Jordi Roca Marques from Gesdocument fills Metropolitan in on what goes on behind the doors of a gestoría.
What does a gestor do exactly and how is it different from an accountant or solicitor?
People are regularly required to go through a certain number of bureaucratic procedures here in Spain. Individuals have to file tax returns, get work permits, register for empadronamiento and renew driving licenses while businesses have to deal with tax payments, accounts, social security contributions, etc.
A gestor is someone who specialises in dealing with public administration and cutting through the red tape. We are hired to do all the tiresome paperwork on behalf of individuals and companies.
Most gestorías will also have an accountant working in their offices to deal specifically with finances and tax.
Who needs a gestor?
Businesses employ the services of a gestor to ease relationships with the authorities regarding any fiscal, employment or commercial issues. Gestors also provide book-keeping and payroll services which allows the employer to focus on the commercial aspect of the business leaving the paperwork to the gestor.
Individuals may also need a gestor when trying to obtain a work permit or file a tax return, both of which require specialist knowledge. Essentially, a gestor improves and facilitates the relationship between individuals and the authorities.
Is Spain an intrinsically bureaucratic country?
Generally any countries with Latin roots or those with legal systems which stem from Roman law tend to be very bureaucratic but Spain is getting better.
How can you help recently arrived foreign residents?
We can help people obtain work and residency permits and the process can be started before they arrive in Spain. Once here, we can look after their registration with social security and other offices, help in setting up a business or even find a home for their family or a school for their children.
Is there any way of knowing which gestors speak English and which don’t?
I am afraid the only way to find out is to contact them directly.
Is there some officially recognised qualification you should look for when choosing a gestor or should you just ask for recommendations?
Given that a gestor's range of activities is wide, so is the range of academic qualifications which correspond with the profession. An accountant can have a degree in business or business administration. A gestor involved with payroll can be qualified in labour relations and so on.
The criteria for choosing a gestor should be the same as those for choosing a lawyer: references. A good indication of the quality of a gestoría is the size of the firm, e.g. if they have offices in other cities, can deal with you in your own language, etc.
For a list of English-speaking gestors and accountants, click the financial services directory link at the top or check the Marketplace ads in Metropolitan.