Where are the best places in Spain to set up a business aimed at foreigners?

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
Where are the best places in Spain to set up a business aimed at foreigners?
The Málaga town of Nerja is very popular with Swedish nationals who choose to move to Spain. Photo: Martin Vonk/Unsplash

If you have dreams of starting a business in Spain aimed at other foreigners, here are the best regions do it in and your potential target markets.


Spain is very popular relocation destination, with foreigners making up around 12 percent of the population.

Even though many of them move here to improve their quality of life, there are plenty of newcomers who decide to start their own business here rather than try to get a contract job.

If you have dreams of starting a business in Spain aimed at other foreigners, here is some inspiration. 

If you want to sell fried breakfasts to the British, move to Alicante  

Everyone knowns that Spain is popular with Brits, but which regions do most of them live in? There are believed to be over 360,000 Britons living in Spain, with that number expected to increase before the Brexit transition period is over in December 2020. According to Spain's national statistics agency, Alicante is the region favoured most by the British with over 69,000 calling it home.

There are in fact several towns in the area where the number of British people outnumber the number of locals. So, if you want to move to Spain and open up a business selling the best full English breakfasts around, then you might want to think about one of these towns: Poble Nou de Benitachell, where half of the town are British; San Fulgencio, where a third of the 8,000 people there are from the UK; or the small village of Daya Vieja, where a whopping 60 percent are British.

Alicante: Photo: Vicente Viana/Pixabay


If you want to sell Guinness to the Irish, move to Barcelona

The Catalan capital of Barcelona is home to the biggest concentration of Irish nationals in Spain. There are many different Irish groups and clubs in the city, so you can be sure to feel at home. The city already has many Irish pubs, so you'll be in good company setting up a business to cater to the Irish population.

Barcelona of course offers a great lifestyle, with beaches and mountains within the city, plenty of art and culture, and a lively nightlife.

Barcelona. Photo: Joaquin Aranoa/Pixabay


If you want to sell imported candy bars to Americans, move to Madrid

Madrid is the most popular area to live in for Americans. Figures from Spain's national statistics agency show that the Community of Madrid is home to more Americans than any other autonomous region in the country. It is estimated that over 10,600 Americans live there. This is more than a quarter of all American citizens in Spain. Madrid is also one of the few places in Spain where English speakers are more likely to be American than British. Americans in the capital actually make up 40 percent of the English-speaking population.

So, if you have dreams of setting up an American supermarket, importing everything from Butterfingers and Jolly Ranchers and Kool-Aid to Pop-Tarts, then Madrid would definitely be the Spanish city to do it in.

Madrid. Photo: Surya Namasté/Pixabay 



READ ALSO: What's it like to set up a bed and breakfast in Spain?


If you want to sell preserved fish to the Swedish, move to Nerja  

If you're thinking of setting up a company importing and selling pickled herring, cured salmon and crisp breads, then the place to go is Nerja. Nerja is a municipality in the Costa del Sol, in the province of Malaga. The town of Nerja itself has several sandy beaches, as well as a vast cave complex.

Move to Nerja and you'll be close to all the popular Costa de Sol resorts, as well as the cultural capital of Malaga. The Swedes make up the second-largest foreign population in Nerja and many have bought second homes there. You'll also find many Swedish groups and associations there to sell your products to.

Nerja. Photo: Manolo Franco/Pixabay

If you want to start a stroopwafel café for the Dutch, move to the Valencia region

The Valencia region is very popular with Dutch nationals, with more of them buying homes there than in any other region of Spain. The coastal area of the Costa Blanca is where most of them choose to settle. The second most popular region for Dutch is Andalusia, where there are also a lot of Dutch companies.

You could choose to set up your café, selling homemade Dutch-style caramel waffles in popular towns such as Javea, Dénia, Villajoyosa or even Alicante.

Costa Blanca
Costa Blanca. Photo: Alex Gresbek/Pixabay

If you want to open a German beer garden, move to Torrox

The Andalusian municipality of Torrox, lies to the west of Nerja and sits approximately half way between the cultural cities of Malaga and Granada. Move to Torrox and you could be spending weekends in Malaga admiring art or weekends in Granada exploring the Alhambra or gorging on free tapas.

Torrox is the most popular place in Spain for Germans with more than 3,000 residents. It is estimated in fact that around 15 percent of Torrox residents are German. There are many German businesses in the area, so you won't have any problem fitting in, if you want to market your products to the Germans. Torrox even has its own Oktoberfest each year, so it could be the perfect spot if you've ever dreamed of opening a beer garden selling steins of beer and pretzels.

Torrox. Photo: Ernesto Perez/Flickr





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