When choosing an agent, ask
the following questions:
1. How long have you been selling commercials ? Not how long
have you lived in Spain !
2. How much commission are you putting on top of the NETT
selling price ?
3. Ask other bar owners about the agent and ask about their
By no means is this page
intended to be a full guide; the idea is that we give you a
little insight into the way things work in Spain and things to
be aware of.
Important things to consider
when buying a bar in Spain:
If you intend to serve to a tourist market then the coastal
strips such as the Costa del Sol are perfect. If you find the
right location on the coast you may also tap into the huge
foreign resident market. Sea front bars are not always the best
choice. They may be busy in the summer but can be quiet in the
winter. Back street bars are often the locals for residents,
providing that you can give them what they want. The main thing
is that you must have passing traffic to stand a chance. There
are too many bars in Spain for people to simply go round looking
for you [unless you are offering something unique].
The bigger the bar, the bigger the expenses, the more staff you
need. Only buy what you can cope with. You may be advised to buy
small to start with then maybe move on later to a bigger bar.
Set your budget and stick to it. If you buy a bar in Spain for
£30,000, make sure you have at least £10,000 more for the first
few months. Don't over commit yourself or you will fail.
Every bar in Spain must have a licence to open. Make sure that
your agent checks this. This is vital. If you buy a bar without
a licence [this happens a lot when you buy without an agent],
you will almost certainly be closed down within a short space of
time. The police are very strict on this and non-compliance can
cost you everything. To stage live music in a bar in Spain you
have to have a music licence. These are rare and very difficult
to obtain. The EEC regulations for such venues are strict and
On top of your purchase price you will have other expenses;
Your legal fees - check the amount
Rent in advance - normally 3 months
Stock - Initial stock may be included but needs topping up
You will normally not have any problem staffing your bar in
Spain, especially if you need seasonal staff. Be careful though;
if you employ staff on a cash basis you stand the chance of
being prosecuted ! Talk to your Gestor (accountant) about