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The Startups Law, the first in Europe, is approved in Spain

The Startups Law, the first in Europe, is approved in Spain

December 22, 2022, Law 28/2022, of December 21, for the promotion of the ecosystem of emerging companies, was published in the Official State Gazette, which would enter into force the day after its publication. Although, it was not until January 1 of 2023 when the main fiscal and administrative novelties that it establishes began to be applied.

It is intended to encourage the establishment of entrepreneurs and workers of "startup" companies, as well as the so-called "digital nomads", that is, those people who work remotely and change their residence regularly. The new law regulates the possibility that they can reside and work in Spain for five years.

In accordance with the provisions of the law, a “startup” company is understood to be one that does not exceed five years old (or seven for strategic sectors), that is not listed on the Stock Exchange or distributes dividends and that has its headquarters or registered office established permanently in Spain.

In addition to the above, it is necessary for the "startup" company to have 60% of the workforce hired in Spain, have a business volume that does not exceed 10 million euros, and prove "innovative character", that is, that is for the purpose of developing new or improved products or providing services.

The new law incorporates fiscal measures such as the reduction of the tax rate in the Corporate Tax and in the Income Tax of non-residents, with a reduction of up to 15% in the first four years from when the tax base is positive.

It also provides for the increase in the amount of the tax exemption for 'stock options' from 12,000 to 50,000 euros per year in the case of delivery by 'startups' of shares or participations derived from the exercise of purchase options.

Stock options are a mechanism that makes it possible to include in an employee's remuneration "options to acquire shares of the firm for a period of time" and "usually at a lower market price".

In addition, it also broadens the maximum deduction base for investment in newly or recently created companies (from 60,000 to 100,000 euros per year), the type of deduction (which goes from 30 to 50%).

Finally, it should be noted that entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the benefits and specialties provided must request ENISA, Empresa Nacional de Innovación SME S.A., to evaluate all the characteristics, in addition to the innovative nature of their business model. The proposed innovation may be product or business.