Barcelona Global has proposed amending six points in the draft Startup Law. The proposals aim to improve the law approved by the Council of Ministers in December 2021 that seeks to encourage the return of talent, attract new professionals, and promote startups.
Barcelona Global's proposals have been shared with the political parties so that they can be presented via amendments at the Economics Committee of the Congress of Deputies before the deadline today, Wednesday.
One of the proposals that Barcelona Global believes could have a major impact on attracting talent is the improvement of the tax regime for impatriates, which currently only affects employees. Barcelona Global is calling for it to be extended to investors and independent professionals, and lengthened to a period of ten years in order to make it easier for people who choose to start a professional career in Spain to put down roots in the country.
Countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and Greece, among others, already have tax incentives that encourage the return and attraction of independent talent, while in Spain, since last January, the province of Bizcaia has already adopted these proposals.
Barcelona Global believes that the attraction and return of talent to Spain is essential for the development of emerging companies and would also help to resolve demographic problems such as rural depopulation in Spain, with communities such as Aragon and Castile-Leon having the highest average age in the EU.
Another of the proposed amendments refers specifically to extending the period of time during which a company is considered to be a startup. Barcelona Global wants to extend this period to 10 years, as opposed to the 5 years envisaged in the draft law, and to eliminate the limits on turnover, also set at 5 years, as these knowledge-intensive and intellectual property-intensive companies take a long time to mature.
Barcelona Global is also calling for incentives for private capital investment in start-ups, in particular enabling investors to apply for R&D&I tax breaks when start-ups cannot do so because they are not yet profitable.
This mechanism is similar to that already approved in some regions in Spain and also to that recently created for investors in Spanish film productions and live shows, which has led to significant incentives and mobilisation of funds.
Other amendments refer to the application of so-called tacit consent for the status of start-up companies, and to the immediate effect of the proposed modifications.
Barcelona Global has drafted these proposals together with fourteen of the city's leading law firms (Cuatrecasas, Deloitte, EY, Garrigues, Gomez-Acebo y Pombo, KPMG, Martínez-Comín, Osborne Clarke, Optio, Pérez-Llorca, PWC, Roca Junyent, Toda&Nel-lo, and Uría Menéndez) and Mercer.