Dear Mr. Torres, I arrived in Tenerife three weeks ago. I love The Canaries and I think with a few improvements to the ZEC, you will attract countless technology businesses and investment companies, which in turn bring jobs and prosperity to these beautiful islands.
Without digging deep to find problems, I want to share my thoughts I had while looking at the requirements of the ZEC:
It must be a newly-created entity or branch with its registered address and effective place of management within the geographical area of the ZEC.
At least one member of the administration must reside in the Canary Islands.👍 Fine.
It must make a minimum investment of 100,000 euros (in Gran Canaria or Tenerife) or 50,000 euros (in the case of La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma, Fuerteventura or Lanzarote) in fixed assets related to the activity within the first two years following its registration.
😕 Suboptimal. I understand that by requiring a minimum investment amount, you try to attract larger businesses or investors, who in turn instantly create jobs. The problem is the following: by requiring a minimum investment, you cut out countless startup founders which are bootstrapping their business. Which means they are funding it with their money or friends and family money. They start with one person, then slowly grow to >10 employees over 3 or 5 years.
It is necessary to create, at least, five jobs (in Gran Canaria or Tenerife) or three (in the other islands) during the first six months following its registration and this average must be maintained during the time that the benefits are enjoyed.
🙁 Bad. An entrepreneur cannot predict how many employees he will have in six months. By applying this rule, you attract only larger companies who re-locate, open branches, or do investments in tourism (which you want to become less dependent upon?).
It is necessary to conduct activities that are permitted in the ZEC
To really create the “California of Europe”, The Canaries must attract entrepreneurs who build businesses. One first step will be to make the ZEC less complex and bureaucratic. An ambitious entrepreneur doesn’t want to deal with whether he suits all the requirements in the first place, and then has the possibility to fail one requirement after 6 months (i.e., only 4 employees instead of 5). Instead, they will start their business elsewhere. For example, in Portugal.
Don’t get me wrong, the ZEC is great in concept. If you refine it, market it more prominently, I am sure The Canaries will attract numerous entrepreneurs and investment.
In addition, I’d offer all arriving entrepreneurs and investors an English-speaking bureaucracy advisor (Gestoria).
Towards a great future.