Obtaining foreigner Identification number (NIE) for all shareholders and directors

Obtaining foreigner Identification number (NIE) for all shareholders and directors

This is the starting point when setting up a business in Spain. The foreigner Identification number (NIE) is a number that every foreigner needs in order to interact with the Spanish administrations. NIE means “número de identidad de extranjero”, that is, Foreigner Identity Number. Without a NIE you cannot sign the  deed of incorporation of your Company before the Notary Public.

It is important to apply as soon as possible because this process can take up to 15 days.

Also important to know that the NIE does not entitle to live or work in Spain.

There are basically two ways to obtain the NIE

  • At the Consulate general of Spain in your country of residence.

This is the cheapest way to obtain the NIE if you have a close Spanish Consulate. At the Consulate you will have to fill out a form (Form EX 15) and pay arround EUR 40. You have to state that you want the NIE for economic reasons, that is, setting up a company in Spain. Also important: check the box “I want to receive all communications by email” and write your email very clearly.  No need to wait for a letter that can be lost, etc, you will receive your NIE by email in PDF at the same moment it is issued, . The PDF version is valid for your purposes, so print it and that’s it.

In general you will have your NIE  in 10 to 15 days, but that depends on each Consulate.

  • In Spain through Powers of Attorney (POA)

The NIE can also be obtained remotely through POA. In this case you have probably contacted with a law firm in Spain that is helping you. They will send you the POA written in Spanish and English in a double column document in which you appoint a person who will go to the Police and obtain your foreigner ID. The POA has to be legalised by a Notary in your country of residence and sealed with the Hague Convention Apostille. The Hague Apostille certifies the signature of the Notary.  Also needed for this process a certified copy (same process as for the POA) of your passport of the page where your signature and personal data appears. The same day of the application, in general, the NIE is issued

  • Other ways to obtain the NIE

Another way to obtain the NIE is going personally to the Police station. This is the most difficult way and the reason is that you have to obtain an appointment at the Police website. It is not possible to obtain dates for the major cities because this website is permanently  saturated . You could obtain an appointment in small cities that are not so crowded . Even professionals who deal with this appointments are desperate.

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