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Find out about the legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain

Find out about the legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain

It is not enough to have a well-structured project, a beautiful construction or the intentions to provide the best experience for your guests. You must also comply with the regulations and laws of the country and city where your hotel will be located. That is why here we will tell you about the legal requirements […]

It is not enough to have a well-structured project, a beautiful construction or the intentions to provide the best experience for your guests. You must also comply with the regulations and laws of the country and city where your hotel will be located.

That is why here we will tell you about the legal requirements to open a hotel in Spain. This way you will be able to comply with the law and avoid many problems, formalities and penalties.

What does the law say about the legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain?

The first thing to bear in mind is that the legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain depend on the type of hotel. To facilitate this process, the law provides for the classification of the different types of hotels into the following groups:

Group 1: Hotels and flat hotels

In this first group, the law includes all accommodation that, according to the Madrid Region’s hotel establishment regulations, occupies a complete building with or without complementary services. It also differentiates hotels from flat hotels in that the latter have a kitchen in their rooms.

Group 2: Pensions and hostels

In the second group we find pensions and hostels, which are accommodation that, due to their size, capacity or characteristics, are not considered to be hotels. In this case, the number of accommodation places does not usually exceed 20.

Group 3: Guest houses

Even smaller than guesthouses and hostels, guesthouses have a smaller number of bed places. This makes the legal requirements for their operation simpler and easier to comply with.

The badge is very important

To prove that you have complied with the legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain and to identify which group your accommodation belongs to, the establishment must display the plaque indicating the classification group of your hotel, as well as the number of stars it has.

abrir hotel España

Types of legal requirements to open a hotel in Spain

Although the legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain vary between Autonomous Communities, provinces and municipalities, there is a general classification in which we can group the main requirements according to the type of business or type of hotel.

This list will help you to find out what you need to comply with in order to open your hotel legally in the Iberian nation.

Structural requirements

The first thing you must prove is that your construction complies with the basic requirements for structural safety, construction materials, installation and operation. In addition, you must demonstrate that it is fit to house a hotel.

This type of requirement seeks to guarantee that the building is safe for the stay of guests, so it will be the surveyors and architects who will be in charge of making the corresponding structural and construction report.

Security and civil protection

In Spain there is a civil protection law for hotels designed to ensure that you comply with safety and civil protection regulations both for your operations and in the event of an eventuality.

This law covers everything from signage and safe spaces to facilities and procedures, for example, what to do in the event of a fire. One of the most common causes of business closures is, precisely, not having the corresponding civil protection accreditation.

Operating licences and land use permits

Generally the responsibility of municipalities and city councils, land use permits guarantee that an establishment or business can be located on that land. We must remember that there are different land uses, for example, residential, industrial or nature reserve.

On the other hand, the operating licence is one of the most important legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain. This accredits that we have the approval of the authorities to operate our hotel in accordance with the law. In other words, it guarantees that everything is in order and that we are not committing any fault or irregularity.

Sanitary registration

Due to the number of people and the services they offer, such as showers, food handling or swimming pools, hotels need the approval of the health authorities. This is to ensure that there are no potential health risks.

Generally, this type of requirement requires inspections and plans for cleaning, hygiene, fumigation, waste management, waste disposal, etc. To check that you comply with local health regulations and national and international quality standards.

Taxes

The last of the legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain to consider are taxes. This includes registering your business with national, provincial and municipal authorities.

Remember that not having the correct tax status can lead to problems with issues such as accounting, invoicing and tax payments. Administratively, you are also required to keep a guest book with the registration and signature of your guests.

Formalities you must complete as part of the legal requirements to open a hotel in Spain.

Although each case is different, as it varies depending on the location, just as it is not the same to have a 5-star hotel investment project as a hostel, these are some of the most common procedures to open a hotel in Spain.

  • Responsible declaration of the hotel owner.
  • Application for operation and authorisation as a tourist company.
  • Health authorisation.
  • License for classified activity.
  • License for outdoor advertising.
  • Building permit.
  • Legalisation of your guest book.
  • Declaration of registration of economic activity taxes.

In addition to this, you will also have to take the necessary steps to be able to carry out the legal hiring of the hotel staff. This includes the payment of taxes, benefits, registration with the government, etc.

One of the most efficient ways to comply with these legal requirements for opening a hotel in Spain is to have a local partner. By having a consultancy company that knows how the legal and bureaucratic procedures work, the processes can become more efficient.

At IHCS we advise you to create the best solid, functional and complete hotel project. We will support you in every area to ensure that your investment is safe and secure, improving your chances of making a profit and providing a great experience for your guests.

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