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Spain is a popular destination for travelers seeking to experience the country’s rich culture, food, and stunning beaches. If you’re planning a trip to Spain, one of the most important things to consider is how to manage your money while you’re there. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about Euro -the national currency in Spain-, currency exchange, and payment options in Spain. Read on!

Understanding the Euro

The euro is the official currency of the European Union and is used by 19 out of the 27 EU member states. It was introduced on January 1, 2002, and replaced national currencies such as the French franc and German mark.

The euro is a highly stable and reliable currency, with a low inflation rate and a strong market presence. It is widely traded and is the second most traded currency in the world after the US dollar. The euro also provides many benefits to individuals and businesses in the eurozone, including the ability to easily travel and conduct commerce without the need to exchange currencies.

Characteristics of the Euro

Each euro is composed of 100 cents and is available in both coins and banknotes. When you’re planning your trip, it’s important to check the current exchange rate between your home currency and the euro to get an idea of how much money you’ll need.

Banknotes in Spain

Euro banknotes come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euro denominations. Although the 200 and 500 EUR notes are not widely used, they do exist. The most used banknotes are the 5, 10, 20, and 50 EUR denominations.

Coins in Spain

There are eight different coins euro coins which are 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 euro, and 2 euros.

Exchanging for EUR

There are several options for exchanging currency in Spain, including banks, exchange offices, and ATMs. It’s important to compare the exchange rates and fees before making any transactions. While banks may offer better rates, they may also charge higher fees. Exchange offices may offer better rates for cash transactions, but they may also charge commissions.

When you want to exchange currencies into the euro, look for the currency code EUR. Usually, the safest place for exchanging is an ATM machine (known in Spain as a “cajero automático“).

Exchange rate

Of course, money exchange rates fluctuate daily. Therefore, to get an accurate exchange rate we recommend using Google. Notice that when exchanging currency at an exchange service there may be some additional charges. However, these shouldn’t be more than 3%.

Spanish currency banknotes and coins

Using ATMs

Using ATMs is one of the most convenient ways to get euros while in Spain. However, it’s important to check with your bank before you leave to ensure that your card will work in Spain. Some banks charge fees for international transactions, so it’s important to check these fees and compare them to other options before making any withdrawals.

Cash vs. Card

Credit cards are widely accepted in Spain, especially in major cities and tourist areas. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted cards, but American Express is also accepted in some places. It’s important to check with your credit card company to see if they charge foreign transaction fees and what those fees are.

However, it’s also a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially for smaller purchases or in areas where credit card usage may be limited. It’s important to keep in mind that some places, such as markets or small shops, may only accept cash.

When should I use cash in Spain?

Credit and debit cards are commonly used in Spain. However, in small towns often cash is the only option. These towns may also not have a local ATM, so it is best to withdraw cash before you get there.

Next to this, smaller restaurants in the big cities sometimes also require you to pay with cash. In this case, they may not have a card system (similar to the towns) or a minimal fee of (5 to 10 euros) to spend if you want to use the card system.

In this way, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand when traveling in Spain.

Currency in Spain and Paying by card

History of the Spanish euro currency

The first coins in Spain were issued by the Roman Empire, and the modern Spanish peseta was introduced in 1869. In 2002, the euro replaced the “peseta” as the official currency of Spain.

The peseta was a decimal currency, with 100 centimos making up 1 peseta. In 2002, most of the European Union adopted the euro as their new currency including Spain. The euro replaced the peseta at a rate of 1 euro = 166.386 pesetas.

Positive effects of the euro currency in Spain

There are many positive aspects to the euro. It’s easier for travelers coming from the European Union because there’s no need to exchange money. Next to this, the euro has a more stable value than the peseta. The euro is also used in other countries, so Spanish businesses can easily export their products abroad.

Negative effects of the euro currency in Spain

Although there are many positive aspects to the euro, there are also negative ones. The biggest gripe Spanish people have about the euro is that prices have risen in most stores since 2002 when it became the official currency. Gasoline, clothing, hotels, and even public transportation costs are some of the most common examples.

A word from SpainDesk

Managing your money while traveling can be stressful, but with a little bit of planning, it can be a breeze. By understanding the euro, comparing currency exchange options, and knowing your payment options, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip to Spain without any financial worries.

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.

Whether you are going to live, work or do business in Spain, it’s important to know at least a little bit about the legal system. In this article, you will learn about how the legal system in Spain works. You will also learn how it differs from other legal systems in the world.

Understanding the Legal System in Spain

Civil Law System

Spain has a similar legal system to Italy and France. It is called the “Civil Law System”, which is one of the most commonly used systems in the world. It is based on legal codes and comprehensive laws rooted in Roman and Napoleonic Law.

This is different from the US Common Law System. The Common Law System is based on the lifelong decisions made over and over by judges according to a more flexible range of laws approved by the parliament.

Legal system in Spain

Autonomous Communities

Spain applies Civil Law throughout its territory. There are however differences in the law for Autonomous Communities. They have their own Civil Laws which are applied according to the specific legal issue. These ‘organic laws’ mean “Estatutos de Autonomía”  in Spanish or Statutes of Autonomy. They are spread to all of the topics and matters that are not attributed to the state. Some of the matters are Public Order, Environmental Protection, Agriculture, inland fishing, Urban Planning and Housing, Festivals, Culture, Education, Public Health, and Social Assistance. It is important to have a lawyer that understands both national civil law and autonomous community laws.

The State

The State has exclusive responsibility in the following fields:

  • Nationality
  • Immigration
  • Exterior Politics and Asylum
  • International Relations
  • Defense and Security
  • Monetary System
  • Transportation (Ports, airports, trains)
  • Foreign trade
  • Sea Fishing
  • Treasury and State Debt
  • Public Works of Supraregional Interest
  • Referendums

The Local Authorities and Town Hall

The Local Authorities and Town Hall also have some power in several legal issues in Spain. These are normally directed to Public Local Services, Road Maintenance and Municipal Police. Also, Spain has a lot of routine police work and road controls, which are found in many other European countries as well. There are 3 organizations related to the Spanish police: The Civil Guard, The National Police and The Local Police. They all have different responsibilities and attributions, as well as several specialized forces for areas such as tax evasion, contraband and international crime.

When a person is met with a legal issue or dealing, it is highly recommended to contact a Spanish lawyer to determine whether it is necessary or not to take legal action.

The Administrative Process

In Spain, the Administrative Process establishes the relationship between the citizens and the Spanish Public Administration. The courthouses control the regulatory power and legality of all administrative acts and the fulfilment of the objectives that justify them.

Before any legal issue can be taken to Court, it is always needed to exhaust the administrative route.

If any Institution of the Spanish Public Administration harms you or your rights, you need to file a claim before the Administrative Institution. The Administrative Institution then need to respond or resolve. In case the person disagrees with the decision or does not receive any resolution within 3 months, the issue can be put before the Administrative Courts for revision.

If the dealing refers to the recognition and enjoyment of benefits included in Social Security. The legal term for the Public Administration to resolve is 1 month before the case can be brought up to the Court of Social Issues.

Legal system in Spain

Legal System in Spain: The Civil Judicial Process

In Spain, The Civil Prosecution Law has two ways to determine what type of judgement is applicable. In both cases, it looks at the matter and the claim, as well as four judicial procedures with different particularities, depending on the issues they carry.

The Ordinary Judgement or Trial is the most common for issues in the matters of intellectual property, general contracting conditions, urban leasing, and all lawsuits over the amount of 6.000 €. To initiate this process there needs to be a lawsuit. When admitted, the parties and a Lawyer would need to appear before the judge to reach an agreement. If the parties agree, a sentence of mandatory compliance will be issued. When there is no agreement then the case will be raised to an Oral Trial.

The Oral Trial or Verbal Judgement deals with matters where it is intended to regain possession of a property for lack of payment or precariously loaned, heritage, suspension or demolition of work, and lawsuits where the amount claimed is under 6.000 €. In this case, a lawsuit is also necessary to initiate the process. When admitted, the parties will appear before the judge, with the evidence and proof of their case. The judge then will review and place a sentence. A lawyer does not need to appear when the claim is under 2.000 €.

Legal Aid Available in Spain

The only available source of professional legal aid in Spain is a Lawyer. Most lawyers specialize in certain areas or fields of law, such as mercantile, labour, immigration, etc. At SpainDesk you can get services in all legal areas.

It is recommendable to find a local lawyer that can offer you services in your language instead of a lawyer of your own nationality. A lawyer of your own nationality may not know exactly how the Spanish legal system works. Once you find yourself being comfortable with a lawyer, you can designate him to represent you. It is not necessary to sign a service contract. You contract a lawyer by accepting the price and making the down payment.

Lawyer fees depend on the lawyer’s experience and expertise. The general price range is from 120 € to 300 € an hour. There are no “no win, no commission” agreements in Spain. However, in certain cases it is possible to get a fixed rate.

A word from SpainDesk

In conclusion, Spain has a solid legal system that guarantees the protection of the everyday rights of its citizens and compliance with obligations. However, it’s not near perfection. Spain is ranked number 23 out of 28 countries of the European Union in the 2016 Justice Scoreboard, which measures the freedom of the Justice System. It is number 23 out of 113 countries in the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index.

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.

A Spanish Notary, Notary Public, Notario, Public Notary, or Spain Notary is someone you probably need at one point when you are living or doing business in Spain. In this blog, you can learn more about questions such as: “What is a notary?”, “What are they used for?” and “How do I find one?”

What is a Notary in Spain?

The notary in Spain is an official responsible for authenticating written, signed or sealed documents. They have several functions under the Spanish Law, which include:

  • Authentication of acts and contracts.
  • Authenticating different kinds of documents related to civil law issues, such as wills, testaments, nuptial agreements or other private instruments. The notary is responsible for authenticating the signatures on these documents.
  • Authentication of any public document or document used in a private matter.
  • Authentication of public documents, judicial proceedings or acts appointed by the authorities. Which includes authenticating everything from contracts concluded with third parties to administrative acts.

A notary’s duties also extend beyond individual clients; government agencies may ask them to certify copies of certain documents or act as arbiters in disputes between private individuals or companies.

The Spanish notary serves as a legal expert in the Spanish legal system and certifies Spanish documents. The notary in Spain is responsible for authenticating and legalising contracts and agreements using stamps and signatures. While lawyers put private agreements in writing, the notary brings private documents into the public domain. At the same time, the notary does explain certain legal criteria during the signing. Advising parties during the notary process is not their particular service.

What is a Notary Spain

Why do I need a Spanish Notary?

Notaries exist because the government needs them to settle disputes and legal transactions. They will assist you with legalising agreements. A notary is a trusted third party who has no connection with the transaction or parties involved and works on behalf of the public good. This is the reason why they carry an importance.

Documents that can be notarised include:

  • Transfer of property deeds
  • Where there is no will, a declaration of heirs is required.
  • Legal requirements govern the creation, modification, and split of businesses and partnerships.
  • Settlements in marital disputes
  • Any form of power of attorney
  • Acquittals and the discharge of responsibilities
  • Documents relating to marital status
  • Wills and testaments
  • Contracts and agreements
  • Inheritance declarations and claims from heirs
  • Loans, mortgages, and other debt obligations
  • Other documents such as official statements

Below you can read about the most common reasons to need a notary.

Transferring property title deeds through a notary

One of the main notary services is the transfer of title deeds. Next to a notary, a property lawyer is often involved when buying a property in Spain.

Title deeds are official documents that certify the ownership of the real estate. The title deeds are registered at the Spanish land registry, and it states the owner of the property. When you buy a house from an individual, they will provide the title deed as proof of ownership.

You will transfer the property deed via the notary when you sell or purchase a property. The buyer and seller (or their representatives) have to go to a notary, and the notary will give them a contract or deed they both sign. The document is then notarised by the legal witness and formally completed once a stamp tax has been paid.

The transaction must also be recorded in the Spanish land registry for the transaction to be complete. The notary will inform the land registry of the sale and transfer ownership from one to another.

Transfering title deeds through a Spanish notary

Creating a limited company in Spain through a notary

When creating a limited company in Spain, all shareholders and partners need to go to the notary and sign certain documents which will state their percentage of shares, responsibilities etc. In other words, it will establish the relationship between all parties involved.

After these documents have been signed and witnessed, they must be registered at the trade registry (Registro de Comercio). This will make the limited company official. The notary can also assist you with cancelling a limited company if the need arises.

It is important to have a lawyer by your side to do everything correctly. The notary will only help you with the signing. We have a company registration service in Spain, as well as a comprehensive guide about starting a company.

Changing of the marital status through a Notary

Another leading service of the notary is the changing of marital status. This is done when someone wants to get married or divorced.

The change of status will have an impact on their rights and responsibilities before the law, so it is something that must be done correctly. For example, if the married couple has children together, this act will determine which partner will gain custody.

To make sure that you are not taken advantage of, it is important that this process is done by an experienced notary who specialises in family law. It is also recommended to get a lawyer involved.

This service can be done in the same way as a sale of a property. The couple will go to the notary with their documents and sign a document which they will both witness. When this has been done, the notary will give them an official copy of what they have stated and send all documentation directly to the local Civil Registry Office for them to carry out the final procedures.

Creating a limited company through a notary

How Lawyers and Notaries work together in Spanish law

Lawyers and notaries work together to prevent fraud and protect people. Lawyers have the training necessary to identify fraudulent documents, draft documents, and support clients with the required documents.

The notary uses signatures and stamps to authenticate private agreements to bring them into the public domain. Next to this, notaries are able to verify documents to see whether they are true or false.

Lawyers are often contacted when an individual or company wants to take legal action. They will contact a lawyer who they know has expertise in that type of transaction. The lawyer will then contact the notary to complete the legal act.

Spanish law and the Spanish Notary

Getting notarised copies of documents

Other services that a notary provides are getting notarised copies of original documents (certified by an official stamp) and witnessing powers of attorney.

A copy can be very useful if you need to take care of financial matters in another country, and also when you need to certify your signature on a company document.

Procedures involved drafting documents

Some legal acts under the Spanish law system require drafting legal documents. Drafting a document (Redactar un Documento in Spanish) means the assembly of all the relevant elements in order to produce a text. In Spain, there are no public notaries that draft documents. The service is usually offered by specialised law firms.

Legal procedures

Frequently asked questions

Can a notary abroad be used for Spanish documentation?

Spain is a member of the Hague Convention of October 5 1961, which means that certain documents, such as those concerning civil law, can be certified by authorities abroad and recognised by courts in Spain without having to appear before an official who possesses both.

How much are notary fees in Spain?

Notary fees in Spain are set by the state and notaries cannot charge more or less for a service. The notary fee depends on many factors, including time of year, location, and type of service.

When do I pay notary fees?

You will pay the notary fees before visiting the notary office. You will get an invoice from the lawyer office. When you are working through a lawyer, the lawyer can also send you the bill.

Is there a refund if the notarised document is rejected?

A fee is charged by the notary office even if nothing was drawn up by the lawyer and no signatures were made. If there is a need for further legal work after the notarisation, then the fees will be charged again.

Government in Spain

Do I need to speak Spanish when I visit a notary office?

Although the vast majority of notaries are Spanish, there are also many bilingual ones. That being said, it is recommended to have a lawyer or interpreter by your side. This is because the translator will be able to explain all of the conditions and terms included in each document so that you fully understand what you are signing.

Is there anything else I should know about the process of getting a notary appointment?

A notary procedure is a very formal process. Legal consequences are often attached to documents that are signed before the notary, so the process must be carried out correctly. Notary fees are high, so it is important to make the appointment worthwhile.

The notary will only certify the signature on the document, and their responsibility ends there. It is then up to the signatory to ensure that what they have stated in the document is valid. So if you have any doubts about whether you are the owner of the property, whether you have repaid loan instalments or whether you need to sign a document before an official, it is recommended that you consult with your lawyer.

Where can you find a notary office?

You can find notary offices in all major cities. The best thing you can do is contact your lawyer, who can recommend a notary office for you, and they will help you find the nearest notary. Lawyers often work close with notaries. You can also find a list of notaries and their offices online (in Spanish) and contact them yourself.

What is a Hague Apostille Stamp?

The term “Apostille” refers authentication of a document for use in another nation, and the Stamp is the way to show that the government authenticated the document.

The Hague conference issues an apostille to confirm that a notary seal or signature on a document is valid. It ensures that the notary has acted within his authority and with due diligence. When a document or contract has an Apostille Stamp, it has the legal force of any official document issued in Spain. This way, you can get documents verified in other European countries and other countries around the world that joined the Hague Apostille Convention.

Documents that can carry the Apostille Stamp are private and commercial contracts, power of attorney, certificates of nationality, birth and marriage certificates, financial documents, title deeds any other document that has been notarised.

An Apostille legalises a foreign public authority and gives them authentication. You can find countries that provide a Spanish notary abroad on The Hague Conference on Private International Law.

How long does a notary appointment take?

You will be asked to sign a logbook when you enter the notary office. You will then be required to provide identification and proof of any dueness with the notary’s office. In most cases, you must know the person who referred you. Or at least have been referred by someone known by the notary public. This is part of their due diligence to ensure that the “quien recibe” (the person who recognises the notary) is really who they claim to be.

Spanish Notary Appointment

What happens to documents that you signed at the notary?

A civil or criminal court can use documents signed by a notary, and they can be used as evidence in any official proceedings by any governmental organisation. Documents signed at the notary become public documents that everyone can access.

When you have completed signing a document at a Spanish notary, the notary will send the document to the Registry Office. You can get a copy at the notary when signing or by going to the Registry Office. It is a good idea to get a copy to prove the signing in case anything goes wrong with the official document (and yes, this sometimes happens).

Since a notary only functions as an intermediary between both parties, they will not be involved in future disagreements or wrongfully signed contracts. Therefore, to protect you from a lawsuit or wrongdoings, it is recommended to get a lawyer involved.

The notary in Spain

If you are moving to Spain or have recently relocated, you must understand what a Spanish notary does. You can use them to start a company, change marital status, and buy or sell a property.

If there’s one thing that we would like to emphasise about the work of these professionals, it’s the following. For many legal procedures notaries are required, It is very formal, and you often need help from an expert to deal with them. We hope our article has helped clarify any questions you might have had about notaries.

If you need a lawyer to guide you, we are happy to assist you. We have vast experience with legalities in Spain, and our team is glad to help with your venture in Spain.

When you don’t want to come to Spain, and you need a document to be legalised by a notary in Spain. Then you can do this in your home country when Spain recognises the notary in your home country. This article will provide information on how this works through the Apostille Stamp.

When do you need an Apostille Stamp?

People use the Apostille when they want to work, retire, inherit, do business, and do other things in another country. They need legal documents to prove their identity, nationality, marital status, medical status, among other things. The foreign country will recognise and accept the documents in the official translation and carry an Apostille Stamp.

Legalise Spanish documents for your home country

When you have received legal documents in Spain, and you want them to be recognised in another country. Then you can translate them and get them Apostilled. For example, a Spanish diploma for a Master’s degree will need to be translated and then legalised in your home country.

In Spain, stamps are sometimes provided free of charge when the documents come from a governmental authority. Stamps from a notary for notarial and private documents carry a fee, which depends on the number of documents and the notary.

When your country doesn’t recognise Spanish as an official language, you need a sworn translation.

Legalise your home countries documents in Spain

When you are coming to Spain, and need to provide your home country documents. Then you can do this in a notary in your home country, or get it from one of the public agencies. Spain will need to recognise this authority, and you will need to provide the documents. If the documents are not in an official Spanish language, they will need to be translated into the Spanish language by a certified translator, and then Apostilled. Following this, Spain will recognise your home country documents.

Member state

What is the Apostille certificate?

It is an international certification that verifies the authenticity of public documents, and it certifies documents issued by an authority as official and genuine. The Apostille Stamp will make a national document officially recognised by a foreign country. This is useful because the foreign government does not need to verify the document themselves. For example, in the case of Spanish documents, it brings foreign documents abroad into the public domain of Spain.

Legalise foreign documents for Spain in your home country

The Apostille stamp will give an official certification of the authenticity of your Spanish document. You can get the Stamp in most countries, including most European countries. Documents issued by the Spanish administration used abroad must meet certain requirements before being certified.

The effects of an Apostilled document

There are many effects an Apostille will have on a document

  • The Stamp merely verifies the document’s origin: it confirms the person or entity that signed or sealed the public document’s validity and capacity in doing so.
  • The entity that issues the Apostille will determine the weight of the public document.
  • Contents not attached are not certified by an Apostille.
  • Apostilles are not licenses and do not add additional authority to the content of underlying documents.
  • Authentication in a nation where it was issued is not permitted.
  • Public documents that carry Apostilles are only valid for outside their own country.

Apostille Spain

The history of the Hague apostille convention

The Apostille Stamp (or Hague Certification) is a stamp on the documents and certificates that certifies official foreign documents. A Notary Public / Legal Officer has checked their authenticity registered to use this international system.

This Apostille is valid throughout all countries part of the Hague Convention of 1961, and several other countries ratified this Convention. The Apostille legalises the Stamp by the requirements of the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention brings together all member states which recognise public documents certified with this mark.

Spanish Lawyer

What documents can carry the Apostille Stamp

It depends on the type of document and its requirements by the Spanish government if a foreign document needs to be Apostilled.

Documents that can be validly certified through the apostille process

In general, documents and situations that can need the Hague Apostille convention stamp are:

  • Company formation (Certificates of Incorporation, Memorandum & Articles of Association, Form from Companies House, Certificate of Good Standing, etc.)
  • Power of Attorney (Poder notarial)
  • Divorce Certificate (Certificado de Divorcio)
  • Birth certificate (Certificado de Nacimiento)
  • Marriage certificate (Certificado de Matrimonio)
  • Medical documents (Documentos Medicos)
  • Death Certificate (Certificado de Defunción)
  • Certificate of no impediment (Certificado de Idoneidad)
  • Criminal Records (Informe del Registro Central de Penados y Rebeldes o Certificado de No Antecedentes Penales in Spain)
  • Patents
  • Notarial attestations of signatures
  • Academic records
  • Licenses and certificates issued by public bodies

Documents that can’t be validly certified through the apostille process

In general, documents that cannot carry the Hague Apostille convention stamp are:

  • Documents issued by diplomatic or consular officials that show an unmarried status. For example, a certificate of singlehood from a foreign embassy in Spain.
  • Documents for commercial transactions or customs declarations. For example, a certificate of origin for goods produced in the United States.

Language services for validty

Requirements for your document

An Apostilled document has specific requirements. Below are the main conditions:

Original document

The document you’re submitting must be original and authentic. This means copies are not allowed. Only public documents not altered in any way are allowed.

Have all references and appendices

Suppose the paper includes references, appendices, or other notations. Then you must include them with the documents.

Translating the document

When you want to legalise a document for the Spanish authority, and the document is not in an official Spanish language. You will also need to translate the document by a sworn translator. If the translator is not a sworn translator, Apostillisation of the translation is necessary.

Hand over of documents

Prepare to hand over the original document for some time to be processed. With this, you must factor in losing control over the papers.

Signatures for Apostille Stamp Spain

Frequently asked questions

Below you can find frequently asked questions about Apostilling documents for Spain.

What do I do when a country is not part of the Hague Convention?

You need a separate legalisation process if the country you are from is not in the Hague Convention. In this case, you will need to consult the Spanish Consulate of your country for more information. Sometimes, an Apostille Stamp will be recognised, but other processes are needed to fully authenticate the documents.

The countries relationship with Spain will determine the regulations needed to legalise the documents. Sometimes, a different organisation than the ones that give out Apostilles is in charge of this process.

Is there a gold seal certification in Spain?

No, instead of the Gold Seal, Spain uses the Apostille Stamp.

What documents require Apostille authentication?

In Spain, all public documents issued by a notary or a state official must be legalised with an Apostille stamp to be used outside the European Union. The most common examples of these documents are birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, and Power of Attorney documents.

What is the difference between legalisation and Apostille?

The Apostille Stamp replaces the process of “legalisation” by Spanish consulates. In other words, the legalisation aimed to certify that your public document is issued according to the laws of Spain. The legalisation is now done through an international procedure.

How much does an Apostille cost in Spain?

The number of documents and the institution that will handle the Apostille will determine the fee.

What are the benefits of the ApostilleStamp?

The benefits are that you can use the Stamp in any signatory state of the Hague Convention without legalising the document again by a local notary in Spain.

Who can legalise or Apostille my documents?

In general, a public notary abroad or in any Member State of the Hague Convention can legalise/Apostille your document.

What is a notary public?

A notary is an official with special powers to certify that certain documents are authentic. In the case of Apostillising documents, it will verify that the signer’s signature on the documents is genuine and affixes their seal.

What is a sworn translation?

An official translator makes sworn translations. They will translate legal documents correctly. A sworn translator must have a license and pledge to provide a correct translation upon any request.

Do I need anything else to show that the signature or seal on my public document is genuine?

No. The signing or sealing of a public document merely requires that the relevant Competent Authority issue an Apostille. Furthermore, it establishes that the signature or seal on the public document is genuine and shows that the person or authority who signed or sealed it could do so.

Can a country that requires an apostille deny it?

The government must accept an Apostilles, per the Convention’s requirements. But, the government can refuse a document when its origin is unclear or doesn’t follow the rules of the Convention.

What is a public document?

If signed or stamped by a person who holds a public office in Spain, a document is a public document in Spain. For example, such documents include the Power of Attorney documents, official certificates, notarised copies of academic records or diplomas, etc.

What languages does Spain recognise?

Spain’s accepts Apostilled documents in Spanish, Basque, Galician, and Catalan. These are the official languages in Spain. You don’t need to translate the document by a sworn translator, if the other country you are dealing with has it as an official language

What countries are in the Apostille Convention?

The list of signatory countries is long and is here.

How much time does it take to Apostille a document?

In theory, it takes a few days to issue a standard The Hague Apostille. However, Spanish bureaucracy can sometimes be lengthy. Next to this, if you email documents. It will more than likely take up to four weeks due to verification procedures. You have to wait longer if you need to translate the documents into the official language first.

Apostille Spain

A word from SpainDesk

A Spanish Apostille stamp will help to legalise your documents for the Spanish government. It is an official certification that authenticates the signature and seals of a notary public. In that way, recognition of foreign documents in Spain is easier.

To Apostille documents often you can use the notary in your home country. When the document is not in Spanish, you will also need to translate the document through an official translator. When you need documents Apostilled, SpainDesk can assist you. For example, our lawyers in Spain will pick a trusted notary for you, get an official translation, and communicate the documents to the Spanish government offices that need requires them.

A Power of Attorney in Spain is a contract that grants a third party the authority to act on your behalf. People use it typically for legal and transactional matters. However, it can also be used for a range of other things. In Spanish, the Power of Attorney is also known as Escritura de Poder,’ or ‘Poder Notarial’. People who may be unavailable to attend specific affairs give the authorisation. They use the document to nominate a particular individual to represent them. In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know if you want to use it.

How does it work?

Granting Power of Attorney is a relatively straightforward process, but we’ll outline the key things you should consider before getting started.

Types of Spanish Power of Attorney

There are three different types of Power of Attorney, all with varying levels of legal authorisation you can give a person.


  • As the name suggests, this gives your representative general powers to complete a wide variety of legal tasks on your behalf.


  • This option authorises your representative to conduct a specific task for you, such as incorporating a business.


  • This Power of Attorney is for those who would like to appoint someone to manage their affairs and medical decisions in anticipation of their diminished physical or mental capacity.

Types of Spanish Power of Attorney

Representative obligations

The representative gives the individual they appoint the Power of Attorney. Often this is a lawyer, but it can also be a trusted family member, friend or colleague. The person is required to follow any instruction communicated by you, the donor strictly, and is forbidden to take actions outside of the Powers of Attorney authorised to them. It’s also mandatory that they render accounts to the donor and provide any money they have accepted on their behalf. Additionally, if the donor suffers any damages due to the attorney’s negligence, the representative in question will take complete responsibility.

Donor obligations

The donor must fulfil any obligations that the attorney made on their behalf. The purpose of the donor is to control and supervise their representative’s actions. The donor is the person who will be held accountable for any financial or legal errors that may have occurred as a result of their representative’s actions.

These obligations also include advancing any money to the attorney necessary to execute assigned tasks. In short, the donor is responsible for any attorney’s actions that they instructed.

The Procedure

Granting Power of Attorney is a simple affair. Once you’ve identified an individual or lawyer you’d like to extend these powers to, there are a few easy steps to get the necessary documentation legalised.

  • A lawyer will draft you a Power of Attorney document in English and Spanish outlining the powers to be granted to your specified representative.
  • Once all the details in the document have been confirmed, an appointment will be scheduled with a public notary in Spain or elsewhere to verify the identities of you and your donor and witness the signatures.
  • For those arranging a POA while outside of Spain, please note that the document must also contain the Apostille Stamp; this is an official stamp that guarantees the document’s validity in both Spain and the country the signature took place.

Spain power of attorney

The Spanish Power of Attorney document should contain the following information:

  • Personal details of both the donor and attorney
  • The location where the document is signed
  • The date of signature
  • The full name of the public notary
  • The city that the public notary operates out of
  • The primary purpose of the Power of Attorney and the exact rights that are being granted to the third party
  • The signatures of both the donor and the attorney
  • A stamp from the public notary


It’s important to note that unless directly specified by the donor, Powers of Attorney don’t have an expiration date. In saying that, you can revoke these powers at any time by granting a Deed of Revocation of Power of Attorney authorised by a public notary.

Automatic termination of the mandate will happen when the donor or attorney dies or loses mental capacity.

Persons who need a POA

When do you need a Power of Attorney Spain?

If you live outside of Spain, you cannot attend certain legal events, or if you would prefer to have a representative handle matters for you – then a Power of Attorney in Spain is an ideal choice. Not to mention, navigating a foreign legal system in another language can be a complex and challenging task to handle on your own. Granting Power of Attorney to a representative allows them to complete a range of legal tasks on your behalf, including:

Buying and selling property

Buying property is one of the most common reasons for applying for a Power of Attorney. It is normal to get a Spanish property lawyer when you are doing any real estate transaction. If you’re looking to buy a house in Spain, then it is possible that your attorney and notary will negotiate the contract on your behalf. This has the benefit that you don’t have to travel to Spain and can manage the process online, the process is smooth, and you can rest assured that all documents are in order. Next, buying a Spanish property can be pretty time-consuming, complicated, and all done in Spanish. Having the right Power of Attorney in place to manage this aspect means you don’t have to worry about things like notarisation or registration – they will all be taken care of by your attorney acting on your behalf.

Selling property – if you own property in Spain but are currently residing outside of the country, consider granting POA so that an attorney can act on your behalf when selling the property. The benefits of this are that a language barrier won’t hold up the sale of your property, and you don’t need to travel back to Spain.

Starting a company

Forming a company in Spain is also a popular reason to get a POA in Spain. Suppose you’re looking to start up a business or an association. In that case, required notarisation and registration are commonly completed by a lawyer for you, so you can focus on starting the business. Next to this, having a lawyer manage the process can save you time, money and effort.

Dealing with any inheritance matters

Another reason to consider getting a POA in Spain is dealing with inheritance matters in Spain. If you’re inheriting property from one of your Spanish relatives, it is usually more secure if a law firm takes care of it for you so that you don’t have to travel and worry about any legalities.

Obtaining your NIE number (Spanish foreigner identification number)

Lawyers can help you obtain the NIE (Spanish foreign identification number) that you need for many things in Spain. This process is generally relatively straightforward. However, it can be made more complicated by the bureaucracy of government departments. For example, some offices require that specific forms are filled out and signed in person – meaning you have to travel back home if such documents are required. Having an attorney handle everything on your behalf means that you don’t have to worry about anything.

Handling taxes and payments

Solicitors can help you with the day-to-day handling of taxes and payments in Spain. This means that your lawyer will ensure all bills are paid on time to avoid late payment fees or other penalties – as well as ensuring appropriate declarations are made. This may be worth considering if you are residing outside of Spain and find it difficult to manage the paperwork.

Managing bank accounts and direct debits

Another benefit of the Power of Attorney is that your representative can open and manage your bank account for you. If you’re living abroad, it may be difficult to keep track of funds in a Spanish bank account – which could result in incorrect fees being applied or other consequences. This specific POA means they can manage your Spanish bank accounts and make sure any money is transferred to an account where you can access it easily.

Obtaining a Spanish Residency

If you live outside of Spain and would like to obtain a Spanish Visa, (for example the Golden Visa) then the POA is the way to go. This allows an attorney in Spain to handle all the paperwork for you – including registration at the local police station as well as any documentation from the local town hall.

Conducting legal matters (civil or criminal litigation)

Remember, the attorney is required to follow your exact instructions throughout the various procedures and can be limited to a selection of powers. You are still in complete control over your business, and your attorney simply acts on your behalf.

As you can read the powers of attorney can reach a variety of different areas. Letting someone act as your representative in Spain can save you a lot of time, money and effort – ensuring that everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

Utility contracts

When you want to open a utility contract in your name, but you can’t be present. With the POA in place, a person will be able to do this for you and make sure all necessary documents are submitted correctly. This can save you from having to travel back or worry about filling out any forms incorrectly. In many cases, it is even possible for the Spanish attorney

Circumstances to get a POA

What are the benefits of a Power of Attorney?

When executed properly, the POA is a valuable document that can help you protect your rights and assets in Spain, as an individual or business owner. It can also help you avoid the potential for expensive legal fees and time wasted by attempting to handle matters yourself.

Instead, you are able to delegate responsibilities with a professional lawyer in Spain that will be recognised as valid and legally binding under Spanish law – allowing your chosen representative complete control over any tasks or actions they deem necessary.

There are several advantages to using a Power of Attorney in Spain. Particularly for those with a busy schedule or those who currently reside outside of the country, a Power of Attorney gives you the flexibility to conduct legal business and transactions without sacrificing too much of your time or money travelling. Some of the key benefits of signing over Power of Attorney to a trusted legal representative include:

  • Safety: With a range of legal requirements and high levels of accountability, issuing a Power of Attorney ensures your assets will be protected, and any matter will be managed according to your exact instructions.
  • Speed: By signing overpowers to an attorney, your physical presence is no longer required for any relevant legal matters. If you live in a different country or are unable to attend certain meetings or events, this mandate will assist in speeding up various procedures.
  • Accuracy: Granting Power of Attorney to a qualified lawyer will give you peace of mind knowing that with years of experience, they’ll be capable of conducting your transaction with confidence and a high level of accuracy.
  • Convenience: A Power of Attorney will help free up your schedule and eliminate the need for you to go through the motions of lengthy legal processes on your own time.

Getting started

Our trusted team of bilingual lawyers have extensive experience managing Power of Attorney mandates for a variety of situations. If you’re looking to save valuable time by granting a Power of Attorney to a legal representative, then contact us today for professional advice and to learn more about the service we offer.

Authority with the POA

Frequently asked questions

How long does a Power of Attorney last in Spain??

The Power of Attorneys can be valid for one year, two years or ongoing. We offer Spanish Powers on an annual basis which means that you need to renew your documentation every twelve months. Our solicitors will check the validity period and inform the client of any required actions.

Where can you get the Spanish Power of Attorney?

You can get the Spanish Power of Attorney at any law firm in Spain. You can then sign it in front of a notary in Spain, or at a notary in your home country. When you sign it in your home country, an Apostille certificate from the Hague convention is required. This certificate is issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in your country.

What are the costs?

A power of attorney costs 60€ plus VAT (21%), making the total fee 81€. If you want to give a lawyer a power of attorney, this fee is often included in the total price of the requested services. These services can be property, opening a business, estate planning, tax law and other legal matters.

What is a POA?

POA stands for Power of Attorney. It is a legal document that allows someone you trust to act on your behalf. This person will be able to manage any property, business or other matters for you in Spain – without ever having to visit here themselves.

How long does it take to get the Spanish Power of Attorney?

It takes one to two weeks (excluding weekends) from when you sign your legal papers in Spain and provide us with a copy until we send out the final documents by post or email attachment.

What does a Power of Attorney include?

The Power of Attorneys we offer is valid for any legal matter and will include a complete ‘deed’ with your name, address, date, and details about what you want us to manage. Should someone request more information or proof from our office regarding your Power of Attorney, we are legally obliged to give them the information they request.

Is an English or other countries Power of Attorney valid in Spain?

No. A power of attorney needs to be drafted and executed in Spain. However, we provide a Spanish translation service for existing Power of Attorneys from other countries. Yet, the originals need to have been drawn up within Spain before notaries before any Spanish government body accepts them.

When I get the Spanish Power of Attorney, do I need to be in Spain?

Not necessarily. If a client is not able or willing to come to Spain, they can send us the documents by post, and we will make them legal. We can also issue the Spanish Power of Attorney if your representative goes through our office. In this case, our office will contact the notary, and we will legalise the documentation.

How long does it take to get Power of Attorney?

It takes one week from when you sign your papers at the Spanish consulate or embassy until we send out all final documents by post email attachment. We need around two weeks for processing as we need to receive all documents with a translation.

Can I get the Power of Attorney by email?

Yes, you can provide us with your signature and passport copy through email or fax and then sign the papers in front of our Spanish notary. We will send back all final documents within one week after receiving them, but the total time to process your power of attorney will be around two weeks.

Do you need an Attorney in Spain to get the POA?

No. But if you wish to work with a lawyer simultaneously, they can provide an extra service by acting on your behalf. This way, they can handle all legal matters for you in Spain. Our office can help you communicate with your clients and provide official and legally valid documentation on behalf of you.

Can I grant family members the Power of Attorney?

Yes, you can grant the Spanish Power of Attorney to anyone – family member or not.

Do I need a Power of Attorney when buying or selling a property in Spain?

It is very typical to use a Power of Attorney when buying or selling property in Spain as a foreigner. There are many scams and illegal documents out there that can cost you a lot of money. Typically, a property lawyer will assist with the legal processes to do your property transfer safely with no risk.

Can I sign the Power of Attorney with a Notary in a different country?

Yes, you can sign it in front of a Notary from your country. For example, you can sign the POA document with a notary in the UK. After signing, you need to send us the official notarised document. This document should include the Hague Apostille to make it legal in Spain. A Hague Apostille is a legalisation that confirms the notary is valid in your country. You can get this at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK.

Spanish Power of Attorney

We can offer the Power of Attorney to our customers in Spain.

If you live outside of Spain, cannot attend certain legal events, or prefer a representative handles matters for you. Then a POA in Spain is an ideal choice.

Navigating a foreign legal system in another language can be a challenging task to handle independently. One of our lawyers will be happy to assist you with a Power of Attorney.