Spanish Registration Number for Foreign Companies
The Company CIF / NIF (Codigo / Número de Identificación Fiscal) is the Tax Identification Number for companies and it consists of a letter followed by 8 digits.
The letter before the 8 digits describes the kind of company it is, for example:
A – Sociedades Anónimas (Public limited companies)
B – Sociedades Limitadas (Limited companies)
N – Sociedades No Residentes Sin Establecimiento Permanente (Non Resident Companies without offices / locals in Spain)
W – Sociedades No Residentes Con Establecimiento Permanente (Non Resident Companies with offices / locals in Spain)
Do I need to have a NIE?
As part of the process, the Directors of the foreign company will need to apply for a NIE number (Foreign Identification Number for foreign individuals), and this is the first step to apply for the CIF.
Who issues the CIF?
The CIF is issued by the Tax Office and it will remain the same regardless of any changes that may occur, except for changes in legal form or nationality.
The CIF that has been allocated can be accredited by the Card issued by the Tax Agency, and the authenticity of the Card can be verified on the website of the Tax Agency.
Do I need to apply for a VAT Number as well?
In many countries, the VAT number is issued with a separate Company number, in Spain the CIF also forms the VAT number, therefore you will not need to apply for a separate VAT number.
What is the CIF for?
Once you get the CIF of the company, your company will be able to submit Tax Returns or obtain the CCC (Codigo Cuenta de Cotización), which is the registered in the Social Security, this is needed in order to contract employees.
You will also be able to apply for the following registers if you would like to trade with EU or Non-EU countries.
EORI (Número de Registro e Identificación de Operadores Económicos) needed for all those companies that carry out imports and exports.
Applying for all of the above can be very complicated if you do not have all the necessary knowledge or if you do not speak the language correctly, I advise you look for a Tax Advisor or Law Firm with experience in non-residents who can help you to avoid any future problems.