25 Business Ideas to Start in Spain as an Expat

expat business ideas spain

Are you an expat in Spain looking to start your own business and make a mark in the vibrant Spanish market? Spain offers a plethora of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, and with the right ideas and strategies, you can find success in this exciting environment. In this article, we will explore 25 business ideas to start in Spain as an expat that will allow you to tap into the local market and fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams.

Spain: The ideal destination

Spain is an attractive destination for expats looking to start their own small business ventures. Since it has a vibrant tourist culture, many retail-based businesses have sprouted up around popular areas to meet the needs of vacationers and locals alike. From food-related businesses to clothing boutiques or souvenir shops, there is plenty of opportunity to break into local scenes while enjoying a fulfilling expat experience in Spain.

business ideas to start in Spain as an expat

1. Designer Clothing

If you are creative, designing clothes is an excellent business opportunity in Spain. There is a high demand for fashionable clothing, so if you have an eye for style, take advantage of it. You can open your boutique or sell online to capitalize on the Spanish market and beyond. Customers will pay top dollar for unique pieces, so it’s a great way to make your mark on the fashion scene.

2. Create online courses

Creating online courses is probably the greatest passive income source for an Expat in Spain. This allows you to share your expertise, knowledge, and skills with the world through digital technology and generate passive income. You can either do it through your own website using a subscription or go to Udemy and create an online course. There are thousands of subjects you could begin teaching on, and you have unlimited opportunities to go deeper than necessary to learn the right topic.

3. Tour Guide Business

The Spanish coast, like Costa del Sol, is a popular tourist destination and provides an opportunity to open a tour guide business. You can offer guided hikes, city tours, or historical excursions to make the Spanish experience even more enjoyable for visitors. You can also offer transport services and give tourists a more comfortable experience as they explore the country.

4. Build a content website

If you’re looking for an affordable business idea and the possibility to work from home, look no further than a content website in Spain! To start off, pick a niche that is not too saturated with blog posts from other websites. Then get creative on topics that will provide value and apply some SEO techniques. With enough effort, your website will capture more traffic daily, meaning it’s time to monetize. Consider leveraging Google Adsense or offering ad space directly to partnering companies who can benefit from your site’s affiliation.

5. Laundry Service Business

This is one of the simplest business ideas to start in Spain as an expat and can be very profitable. You only need a few washing machines, a dryer and some Spanish-speaking staff to get started. Once your business is running, you can offer additional services like ironing or even door-to-door service. The idea is to provide convenience for your customers, making them more likely to stay loyal.

6. Become a language teacher

Although English is still the number one language that Spaniards try to learn, nowadays, many individuals wish to learn additional languages. In that case, if you’re an expert in German, Chinese, Japanese, Araba, Hindi, French or Italian (or any other language), then there will be no shortage of eager students looking to learn from you.

7. Handyman Business

Every Spaniard needs a handyman at some point, and this is a great business to get into in Spain if you are handy with DIY projects. You can offer plumbing, painting, carpentry, and electrical work. The Spanish market is always looking for reliable, quality handymen.

8. Coffee Shop or Cafe

In Spain, coffee shops are more than just places to grab a quick cup of joe, and they are places where people gather to relax, read, and chat with friends. Opening your own coffee shop or cafe is a great way to bring Spanish culture home.

9. Souvenir shop

Without a doubt, thousands of tourists flock to Spain throughout the year. There’s something for everyone: Barcelona and Madrid, hikes or gastronomical tours. Yet one activity remains constant amongst them all – souvenir shopping. If you plan strategically and select an appropriate location that is central but also cost-effective on rental prices, then your demand as a shopkeeper will be high. Finding this balance between accessibility and economic costs can successfully promote your business venture to the Spanish population and tourists alike.

10. Food Truck

This is an excellent business opportunity for expats who are passionate about cooking. Setting up a food truck allows you to bring your traditional meals to different locations. You can easily customize the menu to reflect Spanish flavors and regional specialties.

11. Open a travel agency

Everyone loves traveling, and Spain is a great destination for both Spanish nationals and foreigners alike. If you’re passionate about helping people plan the perfect Spanish getaway, then opening a travel agency could be your ticket to success in Spain. If a business idea is going to be worthwhile, it should involve selling experiences instead of products or services. As an expat in Spain, you are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this and offer tourist packages that cater specifically to the needs and desires of visitors from around the world. You know exactly what impressed you when exploring Spain; now, share those same memorable experiences with others. You can arrange everything from flights, accommodation, and car hire to guided tours and local activities.

12. Ice Cream Shop

Because of the hot weather, ice cream is a favorite Spanish treat, so starting an ice cream shop in Spain can be very profitable. It is a relatively inexpensive business to start, and the overhead costs are low. If you choose to make your ice cream from scratch, you can customize flavors that use Spanish ingredients like olive oil, almond milk or churros crumbles. You could even offer vegan options for those with dietary restrictions. With some creativity and hard work, you can create an ice cream store that is popular with locals and tourists.

13. Spa service

Spas offer services to improve health and beauty through personal care treatments. Spa services range from manicures to pedicures and massages to facials. You can set up a spa business in Spain by providing services catering to locals and tourists. With the right marketing strategy, you can make your spa business stand out from the competition.

14. Translator

Spain is renowned for its tourism and entices travelers from all corners of the globe each year. Since visitors tend to prefer communicating in their native language, this creates an exciting opportunity for translators. You can serve as a translator during any travel-related activity or explore other fascinating options that are available to you.

Choosing the path of a freelance translator will unlock countless opportunities for you. Whether it’s website content or promotional material, your skills can be used to create multilingual versions and convey messages worldwide. As Spain has numerous languages, you can specialize in Spanish translations, Spanish-English translations or even Spanish-French and Spanish-German translations. If you’re a polyglot with experience in more than one language, then this could be the perfect business opportunity for you to explore.

15. Organic Meals Café/Resto

Eating healthy is no longer a trend – it’s an international craze, particularly in Spain. If you have the ambition and vision to make a difference in the health market, why not open a restaurant or cafeteria specializing in healthy cuisine? You’re sure to carve out your own niche while providing people with nutritious food options that they can enjoy. Organic ingredients are now widely available, however, it’s essential to make sure you understand Spanish food laws and regulations, as well as the Spaniard’s taste in food.

business ideas to start in Spain as an expat

16. Digital Marketing Agency

This is one of the most thriving businesses globally; Spain is no exception. With the Spanish economy growing, Spaniards are turning to digital marketing to help them reach their desired audiences. If you have a background in social media and digital marketing, then this could be the perfect business opportunity for you. You can offer services such as web design, search engine optimization, content creation, social media management and blogging to Spanish companies – helping them improve their online visibility and brand recognition. The Spanish market is still relatively young, so there’s a great opportunity for you to carve out your own space in the digital marketing industry.

17. Start a destination wedding service

Spain has some beautiful destinations in which couples could marry. You can help couples decide on their weddings during their vacation in Spain, or even organize the wedding itself. For this type of business, you need to be proficient in Spanish, have knowledge of local rules and regulations, and know how to contact local professionals such as florists and photographers. You also need to get all the documents required, such as officiating the event.

18. Tour guide

Do you know all the hidden gems of Spain? As an Expat, why not use your knowledge to help tourists explore the country further? You can start your own tour guide business and take people of various nationalities to the most beautiful spots in Spain. You can provide tours on foot, bike or motorbike – whatever suits your clients best. With the proper business set-up, you can help tourists experience Spain like a local and make money at the same time.

19. Start a hotel business

Each state which has destination tourism needs a hotel. If you have the necessary resources and experience, this could be your chance to become a hotelier in Spain. Adding breakfast in an offer can help you attract more patronage because most people prefer hotel meals, especially in the morning.

20. Become a personal fitness trainer

Another great business idea to start in Spain as an Expat is to become a personal fitness trainer. With more and more people becoming conscious about their health, there’s an ever-increasing demand for personal trainers. You can offer services such as gym sessions, personal training sessions, nutrition counseling and so on to help people stay fit and healthy.

21. Start a car rental service

If you’re looking for a profitable business idea to start in Spain as an Expat, then consider starting a car rental service. With more and more people traveling to Spain, there’s great potential for business in this sector. You can offer luxury cars or budget-friendly vehicles for rental to tourists. You will need a valid business license and a fleet of cars (or a partnership with an existing car rental company) to make this business a success.

22. Start a trading company

Another great business idea to start in Spain as an Expat is to set up a trading company. You can either import goods from overseas or export them to other countries, depending on the demand in Spain. This is a lucrative business opportunity and will require some initial investment. You need to be aware of the current rules and regulations for setting up a trading company in Spain and must be familiar with the local market.

23. Become a freelance social media manager

Social media is now an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy, and many businesses are now looking to outsource their social media management tasks. As an Expat, you can use your skills and knowledge to become a freelance social media manager for Spanish companies. You will need to be well-versed in using various social media platforms and have some marketing experience to make this business work.

24. Become an AI consultant

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the way businesses operate today, and there’s a huge potential for AI consultants in Spain. As an AI consultant, you will have to help businesses understand and implement AI solutions to improve their business processes. You will need a good understanding of the latest AI technology trends and familiarity with the Spanish market. This is a great online business to start and make money in Spain as an Expat.

25. Cleaning Business

The best business ideas to start in Spain as an Expat include a cleaning business. Cleaning services are always in demand, especially with the busy lifestyles many of us lead. You can offer various services such as cleaning windows, carpets, upholstery, cars, and more. You may also want to consider offering laundry services or housekeeping services as well. This is an affordable business to start, and you don’t need much capital or experience to get started.

A word from SpainDesk

Starting a business in Spain as an expat can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. With a diverse range of business ideas to explore, from tapping into the tourism industry to opening a restaurant, starting a language school, launching a freelancing career, or establishing an e-commerce business, there are ample opportunities to succeed. By combining your unique skills, passion, and a deep understanding of the local market, you can pave the way for a thriving business venture in Spain. So, take the plunge, unleash your entrepreneurial spirit, and embark on a remarkable journey in the land of opportunity.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.