In this article Martin Hayes of SWAN Partners gives his views on the tendency towards remote working and how to make it happen in Valencia with top international real estate company Found Valencia Property.
So, we now all know that remote working is not just the domain of IT professionals. The lock down experience that was hurtled upon us without warning in early March forced us all to grapple with suddenly having to reconfigure the way we work in order to keep our professional lives afloat. Anxious times indeed. As we all got to grips with setting up teleworking solutions through programmes such as TEAMS and as our little ones connected to their online classes via Zoom, I have little doubt that the refrain “Can you hear me…I can see you” has been etched irrevocably into our memories for decades to come. While these times are certainly not easy, the challenges that we have had to overcome in such a short period of time have opened the door to a host of new opportunities. One such opportunity is based on the realisation that technology has come of age allowing us to work securely and effectively from any location. All we need now is good internet connectivity.
Remote Working in Valencia, Spain
Valencia offers the prospective remote worker a tantalising and utterly obtainable solution. Exceptional Spanish infrastructure offers access to numerous transport hubs via high speed rail networks and modern motorways.
The Spanish are widely seen as being early adopters of new technology. The result of this can been seen in how the Spanish went about rolling out its Optic Fibre Internet. Intense competition between providers has resulted in super-fast broadband being made available across Spain in numbers that make other European countries look somewhat pitiful. High Connection speeds are not the sole preserve of the main cities. Many small rural towns and their surrounding urbanisations now offer super-fast broadband of speeds of 300Mbps to 600Mbs or more. This existing super-fast broadband along with the arrival of 5G mobile internet services fundamentally changes the way we need to approach our working lives. Is being physically present at our places of work 9am to 5pm Monday to Fridays really the most efficient way of getting our work done?
As the dust settles, we will need to be able to combine both ways of working, both physical and remote, in order to embrace our new future. This future gives us the chance to free up time so we can manage the work – life balance correctly instead of being forced into the mindless herd clambering onto overcrowded trains or inching forward in soleless motorway traffic jams on a daily basis. The impact on our health, family life and the environment of our current work habits have been profound. Covid 19 must call time on this era.
How can I move my Job to Valencia
Even before the onset of Covid19, SWAN Partners has successfully assisted clients move their busy working lives from places such as Dublin, London, New York, LA and Hong Kong. Our firm allows the client the chance to get the employment, tax and company advice they need to make the move while our property department assists the client to buy their home legally and safely.
The key to commencing your transition to remote working is having the all-important conversation with your employer. Once the ground is properly prepared in advance, our clients have been pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction of their employers to remote working proposals. SWAN partners employment department offers solutions to ensure that the employment relationship continues to flourish in the remote environment. If done correctly, remote working can bring benefits to both employer and employee. While providing detailed legal and technical solutions, we can also provide practical solutions such as payroll if required.
Meanwhile our tax department is on hand to examine the most efficient tax set up for you and your employer. Our clients have been able to benefit from a range of tax solutions tailored to their circumstances. One such solution is the Beckham Law named after the famous footballer. Under this scheme, the employer effectively moves the employee’s place of work to Spain under a series of conditions. If the application to the tax authorities is correctly made under the scheme, the employee’s income tax will be capped at 24% for five years as apposed to the progressive tax that normally applies to Spanish fiscal residents.Careful attention must be paid to ensure that such a scheme is the best solution for the individual in question. Consideration must also be given as to whether solutions under the double tax agreements may offer a better fit.
There are also cases when it may be best to move your business here to Spain or indeed set up a subsidiary company. In such cases our Company and Commercial team can assist in the creation of the best corporate solution taking into account considerations put forward by our tax and employment teams. Once your new company is up and running, we have a compliance team ready to assist you as your company grows in Spain.
Golden Visas & Remote Working
We have seen a significant increase of Golden Visa enquiries from non-EU countries over the last number of weeks as we begin to emerge from the Covid19 lock down. Our experience has been mirrored by Found Valencia Property which, according to its managing director, Conor Wilde, has also seen a most significant increase in demand for suitable luxury properties.
There is little doubt that the establishment of remote working as a viable lifestyle choice is powering this trend. Those outside the European Union wishing to move to Valencia in order to work here or set up a company may wish to explore whether a Golden Visa would be suitable for their circumstances. There are a number of grounds upon which you can apply for a Spanish Golden Visa, however, the most common basis for such an application is by way of a property investment of €500,000 in one or more residential or commercial properties. Our team can assist you with legal aspects of the property investments and with your golden visa application. Likewise, we can also explore whether other forms of residency applications would be better suited to you.
Brexit & Remote Working in Valencia
While we have been busy adjusting to life with Corvid19, the Brexit clock keeps ticking towards 31 December next. At the time of writing, the United Kingdom and the European Union are engaged in negotiations concerning the relationship that will exist once the present transition period expires at the end 2020. At present, there is no indication that this transition period will be extended. It follows that the official advice holds true, British people wishing to take advantage of their rights under the European treaties, for example the right to live and work in Spain, must exercise this right while such rights exist.
The reality of this means that those thinking of moving to Spain must establish themselves in Spain well ahead of the 31 December deadline so that there is enough time for companies such as ours to guide you through the Spanish Residency Application Process. This process takes time and again Corvid19 has had an effect. There will now most certainly be an influx of new residency applications as the European Corvid19 lock down eases and the Brexit residency rush recommences.
Valencia has recently featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and the Guardian among other such highly reputable publications as offering an exceptional quality of life. To many visiting Valencia and the surrounding towns and villages for the first time, it is like uncovering a closely guarded secret. There is an abundance of cultural and food experience to be enjoyed all within the balm of Mediterranean climate. Although Valencia is Spain’s third largest city, property prices are well below those of Madrid and Barcelona. As a region, Valencia offers an array of country and Mediterranean villages and towns, each and every one of them with their own personalities and Spanish fiestas. There is certainly no shortage of vibrancy in Valencia which retains and celebrates its Spanish culture to the full.
To those embarking on their property search, the importance of working with a good and reputable estate agent cannot be over emphasised. Estate agents in Spain are not regulated. All will charge similar commissions for their services. This will apply irrespective of whether they have a full proper well-resourced company that supports their clients’ long-term needs or merely comprise little more than a website and a mobile that is off the scene once commission is paid. It pays to work with a company focused on building its long-term growth based on a solid reputation.
One such company is Found Valencia Property. This company is headed by Conor Wilde who has been working as a property professional for over twenty years in the Valencia region. Of particular note is Conor Wilde’s relentless efforts to offer his clients a safe and secure purchasing experience right from the initial phase of searching for a suitable property to then bringing the transaction to a positive conclusion. Rather than shoe horning clients into a property and locking the contractual door, Conor Wilde’s team takes the time to build a relationship with the client to find a property that matches their needs and tastes. From a legal prospective, unlike many operators, Found Valencia Property actively encourages their buyers to retain the services of a property lawyer and a surveyor to ensure that the property is sound and legal.Found Valencia Property offers a wide range of property from beach properties, city apartments, country villas, exclusive luxury properties and country estates.
Although there is much to consider, all the essential element are now in place so that your thoughts of remote working in sunnier climes one day can now become a tangible reality.