Certifying as a Startup

What is the Certificate of Innovative Entrepreneurship?

Through this procedure, you can obtain the 'Certificate of Innovative Entrepreneurship,' also known as the 'Startups Certificate,' necessary for you to access the tax and social benefits established in the Startup Law.

This certification will be valid for all administrations and entities that must recognize it.

What are the main benefits?

Income Tax Deductions

Improvement in the annual deduction limit, now raised from €60,000 to €100,000, with a corresponding increase in the deduction rate from 30% to 50%. Notably, the company's funds should not surpass €400,000 at the commencement of the tax period when the taxpayer obtains the shares or stakes.

Postponement of tax debts

Reduction of the current corporate tax rate from 25% to 15% in both Corporate Income Tax and Non-Resident Income Tax. Startups have the option to defer the payment of tax debt for the first two taxable periods in which the tax base is positive.

Improvement of remuneration policy

Increase in the yearly exemption, now raised from €12,000 to €50,000, for the issuance of shares or stakes to employees of emerging companies.

Managing body

Empresa Nacional de Innovación, S.M.E, SA (Enisa) 

Approximate timeframe

Within 3 months from the submission of all relevant information regarding the certification request.

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To whom is the procedure addressed?

Startups that meet the requirements indicated in the Startup Law (Article 3, point 1 – “Requirements”), these being:

  • Be newly created or, if not newly created, when no more than five years have elapsed since the date of registration in the Mercantile Registry, or the competent Cooperative Registry, of the public deed of incorporation, in general, or seven in the case of companies in biotechnology, energy, industrial, and other strategic sectors or that have developed their own technology, designed entirely in Spain, which will be determined through the order referred to in Article 4.1.
  • Not result from a merger, spin-off, or transformation operation of non-startup companies.
  • Not have distributed dividends or returns for cooperatives.
  • Not be publicly listed.
  • Have their headquarters, social domicile, or permanent establishment in Spain.
  • Have at least 60% of the workforce under an employment contract in Spain.
  • Pursue an innovative entrepreneurial project with a scalable business model.
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What documentation do you need?

  • Tax Compliance Certificate from the Tax Agency.
  • Social Security Compliance Certificate.
  • Latest closed annual accounts filed with the Commercial Registry, if applicable.
  • Public deed of company incorporation.
  • Responsible Declaration Model.
  • Notarized power of attorney for the company's legal representative.
  • Business plan.
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What are the requirements to be taken into account?

  • Not being in an irregular situation in Spain.
  • Clearly state the reasons for requesting the assignment of the NIE.
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What are the steps you should follow?

Step 1. Access to the Enisa Customer Portal.

Access the Enisa Customer Portal website. In case you don't have a user account, fill in the information to complete your registration.

Step 2. Application form.

Complete each of the steps in the form located in the 'certifications' section:

  • Company information.
  • Company group (if part of a group of companies).
  • Business plan

For each of these steps, you will need to provide the required documentation

Step 3. Submission of the form.

Once the form is submitted, Enisa will analyze the application to determine if your company meets the requirements to obtain the certification.

Step 4. Notification.

Your inquiry will be resolved within a maximum period of three months, and you will be notified if your company is considered an emerging company.

Do you need additional information?

Guía para la certificación de empresas emergentes Format: .pdf. 3.77 MB
Declaración responsable Format: .pdf. 1.18 MB
Declaración responsable grupo de empresas Format: .pdf. 1.17 MB
Orden PCM_825_2023 Format: .pdf. 237.99 KB
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Frequently asked questions

A startup or emerging company is defined as any legal entity that fulfills, among other criteria, the following requirements:

  • Being a newly established company or having a maximum of five years since its incorporation, and seven years in the case of sectors such as biotechnology, energy, industrial, among others.
  • Having its registered office or a permanent establishment in Spain.
  • Having a majority percentage of the workforce under contract in Spain.
  • Developing an innovative and scalable entrepreneurial project.
  • Not being listed on a regulated market or having distributed dividends.
  • The turnover should not exceed ten million euros.

Certification is a crucial process enabling eligibility for the tax and social benefits outlined in the Startup Law. 

This certification holds validity across all authorities and entities required to acknowledge such benefits. 

The certification as an emerging company is conferred by ENISA

The certification process incurs no cost for the companies applying for it.

No, only companies formed as capital companies (SA, SL, SAL, SLL, etc.) and cooperatives that meet the established requirements for emerging companies in the Law can undergo certification.

Yes, provided they meet the criteria outlined in the Law for Fostering the Ecosystem of Emerging Enterprises, also known as the Startup Law, and are appropriately registered in the Cooperative Registry.

The assessment of innovative and scalable entrepreneurial status will take up to 3 months from the date the company submits all information for the certification request, including any additional information requested following ENISA's analysis.

The calculation of the maximum resolution period will pause when the applicant is asked to address deficiencies in their application or provide essential documents. 

This timeframe becomes effective six months after the enactment of this Law.

According to the new Startup Law, you are indeed allowed to be a shareholder in one or more certified companies.

The certification's validity depends on any of the following situations:

  • If any of the requirements stipulated in Article 3, and particularly at the end of the five or seven years from the creation of the emerging company, are no longer metSe extinga la empresa antes de ese término.
  • If it is acquired by another company that does not have the status of an emerging company
  • If the annual turnover of the company exceeds the value of ten million euros
  • If it carries out an activity that results in significant environmental damage according to Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and the Council of June 18, 2020, establishing a framework for promoting sustainable investments and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088
  • If shareholders, whether directly or indirectly owning a stake of at least 5% of the share capital, or administrators of the emerging company have been conclusively sentenced for the criminal offenses specified in Article 3.3.

El análisis sobre el grado de innovación del proyecto emprendedor y sobre la escalabilidad del modelo de negocio se basará en, al menos, los siguientes criterios:

  • Innovation Level: Recognition for securing public funding in the last three years without revocation due to inadequate execution. Additionally, the ratio of research, development, and technological innovation expenses to the company's total expenses over the preceding two fiscal years (or one year for companies less than two years old) will be assessed.
  • Market Attractiveness: Consideration of sector supply and demand, traction generation, and strategies for user or customer acquisition.
  • Company Life Stage: Assessment of the implementation of prototypes, attainment of a minimum viable product, or the market introduction of the service.
  • Business Model: Evaluation of the scalability of user numbers, transaction volumes, or annual revenue.
  • Competition: We will assess companies operating in the same domain or sector, taking into account how the business stands out from its rivals
  • Team: Assessment of the team's experience, education, and track record.
  • Dependency on Suppliers, Providers, and Lease Agreements: Consideration of relationships with other economic entities.
  • Customers: Evaluation of the volume of the company's customer or user base.
  • Absence of a business model that raises reasonable doubts about potential reputational, regulatory, ethical, or speculative risks.

Being registered as an emerging company in the Commercial Registry or the relevant Cooperative Registry is both a necessary and sufficient condition to access the benefits and special provisions outlined in this Law. 

ENISA will furnish the corresponding certification documentation confirming compliance with all necessary requirements for obtaining the status of an emerging company directly to the Commercial Registry or the applicable Cooperative Registry.