Most local entrepreneurs and business people use a gestoría (essentially a bureaucracy agency) or asesoría (business consultancy) to handle their paperwork and tax filings.
You can do it yourself, but it’s rarely worth the time and effort involved. Finding a gestoría that speaks languages other than Spanish is challenging.
Most large insurance companies, such as Mapfre, Liberty Seguros, and Línea Directa offer a range of insurance products to foreign residents.
It can be a challenge to find brokers who speak English, or any other languages.
Caser Expats, which specialises in offering insurance to foreign residents in Spain, has an English-speaking broker on the island.
The Gran Canaria expat community is scattered all over the island. While many retired foreign nationals live in the big resorts in the south of the island (Playa del Inglés, Puerto Rico, etc.) there is a substantial cluster of remote workers and working expats in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Because the expat community is spread out and consists of so many different nationalities there isn’t really a central place where expats meet. Instead, they use the internet to communicate and to arrange small social gatherings.
Facebook, and especially Facebook Groups, is now the main place for expat support and communication.
There are large, general groups in a dozen languages and lots of smaller specialist groups.
You can see an up to date list on our community page:
Coworking spaces are the best place to meet other expat entrepreneurs when you first arrive. Most have a communal area or rooftop and arrange regular social events.
Also check the Digital Nomads Facebook group for news of upcoming events and meetups.
Expat families looking for advice and playmates should join the Expat Families Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Group on Facebook.
When you apply to become self employed in Gran Canaria (Autónomo) you need to register with the Social Security, Spanish Tax Authorities and the Canary Islands Tax Office.
Fortunately, there is a one-stop shop for all of this at the Ventanilla Única Empresarial office at C/. León y Castillo, 24, in Las Palmas city.
This is also a good place to go if you have any questions about the official steps you need to take to set up in business in Gran Canaria.
The Corporation for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria (SPEGC) provides financial and consulting support to entrepreneurs and investors based in Gran Canaria.
Its website includes useful resources about looking for funding and investment in Gran Canaria.
The Gran Canaria Convention Bureau offer a multiple of services for those wishing to organise a conference, congress, convention, or corporate event in Gran Canaria. You can find more information about the services they offer on their website;
Gran Canaria’s banks cater to the local market and very few employees speak anything other than Spanish.
That said, if you just want a standard bank account with an ATM card, most work well and all the major names are connected to the international banking system.
Since branch queues are often long, choose a bank that offers a good online service so that you can get as much done as possible yourself.
Online bank ING Direct is a good option and has a branch on Mesay Lopez street in central Las Palmas.
Spanish bank BBVA has an English-language website, an excellent app and plenty of branches. It’s worth choosing a Gran Canaria bank with plenty of cash machines as withdrawal fees add up fast (most Spanish banks charge each other for ATM use).
Options with plenty of cash machines include Santander, BBVA, and Bankia. Note that international banks such as Santander, ING and Deutsche Bank operate as separate entities in Spain so you won’t be able to connect you local banking to your home account.