complementary documents that you consider appropriate.
    • When everything is correct, tick the consent box for the computer processing of the data and click on the "Sign" button.
    • Once the application has been made, you will be informed of its submission number and you will be able to download the file with the signed application and acknowledgement of receipt. Remember that it is important to keep the number in order to be able to consult the status of the application in the future.
  • The permit request is analyzed:
    • Your application is sent directly to the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE), which will check the documents. If it is accepted for processing, the UGE-CE will officially request the business project report from ENISA.
  • Receive notification of the decision 
    • Within the established period, a decision will be made on your residence permit.
    • You will receive it at the email address you indicated when submitting the application.
    • If you were already in Spain when you made the application, when you receive a positive resolution, you can then develop your business activity. If you were outside Spain, you must obtain a national visa, as detailed below.

Step 3. Request a visa (only if you are outside Spain when you submit your residence permit application)

  • In order to apply for a national visa, you first need to obtain a residence permit for entrepreneurs and business activity. Once this permit has been accepted and granted, you must apply for the visa, proving that you meet the stipulated requirements.
  • Once you have the permit, request an appointment at the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country of residence. The visa must be applied for in person. Only exceptionally, and for justified reasons, may the consulate allow the application to be submitted by a duly accredited representative.
  • Pay the fee associated with the residence visa. You can find the fee rate below.
  • Submit the documentation required to apply for the visa directly to the diplomatic mission or consular office in your country of residence.
  • Receive or collect your visa. Once the documentation has been validated, the fee paid and all the above requirements met, a decision will be issued regarding your residence visa for entrepreneurs and business activity application.
  • The diplomatic mission or consular office will notify you of the decision regarding your visa application by email. Depending on which country you are in, you may receive it at home or you may have to travel to pick it up in person at the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country.
  • If the visa has been refused, you will receive a notification.

Who can submit the application?

Permit applications can be submitted by the foreign national or a duly accredited representative.

Where you are not in Spanish territory, interested parties must apply for the visa themselves after the permit is granted. Only exceptionally, and for justified reasons, may the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country allow the application to be submitted by a duly accredited representative.

What documentation is needed?

In general, you must provide the original and a copy of each document.


The documents must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and legalised. In the case of multilingual standard EU forms, neither translation nor authentication is required.

The form of legalisation will depend on whether the issuing country has signed the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 or not:

If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. The certificate will be processed in the country of origin.

If the country issuing the public document is not a signatory, then the legalisation process will be carried out through diplomatic channels.

Get more information about the legalisation and translation of documents.

The documentation listed below is for information purposes only.

For the permit:

  • Signed permit application form.
  • Complete copy of passport.
  • Criminal record certificate from the country or countries where you have lived for the last 2 years, for crimes under the Spanish legal system. Additionally, a responsible declaration of the absence of criminal records of the last five years will be presented.
  • Health insurance taken out with a company operating in Spain.
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources for you and your family members during your period of residence in Spain.
  • Declaration of Compliance of the applicant, prior to the commencement of the employment or professional activity, showing commitment to compliance with Social Security obligations.
  • Updated curriculum vitae.
  • Documentation proving the degree of the citizen (legalized, translated and approved) or a certification of professional experience.

For the visa:

  • Resolution of the permit, which specifies its approval and duration.
  • National visa application form (if applicable). Each diplomatic mission or consular office may also require any additional documentation it deems necessary for the purposes of the decision regarding the visa.

How long does it take?

The decision deadline for the permit is 20 days.

What does it cost?

For the permit, the fee is €73.26 and must be paid before starting the application submission process.

In certain cases, a reduction or exemption from the fee is provided for. However, it is important to know that the fee will not be refunded if the application is refused.

For the visa, the fee is €60 (general rate). The fee may vary depending on the country. The visa fee payment method may vary depending on the country.

Want to know more?

Body responsible for the formality

Permit: Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE), with the collaboration of ENISA (state-owned company dealing with Innovation) (Government of Spain).

Visa: Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Government of Spain).

Further information

You can consult the Spanish Government Immigration Portal (only available in Spanish), the Invest in Spain website (available in English, Spanish and Chinese) and the information sheet for start up in Spain (Non EU entrepreneur´s citizens), available in different languages:

  • Entrepreneur's information sheet Spanish
  • Entrepreneur's information sheet English
  • Entrepreneur's information sheet Russian
  • Entrepreneur's information sheet Chinese
  • Entrepreneur's information sheet Portuguese


The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.