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Employer of Record (EOR) in Spain

Key Takeaways

  • A Spain EOR enables international companies to hire employees in Spain more cost-effectively than setting up a subsidiary or entity.  
  • The Spain EOR hires and onboards employees, takes care of payroll processing and ensures HR compliance. 
  • By using a Spain EOR solution, you ensure your company is in full compliance with local Spain employment and tax laws. 

According to a report by Deloitte, companies using an Employer of Record can reduce their HR administrative costs by up to 40%. That’s not just pocket change. It sure can help you focus on what you do best – growing your business.

So, what makes Spain’s Employer of Record not just another item on your expanding to-do list? 

For starters, it helps to deal with Spain’s business environment, which can be complex. 

Did you know that Spain’s unique employment laws and tax structures can be confusing for the uninitiated? But with the right EOR, you’re getting an expert who knows every step.

So, what are the benefits and occasional challenges that come with a Spanish Employer of Record? Why are many businesses seeing it as a strategic partner in their global expansion process – and perhaps, why should you too?

What is a Spain Employer of Record?

A Spain Employer of Record is a legal entity that takes on the responsibility of employing staff on behalf of another company. Essentially, when you partner with an EOR, you’re leveraging their expertise to manage employment contracts and compliance with local labor laws. You’re getting a seasoned local HR department, without actually setting up one.

This is particularly vital in Spain, where employment laws can be complex. An EOR covers all bases, ensuring adherence to national labor standards and handling payroll in Spain. 

Spain EOR vs. PEO

Often, there’s a bit of confusion between a Spain EOR and a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). While they might seem similar, they’re different. A PEO operates under a co-employment model. This means you share employment responsibilities with the PEO. On the other hand, an EOR becomes the legal employer of your staff in Spain. 

With a PEO, you’re still juggling compliance and HR responsibilities. But with an EOR, they take on the legal risks associated with employment, leaving you free to focus on your business’s growth and strategy. 

The EOR’s role is pivotal when it comes to managing payroll in Spain. They ensure that your employees are paid correctly and contributions to social security are managed without stress. This is no small feat considering that the Spanish tax rate fluctuates. An EOR takes this off your plate and ensures compliance and accuracy.

Note, for marketing purposes ‘Spain EOR’ and ‘Spain PEO’ are often used interchangeably. 

So Why Spain, and Why Now?

The Spanish economy has been showing robust signs of recovery and growth, bouncing back with vigor. 

According to a recent report from the IMF, Spain’s GDP is expected to grow by 5.7%, outpacing many of its European neighbors. This rebound is fueled by increased consumer spending and significant investments in technology and renewable energy sectors.

Yes, the economy is appealing, but that’s not all. Spain offers a unique blend of a skilled workforce and competitive labor costs

A report by Deloitte points out that Spain’s labor costs remain lower than the EU average, making it a cost-effective choice for businesses expanding their operations. Also, talent is abundant, especially in the tech sector. Spain ranks as one of the top European countries in terms of the number of STEM graduates, as highlighted by Eurostat.

The Spanish government is also playing its part in making the country a business-friendly environment. Initiatives such as the ‘Startup Law’ are being proposed to attract entrepreneurs and international companies. This legislation simplifies bureaucratic processes and offers tax incentives. And this makes Spain an even more attractive destination for global businesses.

Then there’s the advantage of Spain’s strategic location. Acting as a gateway between Europe, Africa, and Latin America, Spain offers access to a diverse range of markets. This geographical advantage is complemented by a strong logistics and transportation network that helps smooth international trade.

Spain's Employment Laws

Below we consider some of the key concepts in Spain labor law, that a Spain EOR takes care of. 

1. Spain Employment Contracts

In Spain, employment contracts are sacred. They’re a crucial legal document outlining employee rights and employer obligations. The norm is a written contract, though verbal agreements are also legally binding. But who remembers everything said on the first day? Exactly, so written it is.

The contracts cover job description, salary, working hours, and termination conditions. Mistakes here can lead to serious legal repercussions. A Spain Employer of Record can help to ensure every contract adheres to Spanish Employment Law, so you don’t make any mistakes.

2. Social Security and Payroll Taxes in Spain

Spain has a well-defined system for social security contributions, covering pensions, healthcare, and unemployment benefits. And guess who’s expected to contribute? Both employers and employees. The rates can vary, but generally, employers contribute around 30% of an employee’s gross salary.

Now, this is where many businesses fumble. Calculating and paying these contributions can be complex. A mistake here can lead to penalties or, worse, the tax authorities breathing down your neck.

3. Paid Leave 

Spain is generous with paid leave. It offers maternity leave, paternity leave, sick leave, and of course, vacation days. The mandatory minimum for vacation is 30 calendar days per year. Sounds good, doesn’t it? However mismanaging leave can quickly turn it into a nightmare of scheduling conflicts and legal issues.

So, an Employer of Record’s expertise is invaluable. They ensure that your business complies with Spanish leave policies, maintaining a happy, well-rested workforce without getting lost in the administrative issues.

Top EOR Services in Spain

  • Globalization Partners (G-P). This company shines with its comprehensive legal and HR support. They ensure your business is compliant with Spanish laws and nurtured for growth.
  • Horizons (New Horizons Global Partners). Horizons focus on swift and efficient employee onboarding and management in Spain is unique. Speed and efficiency in setting up operations are crucial. They ensure you adhere to your expansion timeline and hit the ground running.
  • Papaya Global. Papaya Global’s technology-driven approach provides an intuitive platform for seamless management of payroll and HR tasks.

  • Velocity Global. They stand out with their global reach and ability to manage employees in over 185 countries, including Spain, making them ideal for businesses with a broad international footprint.

How a Spanish EOR Operates

So, how can an EOR handle payroll in Spain to ensure everything is in tune with local compliance?

1. Employee Onboarding

Onboarding an employee in Spain via an EOR is a streamlined process that ensures all legal requirements are met, contract generation, and registering the employee with local social security and tax authorities. Remember, every employee in Spain needs a work contract that matches local labor laws, which an EOR expertly handles. This attention to detail is critical, as the Spanish Statute of Workers regulates employment contracts extensively.

2. Managing Payroll

The EOR takes center stage when it comes to payroll in Spain. They ensure that salaries are processed on time and in compliance with Spain’s tax system. Spanish tax rates can be complex because of the variations, depending on factors like the region and the employee’s circumstances. The EOR expertly handles this, calculating tax withholdings and social security contributions accurately, in line with Spanish tax regulations.

For companies that already have a subsidiary in Spain, there are also outsourcing solutions just for the payment of employee salaries, which are usually cheaper than a full Spain EOR solution. 

3. Ongoing Management

Ongoing management of employees under an EOR in Spain is not a one-time performance. It includes updating contracts when necessary and ensuring continued compliance with Spanish employment law. This means staying attuned to any changes in legislation that could affect your employees, updates to the national minimum wage, or modifications in tax brackets.

4. Compliance Checks

Compliance in Spain requires you to anticipate changes and stay proactive. The EOR conducts regular compliance checks to ensure your business remains in tune with Spanish legal requirements. This includes monitoring changes in labor laws and employee rights to make sure your business operations don’t miss a beat.

Businesses often worry about the accuracy of payroll processing and staying compliant with local laws. An EOR in Spain deals with these concerns by taking the lead in these areas. They provide peace of mind that tax withholdings and employee benefits are handled correctly. This allows you to focus on your business expansion.

Advantages of Using an EOR

When you establish a business presence in Spain, you’re dealing with employment laws and many local regulations that can change quickly. An EOR takes these burdens off your shoulders with local expertise to ensure compliance with Spanish tax rates and employment laws. This means you can set up shop without stepping on regulatory toes.

But there’s also the human side of your business

An EOR manages all aspects of HR management, recruiting top talent and ensuring their well-being. And this is crucial in a culture that values personal connections deeply. You can then build a team that thrives in the Spanish work environment.

So, what about the administrative relief?

Imagine having to deal with benefits administration and legal compliance. It’s challenging and time-consuming. With an EOR, this can be handled for you. They handle the details of Spain’s benefits and tax obligations, allowing you to focus on core business activities.

Of course, we must address the cost. Yes, partnering with a Spanish EOR is an investment, but it pays off. The cost of mismanaged HR or even delayed market entry can far exceed the fee of an EOR service. You might pay upfront, but the ease and assurance it brings are priceless.

Spain employer of record Spain EOR


The Downsides of a Spain EOR

Every silver lining has a cloud, and the Spain Employer of Record (EOR) solution is no exception. While it’s a robust strategy for businesses expanding into the Spanish market, it’s wise to weigh up a few considerations.

1. Dependency

Relying on a Spain EOR for legal compliance and HR management means putting a significant chunk of your business operations in someone else’s hands. It’s convenient, but you need to trust they know all the rules of the road, especially the local ones that might catch you off guard. This dependency underscores the importance of choosing a reputable and reliable EOR provider.

2. Cost

Outsourcing to a Spain EOR isn’t always the budget option, especially compared to managing payroll and HR in-house. You’re paying for convenience and expertise, but it might hit your wallet harder. However, a report by Deloitte points out that businesses often underestimate the cost of managing global payroll internally, which can include hidden expenses like compliance penalties and inefficient processes.

3. Loss of Control

Handing over HR and payroll to a Spain EOR means you’re stepping back from direct management of these areas. For some, this loss of control is necessary for growth, but a tad unsettling. It’s crucial to maintain clear communication channels with your EOR provider to ensure alignment with your business’s goals and culture.

Is a Spain EOR solution worth it?

For many companies interested in hiring in Spain, using a Spain EOR is a good idea. It saves money and time, and guarantees that you will be in compliance with Spain employment law. 

For companies that already have a legal presence in Spain, or plan on having a large base of operations there a Spain payroll solution may make more sense. 


This refers to the official employment history of a worker, detailing their work experience, durations of employment, and the roles they have held. The record is crucial for ensuring compliance with local labor laws, contract management, payroll processing, and adherence to statutory requirements like social security contributions and tax obligations. 

An EOR completely assumes the employer's legal responsibilities in Spain, ideal for companies without a local entity, whereas a PEO provides a shared responsibility model, suitable for businesses that already have an established presence in Spain.