Ways to Make a Living in Spain

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Spain doesn’t restrict employment to UK natives or natives of any other country in the EU. This includes the establishment of a business. However, keep in mind that one must satisfy local tax laws and be sure to comply with business regulations.

Renting Property

One of the most common business choices in Spain is to rent out a holiday property when the owner isn’t using the property. However, this will only bring in a little extra cash – unless you have multiple properties in prime locations, you are unlikely to earn a full time living from renting. Another popular business choice is to transform your Spanish holiday home into a bed and breakfast, which can gain a healthy profit for you.

Bars and Restaurants

Running a bar or restaurant can be lucrative for Spanish expats and is a popular option. However, this business type requires true dedication, along with a concerted research effort to learn about how to establish and operate a profitable bar or restaurant. One must consider the local, who their customers might be, the seasonality of the business, how the business will be supplied and staffed, and if you’ll work with a partner. If you are working with a partner, how will this affect your relationship if you have one? Also, consider how many hours you’ll need to work and if you can accomplish these hours effectively and still be satisfied with your quality of life. Would working weekends or holidays be an issue for you? When you can genuinely answer these questions, you’ll be aware of whether operating these establishment types is a desirable choice for you to make a living in Spain.


If real estate, the restaurant and bar industry, or operating a bed and breakfast aren’t desirable choices for you, establishing your own franchise, purchasing an existing company, or even establishing a new business can be suitable considerations. However, these choices aren’t without risk, but if you’re an experienced business owner who has successfully operated a business before, these choices may be the smartest methods of supporting yourself comfortably in Spain. It’s imperative to remember that aside from the quality of the economy in your locale, it can be difficult to establish a business in Spain if you’re not a Spanish-born native. The primary obstacle is likely to be barriers with the language, along with unfamiliar employment and tax laws.

Online Business

Some more flexible business choices are to establish and operate an internet business. If you have a skill that can be utilized online, this can be quite beneficial. Do you have a product or service you can sell? Can you create or edit written content efficiently? Do you have graphic design or programming skills? Accounting, telesales, and project management, along with similar trades can be performed online from the comfort of your own home, which saves money on transportation costs and enables you to be more readily accessible to your family. Further, this choice allows you to adjust your workload to a manageable level to suit your other obligations.

Whichever manner you choose to generate an income in Spain, keep the local competition in mind, and ask yourself how difficult it might be to compete with similar businesses in your area. Be sure to carefully research employee demand in your employment sector. Also, be mindful that Spain has a current unemployment rate that is significantly higher employment rates than in the UK, as the Spanish employment market is presently fairly saturated.

Regardless of your employment choice, make sure you’ve made prior arrangements to secure a stream of income that will support you in Spain. Also, be sure that you’ll be able to meet your tax obligations prior to your arrival in Spain. It’s smarter to achieve this obligation by consulting with a professional financial advisor with a solid reputation.