All Spanish companies, residents, and non-residents with a financial interest in Spain have to be allocated a fiscal identification number. Spanish nationals have to have a national identification document (DNI) which also serves for tax registration, and non-Spaniards are given a tax identification number (NIE) beginning with X- or Y- followed by eight digits and a letter. For legal entities, several ranges exist depending on the type of organization, the most important of which having the following prefixes:
A – Large limited company;
B – Small limited company;
C – Collective company;
D – Limited partnership;
F – Co-operative company;
N – Non-resident company;
W – Non-resident companies with permanent establishment in Spain.
The usual way to obtain a NIE in Spain is to present the application form in person to the local police station. However this can be done through a Spanish consulate, or by appointing a local representative to do this for you. Regulations change a lot and can vary from region to region, so local advice needs to be taken. For registration of a legal entity, a local representative needs to be appointed who will act as intermediary for the overseas investors.