How to Obtain a Tourist License in Spain: Your Essential Guide


Dreaming of turning your Spanish property into a holiday rental? In Spain, this lucrative opportunity requires a tourist license, a legal necessity for anyone wishing to rent out their property on a short-term basis. Navigating the process can be complex, but this guide aims to simplify it, ensuring you’re well on your way to welcoming guests in no time! We will talk on a general basis, but in Spain, every townhall has its rules, If you want more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is a Tourist License?

A tourist license is a permit issued by local authorities in Spain, allowing property owners to legally rent out their properties as vacation homes (SHORT TERM RENTALS, less than 3 months). This license ensures compliance with local regulations and standards, ensuring safety and quality for tourists.

Steps to Apply for a Tourist License in Spain

  1. Check Local Regulations: Each region and city in Spain has specific requirements and processes for obtaining a tourist license. Check with your local town hall or regional government website for specific guidelines. If you don’t find information, please contact us to let you know the process in your specific town.
  2. Ensure Compliance with Requirements: Properties must meet certain standards, including safety, hygiene, and facilities. This might include emergency lighting, first aid kits, and information about local services. Many Comunidades Autónomas as Murcia and Andalucía have inspectors. If the house doesn’t meet the basic requirements they will cancel the License and you need to wait one year to apply again for it.
  3. Prepare Necessary Documentation: you’ll need to provide property details, proof of ownership, identification, and sometimes a declaration stating you comply with local regulations. Habitation certificates and house insurance are required in many cities as Torrevieja, Orihuela, and Elche.
  4. Submit the Application: Applications are typically submitted to the local town hall or regional urbanistic department. The duration of this process depends completely on the town hall. Somes, as Oliva in Valencia, issue the documents in 4 days, but others as Pilar de la Horadada in Alicante issue them in 9 months.
  5. Pay the Fee: There’s usually a fee associated with the application, which varies by region and city.
  6. Inspection: Some regions require an inspection of the property before the license is granted. And other has the inspections after the license is completed.
  7. Receive the License: Once approved, you’ll receive a license number, which must be displayed in your advertising and rental agreements.


Q: How long does it take to get a tourist license in Spain? A: It varies by region but usually takes a median of 5 months.

Q: Is a tourist license required for all rental properties? A: Yes, if you plan to rent your property for short-term rentals, it means less than 3 months.

Q: Can I rent out my property while waiting for the license? A: No, you must wait until you have the license to legally rent out your property.

Q: What happens if I rent without a license? A: Renting without a license can result in hefty fines and legal consequences. The fines are high, and Home insurance may not cover the damage caused by the host.

Q: Does the license need to be renewed? A: This depends on regional regulations. Some areas require periodic renewal, while in the majority, the license is valid indefinitely.


Obtaining a tourist license in Spain is a critical step in legally renting out your property as a holiday home. By understanding and following the local regulations, preparing the necessary documentation, and patiently navigating the process, you can successfully acquire your license and start your journey as a holiday rental host. Remember, each region has its nuances, so it’s important to stay informed and compliant with local laws.

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