If you are planning to set up a business, you should know all the procedures you will need before starting your project to avoid any problem you may encounter. The first permits you will need are the opening licence and the activity licence. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to apply for them. If you want to solve all your paperwork quickly and trusting a professional, leave all that work to a gestor administrativo.
The opening licence or activity licence is a local mandatory permit that allows any business to start their activity. It is a document that states that the space thought for the business meets all the requirements that a commercial property needs so as to start their activity.
When you are looking for an office or a commercial space for your business, you should consider if it adapts to the specific needs of your type of activity. You need to know all those requirements before starting your search. A good idea would be to ask in your city council or in an administrative agency.
Types of opening and activity licences
There are two types of licences, depending on the level of discomfort, damages, and risks that the activity could cause to people:
- Harmless activities: those that cause no significant harm, environmental impact (healthiness, hygiene), damages to public or private properties nor risk to those properties or to people. Activities in this group include small business such as clothing stores, grocery stores and small offices of companies that offer public services.
- Harmful activities: those considered unpleasant, unhealthy and dangerous (hotels, industry and some business and services) and that require sanitary, security or environmental preventive measures. Many of these activities can only be done in industrial land.
- Exempt activities: professional, artisanal and artistic activities that can be made at home, unless the activity involves selling products or direct customer service and this would cause problems with your neighbours.
Harmless activities are easier to be legalized, you will need to meet fewer requirements and there are fewer costs of procedures and taxes. You will need to attach a technical report that includes the floor plan of the commercial property where the activity is going to take place. Harmful activities will need more paperwork: a technical report that will include local reports. The characteristics and requirements of these reports will vary depending on the type and size of the property (urbanistic, industrial, health, environmental or legal reports).
How much does an opening licence cost?
There are two different concepts that influence the cost of an opening licence:
- Council taxes: they depend on three factors: the importance of the street, the size of the premises and the type of activity. The taxes are higher for harmful activities, for well-located establishments, and for bigger properties.
- Technical report: the cost of preparing this report will depend on the difficulty and complexity of the project and the price established by the company or professional in charge of the report.
If the premises of your business are less than 300 square meters, you will not need to apply for a licence before the opening. You will just need to let the Council know you are responsible for that activity and guarantee you will obtain the permanent opening licence.