A construction license is a permitting document that is required to carry out construction work in Spain. It confirms that the licensee has the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to carry out construction work and comply with all safety requirements and standards.

What is a construction license

To obtain a building license in Spain, you usually need to provide the following documents: construction plan, construction design, declaration of conformity, necessary permits and certificates. Application for a license usually occurs through local government agencies or agencies.

It is important to remember that obtaining a building license is mandatory for all types of construction work in Spain. Without it, construction work is illegal and may entail serious consequences, including fines and dismantling of already constructed facilities.

Thus, in order to carry out construction or renovation in Spain, you must familiarize yourself with the procedure for obtaining a construction license, provide all the necessary documents and comply with all legal requirements. This is the only way to ensure the safety and legality of construction work in Spain. 

 Construction license Spain/Alicante/Torrevieja

Indeed, in Spain there is a difference between complex and simple renovation work, which is reflected in the need to obtain a construction license. For complex construction work, such as new buildings or major renovations, it is necessary to obtain a construction license (licencia de obra). However, for simple work, such as laying paving slabs or changing the surface around the house, a license is not required.

It is important to remember that compliance with construction licensing legislation in Spain is mandatory in order to avoid possible problems and fines. Therefore, before starting any construction work, it is recommended to consult with local authorities or lawyers to ensure whether a license is required for a particular type of work.

Thus, a building license in Spain is only required for complex construction work, while a license is not required for simple renovation work.

  • simple work (la obra menor);
  • main works (la obra mayor).
  • Easy jobs:
  • partial works including modification or removal of partitions;
  • repair work: replacement of floors, ceilings, walls, plaster, coating;
  • replacement of plumbing fixtures, lamps, batteries, taps.
  • License to build in Spain
  • Basic, complex work:
  • extending the surface, volume or height of existing buildings;
  • implementation into permanent walls or ceilings;
  • change the facade (even if you just want to change the color of the walls);
  • roof change;
  • moving heating/sewage/water supply/electricity systems or interfering with their structure and functioning;
  • new construction.

For information on how to build and run a small hotel, read the article Investment in Hotel Construction in Spain .

Please note that in each autonomy there are some differences in the names and procedures for paying tariffs for licenses.

Application for a license for simple work

Simple works do not require a project signed by a competent specialist and approved by the relevant professional association, since they do not affect the urban environment and do not change the architectural appearance of the area.

Permit for simple work (la comunicación previa)
If the renovation does not require the installation of external scaffolding or protection of the building, it is sufficient to obtain a permit for simple work, which is requested from the city council. For this type of work in many Spanish municipalities the tax rate is – zero.

Building license Spain/Alicante/Torrevieja

Declaracion responsible
If it is necessary to use external materials at hand, scaffolding, fences, repair gutters, facade cornices, stair lifts, and also if you are going to open a business in a non-residential premises and are doing simple repairs there, you need to take the following steps:

  • Write a responsible statement, which can be found on the website of the city council's architecture department. You can fill it out yourself. It needs to describe the list and cost of the work performed. In case of deviation from what is described in the application, the regulatory authorities may apply to the court to recover damages in the form of underpayment of taxes;
  • Pay applicable taxes and fees. The tax levy on construction, structures and works (ICIO) depends on the amount of work you are going to carry out, and can be calculated independently on the website of the tax service or with the help of a service employee. It is 4–6% of the REM figure, the estimated cost of construction, which you describe in the responsible statement.

The deadline for obtaining a permit at the mayor’s office – 1 month. 

In the process of obtaining a license for capital construction or reconstruction of a building, you must provide the following documents:

  1. Technical design (proyecto técnico de obra) in triplicate, one of which can be submitted in PDF format. The project must be approved by the college of architects of the municipality (visado por el colegio de arquitectos) and signed by a competent inspector.
  2. Notice (aviso previo estudio básico de seguridad y salud) about safety precautions when performing work.
  3. Cartographic plans, including the volumes of the building, indicating the external dimensions and the scale of the site 1:500.
  4. Payment of the city license tax, which is approximately €500 or 2.5% of the cost of work (rem).

All technical documentation is prepared and requested by a licensed architect. The architect and the technical supervision specialist (aparejador) play a key role in the process of construction and renovation of buildings or premises and are also responsible for the process. The period for issuing a license for basic work in the city council is 1 month.

Legislation. Construction license Spain

  • Law 7/2002 of December 16, On the Urban Planning of Andalusia (Ley 7/2002, de 16 de diciembre, de Ordenación Urbanística de Andalucía).
  • Law 10/1990 of October 23, On the Urban Discipline of the Balearic Islands (Ley 10/1990, de 23 de octubre, de Disciplina Urbanística en la Comunidad Autónoma de Baleares).
  • Legislative Decree 1/2004 of April 22, On Urban Planning (Decreto Legislativo 1/2004, de 22 de abril de Ordenación del territorio y urbanismo).
  • Municipal Decree on the processing of urban licenses of April 29, 2014 (Ordenanza Municipal de Tramitación de Licencias Urbanísticas de 29 de abril 2014).
  • Royal Decree 1627/1997 of October 24, which establishes minimum provisions for safety and health in construction work (Real Decreto 1627/1997, de 24 de octubre, por el que se establecen disposiciones mínimas de seguridad y de salud en las obras de construcción).

A building license in Spain is a mandatory document that authorizes construction work on a specific plot of land or in a specific building. Here are some key aspects to consider regarding a building license in Spain:

  1. The need to comply with legislation: Spain has strict construction legislation, including building codes, regulations and safety requirements. A building license guarantees that all construction work will be carried out in accordance with this legislation.

  2. Obtaining permits from the municipality: To obtain a construction license, you must contact the municipal authorities and provide them with all the necessary documents and designs. The municipality is reviewing the project's compliance with land planning, zoning and other local requirements.

  3. Quality and safety assurance: The construction license also guarantees that construction work will be carried out in compliance with all quality and safety standards. This includes the use of quality materials, compliance with construction technologies and the application of safety measures on the construction site.

  4. Title Document: A building license is also a title document that confirms your right to carry out construction work on a specific piece of land or in a specific building. It may also be required when processing other documents, such as a mortgage or insurance.

In general, a construction license in Spain is necessary to ensure the legality and quality of construction work, as well as to protect the interests of all parties, including the customer, builders and government agencies. 

Construction of a Villa/House Spain/Alicante/Torrevieja

The bureaucratic system in Spain – one of the most complex in Europe, all its provisions are spelled out in detail and clearly on the websites of the relevant authorities, and if you are ready to comply with the necessary requirements, the result of your work will be the confident functioning of your enterprise and the excellent condition of the renovated apartment. The habit of citizens to independently break down walls and communications and make redevelopments should be left in the past when moving to Spain. if you are having difficulty making a decision to purchase real estate or need qualified advice on construction in Spain – please contact arcostec. Our specialists will help you resolve any questions regarding your assignment. 

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