Sole business license to operate in Spain

On December 10, the Official Spanish Bulletin (BOE) published an important norm for entrepreneurial activity: the Act 20/2013 of December 9 to ensure market unity.

This Law aims to ensure the free movement of goods and services throughout the national territory: the sole-license principle and the legislation of origin that already operates in the European Single Market have created the motivation for this Law. This way, any product or service produced under any regional regulation may be offered throughout the national territory without additional formalities.

Sole License to Operate throughout National Territory

This Law allows the offering of any product or service produced under any Spanish regional regulation anywhere in Spanish territory without modifications or additional formalities. The main advantage of this new principle is that it eliminates the cost of having to submit to 17 different regulations to operate in Spain.

There are three key aspects:

  • Cases in which Public Administrations can submit to the pursuit of economic activities to authorization are limited. Requirements, direct or indirect, based on the operator’s place of residence are forbidden. Additionally, the Law provides regulations for cooperation mechanisms among Public Administrations to exchange information between the authorities of origin and the authorities of destination
  • From the moment an economic operator is lawfully established anywhere in Spanish territory, he or she can pursue his or her economic activity throughout the entire national territory (with or without physical establishment) if he or she complies with the access requirements to the activity in his or her place of origin. This is true even if the economic activity is not subject to any requirements in such place. Besides, any product lawfully produced under any regulation of the Spanish territory is allowed to circulate and be offered freely in the rest of the territory from the moment it is put in the market
  • Along with this measure, the Law grants the effectiveness of administrative proceedings throughout the national territory. This means that the license obtained in a region to pursue an economic activity is also valid throughout Spain — whatever the characteristics of the product and the factors of each region are

Entry into force

This Law became effective on December 11, 2013. However, the following measures will become effective three months after its publication (from March 10, 2104): the amendments on the effectiveness of administrative acts throughout the Spanish territory; the amendments on the competent Authority to supervise operators; and those on the defence procedure of the rights and interests of the economic operators by the competent authorities. This delay does not affect those services that the Act regulates on free access to service activities.

This article is not considered as legal advice

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