Opening a bank account in Spain as a foreigner

Written by Juan Madridejos Velasco and Luis Alberto Álvarez Moreno, Notaries in Barcelona and partners at J&LA Notarios Asociados.

Even if we do not provide consulting or support services related to opening a bank account in Spain as a Foreigner, this topic often comes up with foreign clients who visit our notary in Barcelona for other procedures. Therefore, we have prepared this guide that can be useful if you want to buy a property in Spain or set up a business (for example). 

If you want more information on the services we do offer at the Notary, do not hesitate to visit the complete list of our Notary services. 

The Ultimate Guide for Opening a Bank Account in Spain as a Foreigner

Being an expat in Spain can be challenging at times, especially when it comes to dealing with bureaucracy and red tape. One of the most important things you need to start living in Spain as a foreigner is a bank account to receive your salary or other income, pay your bills and manage your financial resources. Opening a bank account in Spain as a foreigner might seem like an impossible challenge, especially when you do not know the steps to follow. Here is everything you need to know when opening a foreign bank account in the country.

What Are The Basic Requirements To Open A Bank Account In Spain?

Bank accounts are the lifeblood of most financial transactions in Spain. You can’t get a mortgage, sign a lease or hire anyone for a service without it. And you need a Spanish bank account to get any of these services. For this reason, most banks require that you have a few things. They include:

  • A Spanish address
  • Your NIE (Identity Number for Foreigners)
  • Proof of employment status
  • Your passport (or ID if you are from the EU)
  • Certificate of non-resident (if you are a non-resident)

However, while these are the basic requirements, you should also keep in mind that each bank has its own policies and requirements, which might differ from the above.

What are The Common Types of Bank Accounts in Spain and How Can You Open Them?

The Spanish banks have different accounts you can open depending on your circumstances and needs. Here are a few options:

  • Current accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Digital accounts
  • Non-resident accounts

The good news is that all banks in Spain are required to offer basic services to all clients regardless of their country of residence. This means that any bank in Spain is a suitable choice for expats. However, some banks are better than others for non-residents. Some have minimal requirements for expats, while others may be a little tricky.

When, Why and How You Should Open a Spanish Bank Account as a Foreigner

For most expats, it’s best to open a Spanish bank account as soon as possible after arriving in the country. This will allow you to open a bank account without a NIE, and you can use this account to receive your salary payments and sign rental contracts.

Even though it has a number of benefits, it’s also important to note that a Spanish bank account can cause issues for some expats.

For example, the Spanish government will withhold social security taxes from your income if you receive it from a Spanish bank account. This is why it’s important to open a Spanish bank account with a non-resident account. This type of account facilitates all necessary financial transactions while ensuring you don’t miss out on any important benefits.

To open a Spanish bank account, you must complete several steps. First, choose a bank with non-resident accounts and an office near you. Then, you will need to go to the bank and open the account in person. At this point, you should bring your passport and fill out the necessary forms. You will also need proof of your address and source of income.

What can we do for you in our Notary in Spain

We understand that opening a Spanish bank account is crucial for any expat living in Spain. It will allow you to receive your salary, pay bills and hire people for services.

The Notary does not participate in the process of opening a bank account in Spain. We wrote this post to give more information about this process, because lots of our clients have doubts about it. Though, this is important to remind the Notary cannot open any account for you, because this is not his profession.

In Spain, Notarios are professionals that are authorized to handle particular legal formalities, such as for examples when you buy a land in Spain, you sign a mortgage or you get married and want to sign a pareja de hecho with your mate. For these actuations you have the right to choose your Notary in Spain (Notario in Spanish). If you are located in Barcelona and need a Notary in Barcelona to help you with these processes, you only need to search JLA Notarios. We have a team of experts to help you out. You can reach us through the contact form, by phone, email and even WhatsApp!

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