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What is the change of ownership?

The change of ownership of an activity is called the “transfer” of a business from the owner of the activity license to the person or company that buys the business. Thus, for example, if a company has a fully functioning restaurant that complies with current regulations and has a restaurant activity license, it can transfer its activity license to another person.

To make this transfer effective, the town hall requires all the necessary documentation from the two parties and always requires a signed certificate of change of ownership from an engineer. 

What appears on this certificate?

  • The name of the seller and the buyer
  • Location (there are cities where you can transfer the location license)
  • Exact license that is transferred with its epigraph
  • That it is not possible to finish an other activity
  • That the premises or the new premises are in accordance with the actions described in the initial project and that the license will be issued

Do you need a change of ownership?

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In this case, if, for example, there is a 20-year-old license and the premises have undergone many changes with respect to the time at which the license is to be granted, it is necessary to draw up a project in advance, communicating the changes made and justifying them in accordance with the regulations in order to update the license.

If the premises have not been modified and comply with the regulations, the change of owner will only be certified.


Frequently asked questions about the change of ownership in Barcelona

Is the certificate compulsory for all transfers?

Yes, it is an obligatory document that the city requires for each transfer. 

Does the change of ownership certificate have a high cost?

The certificate itself does not have a high cost, since it consists of a visit to the business and a check of the fact that the regulations are complied with and that the one designed for the license is still in force.

Where can this certificate be obtained?

It is possible to complicate when there is a lack of documentation. For example, behind a restaurant with a very old license, there is no project of activity. In such cases, a copy should be requested from the town hall (if you have one) or the city’s municipal archives.

If this is not possible, the engineering department must study the regulations that must be complied with at the time the license is granted and certify them. 

What documentation is required by the town hall to change the owner?

      • Standard print version that you can find on the town hall website
      • Certificate of change of ownership signed by a technician
      • The current license to transfer
      • Copy of the transfer document of the premises or signature of the previous owner
      • Self-assessment of the city council tax

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