Walking Business In Spain.

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by CptDanjou, Jan 14, 2013.

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  1. A friend has a large rural property in Spain and wants to set up doing walking holidays from it offering airport collection, B&B and guided mountain walks ,he lives in the UK and his business (Ltd Co) would be based here, he has asked me to look into the legalities of operating in Spain for several weeks of the year as a tour company , I`m not sure in where to start? would he need permission of the Spanish or is it an EU right to turn up and take people walking around the mountains ?
  2. I'm sorry, I don't want to crayon but I would imagine Arrse isn't the best place for international business legal advice.

    In light of recent threads, a Royal Marine Commando tattoo and Arctic/Mountain Leader training is de rigeur for the guides.
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  3. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    I'd advise that the friend got legal advice about professional indemnity insurance from both Spanish and English lawyers. If someone slips and seriously injures themselves while under their supervision, they could end up on the wrong end of an expensive legal action plus a claim for medical bills.

  4. No advice needed for that! Anybody who wanted to act as a mountain leader in any capacity would want to protect themselves and their customers, they'd also want to be a member of a professional body that recognised their skills and qualifications like the the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) for example, memberships carries the benefit of £10,000,000 in worldwide civil liability insurance and personal accident insurance. I don't get a referral fee ;-)
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  5. Apart from the liability issue, I think its mostly just a tax issue.

    To have any sort of business presence in Spain - eg open a bank account or pay invoices - you need a NIF number (ID for private individuals) or the corporate equivalent. Some sort of tax declaration will be needed to show the Spanish authorities that the business is UK-based and makes its earnings there.

    There are thousands of Brits and other european chavs running all sorts of business in the Spanish black economy, but the financial crisis has kicked the authorities into cracking down on all tax revenue sources.

    Best bet for advice is to go onto one of the "Spanish expat" forums full of Brits running businesses in Spain, and get in touch with a British/Spanish tax expert.

    There are a few expat walking clubs in pain, especially along the Costa Blanca. They probably know about specific rights of access to public land, etc.
  6. Mountain leader sounds a bit extreme , its more likely going to be leisurely walks along mountain tracks ,25km per day max , not a rope or crampon in site, the insurance cover sounds ideal but I guess it would involve a lot of unnecessary training courses /time/expense?
  7. Leisurely walks along mountain tracks can quickly become helicopter evacuations in 3 seasons out of 4 when it all goes pear shaped, very expensive and not at all good for business. Thinking you know what to do because you've yet to hurt yourself and actually proving you know what to do in the mountains are two different things, anybody working as a mountain guide as part of a business should have undergone some sort of relevant training and carry some sort of professional recognition of competence. There isn't really a commonly accepted scheme in Europe but many very good schemes that are similar and carry cross recognition by various European mountaineering organisations. If it was just fell walking type activities then a minimum for what you are suggesting might be the BMC Walking Group Leader designed for lowland walking and simple to gain in a weekend, for mountainous regions a minimum would be the ML Summer award (again fairly low level and achievable in a couple of weekend assessments if you have the competence and experience) or a similar qualification offered in Spain perhaps and don't forget some sort of mountain first aid training/ qualification - your friend is after all proposing that he makes himself responsible for the welfare of others in return for payment, if they didn't need the support of someone with more skills, knowledge and abilities than they have why would anyone pay a guide?

    I forgot to add that you should find out which Spanish Government Department issues licenses for mountain/ trek guides. In France it is the Ministry of Youth Sports and I think Spain, Portugal and Italy are similar, Austria, Switzerland and Germany have departments that deal specifically with guide licensing centred on local schemes. In most of Europe, including all the Alpine countries, you legally have to hold state/ regional certification in order to take a fee for your services, they will want proof that you (your friend) is competent to hold the certification. There are of course hundreds of mountain guides operating illegally all over Europe by not taking a fee - officially! I'd be interested to see how any liability claim panned out in those circumstance........

    Your friend may find some more info here:http://www.uimla.org/cms/

    There is another organisation that deals with European Mountain Guides but I can't for the life of me remeber what they are called, a wizz around the BMC website may reveal more information.
  8. The Spanish, ***** the lot of them. I ordered the thing sounding the closest to pie on the menu and got a load of manky piss stained rice with goat hooves and octopus *********!

  9. Many thanks for that , so would summer ML include the £10,000,000 in worldwide civil liability insurance ?
  10. I believe so, in fact you don't have to hold any qualifications at all to join the BMC and receive the civil liability cover, most people join the BMC when they register prior to assessment so they are therefore covered when gaining the necessary experience and using the BMC log book. But, you'll have to check the terms and conditions of the BMC membership with regrads to offering professional guide services, I know it covers me as a Mountain Leader, but I don't run a treking company or charge for my services as much as I'd love to, I get to work for a living and nowadays that means working in an office in London or Aberdeen!
  11. The WGL is the minimum qual for leading small groups in the UK, im sure an international ML qual is needed for mountain trips in Europe (for fees I mean) sierra nevada or pyrenees peaks are not uk hill walks, typically a small group would contact a prospective expedition leader to discuss destination, here equipment owned by the group, group fitness etc is established, 25 clicks a day carrying sleeping bag, clothes, food for a few days etc is quite a challenge for those not used to walking at altitude in Spains scorchio season. Check uk climbing for a variety of world mountain guides, good luck