Guide to buying a restaurant, commercial or cafe bars in Costa del Sol, Spain - Part 5
This article is provided as a general guide to things to look for,
things to avoid and do's and don'ts of .
| | | | | FAQ
Q. We would like to , but have no
experience would this cause a much of a problem?
As with running any business, experience is always an advantage,
however, many of our clients have purchased a bar/catering
business in Spain with little or no experience and are running them very
successfully. With all our clients we do provide a good back
up support, advice and a helping hand if required. We have
many first time bars, which we would suggest would be more
Q. Do we need to speak Spanish?
A. Due to the majority of our businesses being British owned
and run, situated in tourist and ex-pat areas, the majority of
our customers will be British, therefore whilst learning the
language would be an advantage, this is not seen as a necessity
and you do tend to pick up the language quite quickly. There
is an abundance of language schools and tutors available if you
want to learn quickly.
Q. Can I bring my pets to Spain?
A. Yes, don't panic, domestic animals can enter Spain from the
U.K. without any quarantine, so it's unlikely you will have to
leave them behind. However it is necessary to obtain an international
health certificate or pet passport. You can gain more information
from your local vet and the U.K. ministry of agriculture. You
need to allow approximately one month to organise this.
Q. Where will I live?
A. There are numerous options available; most clients like
to rent close to their business due to convenience and cost.
The type of accommodation
price in Spain differs to your requirements
and range, from studio apartments designed for two, to villas.
We can assist you on finding the right accommodation to meet
your requirements. Most of the accommodation offered come furnished
with TV's, washing machines etc. some with community pools and
parking. We can advise on areas, prices etc. We can also put
you in touch with agents who specialise in this field.
There is normally a finders fee payable to the agent of 1 month’s rent
2 month deposit is normally required by the landlord for security
Most long term contracts are normally 11 months renewable
Rent is paid 1 month in advance
Q. Is the cost of living similar to the UK?
A. A recent survey showed that supermarket shopping to be 25%
cheaper than in the U.K. Whilst electricity bills are similar,
the consumption is far less per household due to the warmer climate
and longer days, gas in southern
Spain is of the bottled variety
and at only 5 pounds per bottle is ½ the price of the
U.K. Water is metered and is 50% cheaper than the U.K and many
landlords in rented accommodation include this in the rent (please
check). Alcohol and tobacco are considerably less with typical
savings of up to 75%.
Petrol and diesel is 45% cheaper. The general climate ensures
that outlay on clothing is minimal as shorts and t-shirts are
worn for 8 months of the year!!
Q. What extra costs will we have after the purchase
of our Business in
A. This varies considerably depending on the individual. Typical
costs include licensing and paperwork (as detailed earlier).
Stock - this depends on the type of outlet, for a bar this is
very little, as stock can be purchased and delivered daily and
also many rep's will give you opening deals. Removal costs can
also vary depending on what you bring with you.
Moving to Spain is much easier than you think, some clients
leave England with only their suitcase and board the plane. Some
drive over with their boots and roof racks full to capacity,
catching a ferry to France or northern Spain. This can mean a
long journey. Other people use a removal service of a specialist
carrier, it is advised to shop around, however, when we moved
to Spain we realized that companies
based in Spain were much
cheaper. Remember that you pay per cubic meter which is around £100,
discounts may apply to full house removals, however, which ever
way you use to move to Spain, remember most rented accommodation
comes fully furnished and why pay to have out dated old furniture
and appliances brought to Spain when the purchase of new ones
is only a little more than shipping the old ones over? We do
realize that personal items and antiques can be irreplaceable.
So think long and hard about what you want to bring with you,
we can put you in touch with removal companies if you require.
Q. What about medical care?
A. The Spanish National Health Service is free to U.K. senior citizens and
the service is excellent however, as in the U.K., non-emergency cases will
be placed on a waiting list. Purchasers of businesses in Spain are obliged
to join the Spanish N.H.S. Payment for this service are included in monthly
national insurance contributions. There are also many types of private medical
health care, which many people decide to join. We do however advise people
visiting for purchasing businesses
in Spain to bring with them an E111 form
to cover yourself until all paperwork is completed; these are available in
the U.K. from your post office.
Q. Can I open a bank account in Spain?
A. In all Spanish banks there is a full range of services available,
deposit accounts, cheque accounts, mortgages, debit/credit cards
etc. Almost certainly at least one member of the staff will speak
English. All utility accounts such as electricity, water and
telephone can be paid direct debit or over the counter. If you
like we will help you through the process of opening an account.
Q. What type of education is available for my children?
A. All state education in Spain is free and compulsory for children
aged 6 years and above (you do have to purchase books and stationary).
Spain is home to many nationalities and most Spanish schools
have a large number of non-Spanish pupils. In our experience
British children attending Spanish school have a basic understanding
of Spanish in 4 months and are fluent within the year. Children
will also like to know that school hours are from 9am - 2 pm
with plenty of holidays. There are a number of British / International
schools in the U.K. with G.C.S.E subjects being taught and exams
taken. Nurseries or guarderias as they are known in Spain are
plentiful. This is an ideal way to introduce your child to the
Spanish language. Hours and costs vary though prices are very
low compared to Britain.
Q. Is my driving license valid?
A. Yes, however, once you have applied for residency you have
6 months to register your license with the local transport authority
(DGT), there if required, you can obtain a Spanish driving license
and this does make life much easier. All U.K. cars must also
be registered with your lawyer who can do all this for you.
Q. Can I draw my pension here?
A. Pensions can arrange to have their pension paid in euro cheques
directly into their Spanish bank. Banks are not allowed to charge
commission on pension cheques. To establish your eligibility
get an E 121 form, from the DHSS in the U.K., with this form
you register with a local INSS (Institute National de Seguridad
Social) office over here. Alternatively contact your financial
Q. Can I rent a car?
A. There are an abundance of car hire firms who can provide
you with a car to suit your requirements. You will need to provide
your driving license and passport as identification. For a small
car expect to pay 120 euros in summer, or for an 8 Seater, 433
euros. Rates are a little less in the winter.
Q. What about electrical appliances?
A. The electricity current in Spain is 220V, 50HZ, as the rest
of Europe. Plugs have two round pins, again like the rest of
Europe. Adaptors can be purchased both in England and Spain.
Q. Is siesta just a myth?
A. No, generally Spaniards work Monday to Friday 9am - 2pm and
then 4.30pm or 5pm for another 3 or 4 hours, most shops open
within these hours and for us British, can be very frustrating.
Some larger supermarkets may open all day; some shops in tourist
areas may open on Sundays. A lot of government buildings don't
open in the afternoon, so it's early rising if you need to get
anything done. Spain is the home of the fiesta and there are
14 official holidays in Spain with regional additions, unlike
Britain, everything closes and the Spanish party!! These are
often bridged into long weekends if the holiday falls near a
weekend; all you can do is party along with them.
Republished September 1st 2009 -
Part 5 - Frequently Asked Questions