More Than 3 Million Companies Created In Spain In The Last 30 Years

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According to a study presented by Informa D&B, during the last three decades more than 3,173,000 companies have been incorporated in Spain.

Among those created in 1991, 2001 and 2011 it can be seen that most of them are no longer active. Of those incorporated in 1991, 16% are still in the market, among those created in 2001, only 21% are still in business and 32% of those that started their activity in 2011. Among those that have ceased their activity, of those created in 1991 and 2001, approximately 50 % have done so by official processes, this figure is reduced to 38 % in 2011, which proves that there are many companies that cease to operate without duly communicating it.

Overall, strictly bankruptcy proceedings (suspension of payments, bankruptcies and insolvency proceedings) do not exceed 0.16 % of the total number of inactivities, highlighting their low use in Spain compared to other types of closures.

2006 is the year in which more companies were created, with 150,108, and 2011 in which more capital was disbursed, 21,454 million euros, although it was an atypical year due to the creation of the State Company Loterías y Apuestas del Estado SME SA. Investment, unlike the number of incorporations, has not recovered, closing 2021 slightly above the previous year, with 5,059 million euros.

The evolution of the number of incorporations since 1991 is linked to the economic situation:

  • Expansion (from 1991 to 2006): the number of creations exceeded 100,000 in eleven of these 17 years.
  • Crisis (from 2007 to 2009): Period of crisis with a sharp drop in the number of incorporations, which represents a 47% reduction to 79,642 incorporations in 2009.
  • Post-crisis (from 2010 to 2019): A slow recovery in company creation data begins, reaching over 100,000 in 2016, although the previous numbers are not recovered. Data fall again in 2017 and in 2019 showing stagnation.
  • Crisis Covid-19 effect. The number of creations falls in 2020, by 16% compared to the previous year and is almost half that of 2006, the year with the highest number of incorporations. However, in 2021 they rise by 28% to 102,022.

The capital invested to create these companies since 1991 totals around 243 billion euros. If the number of incorporations has a behavior according to the economic cycle, the investment is more fluctuating, depending on the activity of a few companies, for example, in the case of business restructurings.

Even so, 2008 and 2009 are the years in which investment falls the most, as is the case with incorporations, and the levels of paid-in capital have not returned to pre-crisis levels, falling from 14,669 million in 2007 to 5,059 million in 2021, 66% less, despite the increase in the number of companies created this year.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.