David Cook is from the UK and is a qualified member of ACCA. He moved to Barcelona in the mid-Eighties and spent 12 years as finance director of an international publishing company. After leaving them in 1998, he set up Spain Accounting (www.spainaccounting.com) in 2000. Since then he has helped dozens of small companies and freelancers get started and handled their tax returns.
Where did the original idea come from?
After leaving my job in Barcelona I decided to start something on my own. After a period of research and reflection I came to see that foreigners wanting to start their own business in Spain needed someone to talk things through, preferably in English, and to handle their on-going tax affairs, quickly and reliably.
How long did it take to get your business off the ground?
A couple of years.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
That there was a greater demand for my services than I'd realised!
How easy was it to get the financing for your business?
Wasn't a problem as in my case set-up costs were relatively low.
Did you find the paperwork difficult?
No because I already knew what was required and what areas were important. It's essential to understand what the full implications are of the papers and data required. For that reason always get professional advice.
Did you get help from any particular official organisations or associations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce)? If so, please describe:
What is your business experience / background / qualifications?
I'm a qualified accountant and have had long, varied experience in accounting, finance and running complex departments.
What are the positive aspects about having a business here?
The same as anywhere - working for yourself and getting personal satisfaction from building the business up.
And the negative aspects?
Not having enough leisure time.
Are there any other useful contacts, tips or information you think would be useful to other foreign entrepreneurs in Barcelona? Please describe:
Always good to talk to other entrepreneurs and of course get advice from experienced professionals such as Spain Accounting!