Business licensing in Barcelona
This page is here to help give you a starting point to find out about some of the obligations that may apply to you if you decide to post Experiences on the Airbnb platform. It’s for your information only and includes summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to official and third party resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
Could I be a business? Do I need to get a business license?
It depends on the specific situation whether your Experience will be considered a business activity. In principle, you need to get a business license if you carry out an organized and regular activity for profit. Hosts looking for information on how to get a business license can find it from the City of Barcelona website here.
Examples of activities that could be considered a business:
- I am a professional cook and I make my living by organising pop-up dinners in various private locations.
- I am a non-professional cook with a passion for food in my local area. I provide Experiences involving cooking classes, guided visits of my area, shops and the locals I love. I do this on a regular basis and this is how I make my living or part of my living.
- I am a professional yoga instructor with my own studio. I want to host and provide yoga classes myself and with some of the wonderful yogis I know in the community.
Examples of activities that might not be considered a business:
- I wish to provide a single Experience, or just a handful of times a year, mainly centered on local events that I love going to with my friends who are organisers and artists. This is not something I rely on to make my living. I am a freelance graphic designer by trade.
- I am a professional yoga instructor and I make my living by running yoga classes in various locations. In my spare time, I love to cook healthy vegetarian meals and I have a passion for sharing this way of eating with people. I want to provide Experiences once or twice a year sharing my knowledge of healthy vegetarian and vegan eating from the local organic food markets.
What legal structures could I choose to set up a business?
There are a few different legal structures available for Hosts wanting to set up a business. For example you could file as a self-employed autónomo. Or you could register as a corporate legal entity in which case the Spanish government will require the additional filing of the deed of incorporation with a public notary, enrollment with the commercial registry, a VAT number from the tax office, and registration with the social security office.
Keep in mind that depending on your particular case, the choice of legal structure will determine which set of registration and certification forms, taxation rules, and social security policies will apply. The Spanish government sets out the guidelines for each respective legal structure on their Tax Authority and Social Security System websites. In certain situations, prior notice in the form of a Responsible Statement to the City of Barcelona may also be required.
For hosts looking for additional reading on legal structure options and implications, more information can be found here, here, and here. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you, you are encouraged to seek advice from the local city authority or local professional, legal, or tax advisor.
What other things do I need to be aware of when dealing with consumers as a business?
Spain and Catalonia have strong consumer protection laws applicable in the commercial relationships between businesses and consumers. These laws prohibit the misleading of consumers. Hosts should provide Guests with all the information they need to know to make informed decisions about the services (main characteristics of the activity, prices, special terms and conditions, etc.) in a way which is transparent and easy to understand. It is important that Hosts, whether businesses or not, are always clear, transparent and accurate in their dealing with guests. This is not only the law but it’s also good business practice and Guests will generally have a much better experience if the description is clear and transparent. The official regulations on the Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users can be found here and here. Helpful information may also be found from the website for the Organization of Consumers and Users here.
Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
Yes, depending on the activity you will be providing or organising, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply to that activity. Our section on activity-specific licensing requirements and rules covers some of the typical activities, but it is not intended to be comprehensive list. In addition, check what tax and social security rules apply to you, make sure that you have the right insurance coverage in place to cover all the activities you will be providing, and check the potential urban planning limitations that may apply. These can be checked with your local city authority, or your local professional, legal, or tax advisor.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained on any third party sites that we link to (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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