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What is the activity license?

It is an essential legal document for carrying out the activity and is issued by the council directly to the company or user who owns the business. By means of this document, the administration is aware of the activity being carried out in its municipality, charges taxes and ensures that it is complete in accordance with current regulations. 

Do you need an activity license?

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The activity license of a business is obtained through the intervention of an engineer, who classifies the activity according to needs, ensures compliance with all regulations and issues an accredited certificate ensuring that the premises are suitable for carrying out the activity. This document not only gives the town hall the confidence that the premises meet the requirements, but also that the business has the assurance that it is carrying out a legal activity, has the permission of the administration to carry it out and can carry out its business with complete freedom.


There are three major classifications of this type of license:

  • Declaration of responsibility for opening
  • Prior communication of the opening
  • Environmental license

Frequently asked questions about the activity license in Barcelona

Why is it recommended to always take up a business activity when doing a business?

Because the council has the power to issue a closing order or to act expeditiously if the business does not have one.

Is it a mandatory procedure in any business that has a physical location?

Yes, from a small shop to a town, to the ship or the biggest industry in an area.

Is it easy to get this permit?

It depends on the business and if one is well advised or not. There are many times when it can take years to get it, and there are times when you have direct communication without waiting for an answer.

Why Vallcorba Enginyers/Architects and can help?

Vallcorba Enginyers/Architects has a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and architects who are specifically dedicated to opening activities and whose main objective is to obtain a business license for the client.

We have more than ten years of experience in opening business deals and we know the regulations that govern every aspect of the premises, from fire protection to the regulations on access to all the specific points of each type of premises.

Having a team of engineers and architects, we can provide a comprehensive service to the client because with a single company it is possible to carry out all the procedures and projects necessary to obtain a business license. 



The engineering department focuses on:

  • Writing the project of activity
  • Drawing up the action plan
  • Industrial management and compilation of all types of certificates
  • Get to know and keep up to date with all the current regulations
  • Designing, designing and legalizing installations (fire protection, air conditioning, ventilation, electricity)
  • Processing with the administration and with the control body

I the department of architecture is in charge of:

  • Feasibility study to determine the approximate cost
  • Drawing up of plans
  • Distribution proposal
  • Interior design, rendering and creative study of the concept
  • Basic technical projects and work executions
  • Procedures with the administration for obtaining a building permit
  • Project management

What kind of projects can Vallcorba Enginyers/Arquitectes do?

It is specialized in urban locations (shops, restaurants, clinics and gyms) and medium-sized industrial buildings (up to 5000m2). Many industries are outside the speciality of the company.

Is having a multidisciplinary team good for my project?

Yes, because it is a combination of specialties and it is a way to enhance the strengths of each technique, so that the client contracting a single company can charge for all the technical part.

Is architecture necessary in small projects?

If the premises are not reformed, there are no changes in the distribution and the client does not want the design services, the engineer is exclusively responsible for obtaining the activity license.

Is it essential to allow this when doing business?

When a company or a self-employed person decides to do business and invest their money, they are always looking for security in this investment.

In the world of business, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether the city council or the local administration will require administrative fines or a letter of closure, and so our company always recommends our clients to arrive at the end and get the permission of the business they want to develop. 

Do you need an activity license in Barcelona?

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According to our experience, it is possible to arrive at a new location and start the activity without any further ado, and it is possible that during long periods of time none of the administration is informed or facilitates any requirement, but during the course of time things can always happen and then it is always worse:

  • A worker who is dissatisfied with the company and who knows the situation can make a complaint
  • Routine inspection of municipal techniques can detect new activity
  • The power to sue for unfair competition
  • The visitors can file a complaint for sores, molds, odors, etc.
  • It can cause a fire or a robbery

And a long etcetera of cases that could end up in a complaint to the council. If this is the case, the Town Hall is obliged to review the business file, to analyze the complaint and, if it is not possible to do so, to make the request.

And why not expect the council to provide a requirement to achieve it?

Normally, when a company is not interested in having a long time expedition, and when it detects a company without a license with time to operate, it requires communication within a month. This means that it is still not feasible to look for an engineering company, to draw up a project, to carry out the necessary actions at the plant or on the premises, to collect certificates, etc.

What is the normal sequence of meetings that people have when they need to take a degree?

The following is the normal sequence:

  • Notification without a fine and consists of a request for documentation
  • Notification without fine and threat with fine or closure
  • Notification with administrative fine
  • Letter with closing date
  • Police seal off the premises or industrial premises

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