Business & Economy
Spainwide Business Newsletter, December 2002
By Thomas Leacy
Aug 25, 2003, 03:31

1. Exchanging Your Driver's License

If you are a citizen of the EU or, indeed, of any country with whom Spain has signed a treaty to that effect, you may apply to exchange your present driver's license for a Spanish one, once you have taken up residence in Spain. In order to do so, you will have to present the following documents in your nearest Dirección Provincial de Tráfico:
- Official application form
- Proof of payment of applicable duties (15,65€).
- Original and photocopy of your ID or Residence Card..
- Sworn declaration in official form provided.
- 2 passport -sized photos
- Proof of a minimum of 6 months’ continued residence in the country which granted you the license at the time.
Such things as a contract, payslips, certificate of studies etc. should be sufficient for this purpose.
- Original and photocopy of the license you wish to exchange.

2. Voting Rights

Being a citizen of a member state of the European Union, you are entitled to vote (and present yourself as a candidate) in the Municipal Elections which will be held in June 2003. In order to do so you have to be registered (empadronado) in the City Council (Ayuntamiento).On doing this, you will be included in the electoral list of your district and you should be notified of the electoral college you are to vote in. If you do not receive this notification, you should enquire in the City Council office that corresponds to your district.

3. Inheriting a Business

If you are due to inherit a business you will be obliged to pay inheritance tax (Impuesto de Sucesiones y Donaciones). This tax oscillates between 7 and 34% of the net value of the company and, indeed, the exact percentage to be paid will depend on that value. Apart from this, it must also be born in mind that this percentage can be doubled in certain cases depending on the value of the heir's existing possessions. However, the heir may enjoy a 95% reduction in the tax charge in the case in which the following conditions are met: 1) the business must be a solely-owned company, a professional practice or a participation in an enterprise with the following requirements: a) that the enterprise's chief activity is not real estate or financial asset management b) that the participation is at least 15% of the capital c) that the heir receives income from the company which represents at least 50% of his/her gross earnings 2) The heir must be a spouse, or descendent of the deceased. 3) The inheritance must remain in the heir's possession for at least 10 years 4) The heir is not permitted to carry out operation which may reduce the value of the inheritance.

For more information on these or other business or legal matters in Spain, please contact Thomas Leacy, Spainwide Business Services, Tel:34 91 547 1254 for a personal interview.

© Copyright 2003 by & Thomas Leacy