Procedures for starting a business in Barcelona have been streamlined and are now handled electronically

All the paperwork required by Barcelona City Council to open a business or engage in other economic activities in the city is now much easier, as it can be done electronically through the Virtual Procedures Office.

28/05/2024 - 10:49 h - Enterprise Ajuntament de Barcelona

Barcelona City Council has made it easier to start new businesses in the city with the recent launch of a new system that allows these procedures to be completed online.

This step provides the entrepreneurial and business ecosystem with access to all the information required by law to open new premises, shops and workplaces in the city, as well as urban planning information on land use and ownership changes, among other things.

The implementation of these new procedures through Barcelona City Council’s Virtual Procedures Office allows citizens to save time and money, providing greater security and privacy, accessibility seven days a week, and increased transparency and knowledge.

For the public administration, the new system will allow monitoring and control of records, with updated and shared digital files, ensuring data security and reducing the margin of error.

Each year, more than 4,000 procedures for starting new activities are carried out in the city, many of which are for opening shops and new businesses in the restaurant sector.

With the new procedures, the private sector will have quick and easy access through the Virtual Procedures Office and, if desired, can receive advice and assistance in their processing from the Barcelona Activa Business Advice Office (OAE). The OAE handled over 17,000 enquiries in this area in 2023.

The measure is part of a new plan to implement initiatives aimed at improving support for economic activities in the city.

Thus, Barcelona City Council will also establish a working group and dialogue with professional associations that are part of the value chain in the implementing new economic activities in the city, such as the Official Association of Industrial Engineers of Catalonia, the Association of Graduate Engineers and Technical Engineers of Barcelona, the Architects’ Association of Catalonia, and the Association of Quantity Surveyors, Technical Architects, and Building Engineers of Barcelona, among others.

The new platform is one of the measures in a broader roadmap by Barcelona City Council, which aims to facilitate all procedures with local public bodies and make the city more attractive for new economic activities.

Some of the milestones already achieved in this regard include setting the urban planning fees for starting a business at zero euros in 2020, following the recommendations of the Doing Business study, as well as joining the Single Business Window, resulting in savings for businesses and self-employed individuals. The implementation of the new procedures standardises the processing of activities in Catalonia, as specified by Law 18/2020 on facilitating economic activity.