The Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) in Spain
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The Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) in Spain

The Register of Accredited Companies (REA) for the Construction Sector in Spain: what is it and is the registration compulsory for foreign companies?

The Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) is a crucial aspect of the Spanish construction sector.The REA is a mandatory registry that ensures compliance with labor regulations, and obtaining an REA number, code, or certificate is essential for businesses in this industry. In this article, we will explore the importance of REA registration for both domestic and foreign companies operating in Spain as well as provide a comprehensive guide to the REA registration process.

judge hammer and constructor helmet - cover of blog article "REA in SPain" - LAWANTS

What is the Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA)?

The Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) is a mandatory registry for companies operating in the construction industry in Spain. It serves as a database of accredited companies that have demonstrated compliance with specific legal requirements, particularly those related to risk prevention, occupational safety, and health (OSH).

The primary purpose of the REA is to ensure that companies working within the construction and fit-out sectors in Spain adhere to the highest standards in terms of risk prevention and OSH. Registering with the REA is essential for companies because it certifies their specialist preparation in these areas, which in turn fosters trust with clients, partners, and the public.

Companies are required to register with the REA at the labor authority of the spanish region in which they are based. However, once a company has been registered and accredited, its REA certification is valid throughout the entire country, allowing it to operate seamlessly across different regions in Spain.

The establishment of the REA was introduced through the Royal Decree 1109/2007 and further reinforced by the law enacted on August 26, 2008. These regulations were designed to create a comprehensive framework for risk prevention and OSH within the construction industry, ensuring that all companies operating in the sector maintain the highest possible safety standards.

Which companies have to register with the REA?

As explained, in Spain, the Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) is a mandatory registry for companies operating in the construction sector, aimed at improving safety and health standards in the industry. To ensure compliance, certain companies must obtain a REA number. The following types of companies are required to register:

  • Construction companies: Any company directly involved in construction projects, including building, civil engineering, or specialty trade work, must register with the REA.
  • Subcontractors: Companies that provide specialized services to a main contractor or other subcontractors, such as plumbing, electrical work, or masonry, are also required to register.
  • Temporary business associations (UTEs): These joint ventures are formed by two or more companies that collaborate on a specific construction project. Each participating company must be registered with the REA.
  • Self-employed workers: Independent professionals offering construction services, such as architects, engineers, or site managers, must also register if they work directly for a contractor or subcontractor.

Furthermore, companies must obtain a REA number if they are involved in the following types of works and activities:

  • Residential construction: Building and renovating houses, apartments, and other residential structures.
    Commercial construction: Erecting and refurbishing office buildings, retail spaces, hotels, and other commercial properties;
  • Infrastructure projects: Developing and maintaining transportation systems, such as roads, bridges, railways, and airports;
  • Industrial construction: Establishing and renovating factories, warehouses, and other industrial facilities;
  • Public works: Constructing and modernizing public amenities like schools, hospitals, parks, and sports facilities;
  • Utility projects: Installing and maintaining energy, water, and telecommunication systems;
  • Specialized trade services: Providing specific services like plumbing, electrical work, masonry, carpentry, and landscaping.

Foreign companies, companies relocating to Spain, contractors, and subcontractors involved in the construction sector are also subject to REA registration requirements. This includes:

  • Foreign companies: Non-Spanish construction firms planning to operate in Spain must register with the REA to comply with safety and health standards.
  • Companies relocating to Spain: Businesses moving their operations to Spain and engaging in construction activities must obtain a REA number.
  • Contractors: Main contractors managing construction projects and coordinating with subcontractors are required to register with the REA.
  • Subcontractors: Providers of specialized services to main contractors or other subcontractors, such as plumbing, electrical work, or masonry, must also be registered.

Do foreign companies have to register in the Register of Accredited Companies?

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for foreign companies to work in the construction industry in Spain by posting workers to Spain. As a result, understanding the requirements and regulations surrounding the Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) is essential for companies posting workers to Spain.

Foreign companies must comply with the REA regulation, as outlined in Royal Decree 1109/2007, when posting workers to Spain in the construction sector. This decree mandates that all companies operating within the construction sector, both domestic and foreign, must register in the REA for specific types of works.
The REA registration ensures that companies posting workers to Spain adhere to Spanish labor laws, health and safety standards, and social security requirements.

It is important to note that if the duration of the work performed by foreign companies posting workers to Spain is less than eight days, they may be exempt from registering in the REA. However, companies should always verify the specific requirements and exemptions applicable to their situation to avoid any potential legal issues when posting workers to Spain.

lawyers filing the request for a rea code in Spain

How to register in the Registro de Empresas Acreditadas and obtain the REA number

Registering in the Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) and obtaining the REA number is an essential step for foreign companies in the construction sector.

The practical process for registering with the REA can vary across different Comunidades Autónomas, as each region has its own procedures for requesting it. However, our firm has gained extensive experience over the years, enabling us to apply for and obtain the REA number within just a few days without the need for digital certificates, translations, or notarized documents that are typically required.

Although the REA registration process in Spain can be completed online, foreign companies often do not have the necessary digital certificate. This is where our firm’s expertise in obtaining REA in Spain becomes invaluable. We can provide guidance and support to ensure a smooth and efficient registration process, allowing companies to focus on their core business activities.

Once obtained, the REA number is valid throughout the entire Spanish national territory and remains valid for three years. This ensures that companies can operate seamlessly in the construction sector while adhering to local regulations and promoting a safe working environment.

Documents to provide for the REA registration in Spain

Registering in the Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) requires both Spanish and foreign companies to submit specific documents.

The requirements may vary slightly depending on the company’s country of origin and the region in Spain where the REA registration is being requested. However, our firm is highly specialized in simplifying the process by providing Spanish regional authorities with equivalent documents from other countries and explaining their relevance to public officials. This enables the documents to be recognized as valid without the need for Apostille de la Haya, notarizations, or simple or sworn translations.

Some of the key documents typically required for registering in the REA include:

  • Company identification and registration documents;
  • Proof of solvency and compliance with social security obligations;
  • Evidence of occupational risk prevention plans and training;
  • Compliance with Articles 7 and 12 of Council Directive 89/391/EEC, which outline the measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work.

Our firm’s expertise in handling REA registrations ensures that the process is streamlined and efficient, saving time and resources for companies operating in the Spanish construction sector. By guiding foreign companies through the complexities of document requirements and regional procedures, we can help them focus on their core business activities while ensuring compliance with local regulations.

Information needed to apply for the REA Register in Spain

Upon receiving a mandate from our client, we will promptly send them a customized list of the necessary information required to obtain their REA in Spain.

We have seen that the documents required vary from region to region, but in general the information needed is the following:

  • General description of the company applying for REA (for example: leading company in the sector of ****).
  • Description of the productive organization of the company (for example: the company is organized by ****).
  • Report of the material resources used on the worksite (explain well what type of material resources will be used, forklifts, bulldozers, etc.).
  • Description of personal resources on the worksite (personnel employed, managers, collaborators, professionals, etc.)
  • Name, surname, identity card number, professional qualification and duties of the employees seconded to Spain + period of secondment.
  • Description of the activity to be carried out on the worksite, exact address of the worksite and details of the client. Project, timeframe. Any subcontracted companies.

Our firm is dedicated to providing a tailored service, ensuring that each situation is carefully analyzed to cater to the unique needs and circumstances of the client. Our firm’s personalized approach ensures that clients receive a comprehensive service, with a thorough assessment of their situation and expert guidance throughout the REA registration process. By focusing on each client’s unique needs and providing customized support, we help companies successfully navigate the complexities of obtaining their REA in Spain, enabling them to operate in the Spanish construction sector with full compliance with local regulations.

Tax obligations for foreign companies with employees in Spain

Foreign companies with employees in Spain are generally not subject to specific tax obligations, as long as the duration of the work performed is less than 12 months. However, it is strongly recommended to contact our firm, as each project must be carefully analyzed to ensure compliance with local regulations.

It is crucial to verify the type of activity being performed, any preparatory activities, and other relevant details to determine any potential tax obligations. In some cases, foreign companies may need to register for VAT in Spain, depending on the nature of their business activities. Our firm provides expert assistance in recovering VAT paid to Spanish suppliers, ensuring that companies can operate smoothly while adhering to local tax requirements.

Where to find a company’s REA code?

The Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) code is a unique identifier assigned to companies registered in the REA in Spain. The REA code can be found by conducting a search in the public registry maintained by the Spanish Ministry of Labour.

To access the public registry, visit the following link: Once on the website, you can search for a company’s REA code by entering their name, tax identification number, or REA code if already known.

The search results will display the company’s name, address, and REA code. It is important to note that companies must be registered in the REA to have a valid REA code.

Lawants REA registration services: your partner for successful registration in Spain

If you’re a foreign company looking to work in the Spanish construction sector, registering in the Registro de Empresas Acreditadas (REA) is a critical step in ensuring compliance with local regulations. However, the registration process can be complex, with various document requirements and regional procedures to navigate. That’s where Lawants comes in – we offer specialized REA registration services that streamline the process and ensure a successful outcome.

Our firm has extensive experience in obtaining REA registration for foreign companies in Spain, and we provide customized services tailored to each client’s unique needs. We offer expert guidance and support throughout the process, from verifying document requirements to submitting the application and following up on its status.

We understand that the REA registration process in Spain can be overwhelming, especially for foreign companies with little experience in Spanish regulations. That’s why we’re committed to simplifying the process and providing personalized support to ensure our clients’ success.

At Lawants, we pride ourselves on our commitment to quality and professionalism, and we are dedicated to providing timely and efficient REA registration services. Our team of experts is always up-to-date with the latest regulations and requirements, ensuring that our clients receive the most accurate and reliable advice and guidance.

Regulatory framework

Here are the relevant regulatory framework/decrees mentioned in the article:

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