Starting a business in Spain; advice from 3 entrepreneurs

Are you thinking of starting a business in Spain, but don’t know where to start? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel yourself. Many people have already preceded you in Spain. Who better to help you on your way than someone with experience? We at Match Better Valencia have that experience ourselves, but for this article we interviewed 3 different entrepreneurs in Spain.

Nathali Meurs-Pas opened this year her Design Studio House for Interior in L’Eliana, Katlijn Luysmans started the fashion label Bloom Valencia in 2020 and Paul Heijmans has been working as an engineer in Valencia since 2008. I asked them the following questions:

Briefly explain what kind of business you started and how long you have been active?

Nathali: “House for interior is an Interior Design Studio. We are specialized in making a complete interior plan, supervising the implementation, right down to the last cushion on the couch. We translate the customer’s wishes into a beautiful color palette so that the home has a personal touch from the residents.”

Katlijn: “About a year and a half ago we started our own fashion label ‘BLOOM Valencia’ during Corona time. A fashion label exclusively for curvy plus size ladies.”

Paul: “I am the owner of the engineering firm Heijmans & Partners and have been working in Spain for almost 14 years. My clients are generally located in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, so not in Spain”.

What did you dislike when starting a business in Spain?

Nathali Meurs-Pas

Nathali: “I am used to working with partners with a high level of quality. It is very difficult to find good workers who meet my expectations. They told me, I must except this, otherwise it would be very difficult for me. But I hope to be the exception that does not. It will probably be quite difficult for me. But…at the end it will be worth it!”

Katlijn: “There is a lot of paperwork when starting up a company. It is still difficult to find a good market for our product in Spain. The way of doing business and negotiating is something that you cannot compare at all with, for example, the Belgian or Dutch market. As an entrepreneur you often see very good business opportunities, but if you want to roll them out for a Spanish market, it is often a difficult road. In business terms, Spanish culture is very different from ours.”

Paul: “My work is mainly for the Dutch market, and I ran into the fact that it is difficult to insure yourself in Spain for work that will eventually be performed in the Netherlands. I needed help figuring this out.”

What went well for you when starting a business in Spain?

Katlijn Luysmans

Nathali: “My suppliers are all so very helpful and understand that it is all new to me. Sometimes they have to explain everything again and they do this with a lot of patience. But above all they are very enthusiastic and see my drive. That also gives them a positive boost. I just went for it. Don’t think too much about it, just say A and B will come naturally.”

Katlijn: “The many paperwork involved in starting up a company is no problem with the help of a good gestor/accountant. The fact that the Spanish market and culture are different makes everything more interesting for us as entrepreneurs. We like that.”

Paul: “Since my clients are generally located in the Netherlands, I expected that I would often have to travel to the Netherlands, but this is almost never necessary. Communication is now very easy from a distance. This was not so normal 14 years ago, but over the years it has become very natural.”

Do you have any tips for a starting entrepreneur?

Paul Heijmans

Nathali: “Go after your dream and don’t be fooled by what others think. You know what you want, have faith in yourself and go for it. You always regret the things you didn’t do. And even if you say after a while, this wasn’t it, then you did it and you have a lot of experience.”

Katlijn: “Do a market study and get to know the market well, inform yourself and be assisted by a good gestor/accountant. As a starting company they do not like to see you come to a bank for possible investment loans. Even if you have a fantastic business plan they first want to see at least figures of a year. Spain and the various autonomous regions do provide specific investment credits for starters, your gestor or accountant will certainly know more about this. The application process does take a lot of time.”

Paul: “Look for a niche, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in Spain, because nowadays it is very easy to work remotely.”

We from Match Better Valencia are happy to help with all your questions you might have about: starting a business in Spain.

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