How To Proceed In Order To Open A New Economic Activity (e.g. A Shop) ?

How To Proceed In Order To Open A New Economic Activity (e.g. A Shop) ?

Are you considering opening a commercial enterprise such as a shop, or starting a professional activity open to the public or perhaps even an industrial activity?

All these business activities are strictly controlled by environmental protection regulations which  define the levels of permitted noise, vibrations, emissions, energy requirements and accessibility conditions.

These activities such as residential, educational or leisure are all part the urban planning development of each municipality. The objective of urban planning is to organize the use of municipal land into areas according to its use e.g. residential, industrial, commercial.

The above mentioned businesses are economic activities and as such are named relating to some type of economic exploitation. Each kind of activity is identified with a number in a list of activities issued by the Tax Authorities.

How to proceed in order to open a new economic activity?

The first aspect to consider is to confirm if the activity already exists, related to a certain property or if will be new activity that you need to create.

Existing Activity:

If the objective is not to move to a new property and assuming the existing has the adequate functional and spatial conditions, the easiest way to continue with the activity is to apply to the council – informing them of the transferring (el traspaso) of ownership of the activity to the new owner, which could be a person or a company.

If any kind of refurbishing work is needed to be done in a property with an old granted activity license, a building license is mandatory. In this case the council could require to update the property to the current regulations.

New Activity:

In the case of opening any kind of new economical activity, the process must always begin by applying at the town hall/local council for a document called the Certificate of Urban Compatibility.

The application must be followed by a brief description of the kind of activity proposed to be opened including opening hours, machinery to be installed, energy consumption, noise production, furniture or special equipment required and number of people working there.

The Certificate of Urban Compatibility grants that the pretended economical activity complies with the urban planning regulations for the specific area where the activity is planned to be opened.

Unfortunately the Certificate of Urban Compatibility never can be assumed as an opening license.

The definitive permission to open the activity requires the presentation of an Environmental Communication or an Environmental License. These are the current names for the old License for an Innocuous or Qualified Activity

The two different possibilities are directly related to the impact on the environment, of the planned activity.

The technical document, an Environmental Communication or an Environmental License, justifies the planned activity in terms of noise production, emissions, accessibility and energy requirements. It is supported by a soundproof audit and an energy performance proposal.

Evidently, in most of the cases, building works will be necessary. Therefore the Environmental Communication or an Environmental License must be included in the planning application.

In the cases of activities away from the urban area, such as a B&B in a farm, the permission, even if finally granted by the local council, must have previous authorization from the Regional Government.

Keywords to remember, when opening an economical activity:

  1. Transferring of an existing activity into a new name. (El traspaso)
  2. Certificate of Urban Compatibility granting the new activity, according to the municipal urban planning.
  3. Environmental Communication or Environmental License.
  4. Building license.

We at Rimolo & Grosso are able to help you in all cases of economical activity, so do not hesitate to contact us for any further assistance.

Javier Leonardo Rímolo
Rimolo & Grosso, Architects
0034 606616084
0034 962962324