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VAT practical manual 2022.

C) Concept of business or professional activity

As initially noted, to be subject to VAT the delivery of goods or the provision of services must be carried out in the development of a business or professional activity.

They are business or professional activities:

Those that involve the self-management of material and human production factors or one of them, with the purpose of intervening in the production or distribution of goods or services.

In particular, extractive, manufacturing, commerce and service provision activities have this consideration, including crafts, agriculture, forestry, livestock, fishing, construction, mining and the exercise of liberal and artistic professions.

Business or professional activities are considered initiated from the moment the goods or services are acquired with the intention, confirmed by objective elements, of using them for the development of such activities.

They are understood to be carried out in the exercise of a business activity:

  • Operations carried out by commercial companies, when they have the status of businessman or professional.

  • Transmissions or assignments of use of the assets that make up the business or professional assets, even on the occasion of the cessation of the exercise of activities.

  • The services developed by the Property Registrars in their capacity as liquidators of a Mortgage District Liquidation Office.


The leased premises are part of the lessor's business assets and its transfer, if carried out, would be considered carried out in the exercise of the lessor's business activity.

The exercise of business or professional activities is presumed:

  • When an establishment whose purpose is any commercial operation is announced through circulars, newspapers, posters, signs exposed to the public or in any other way

  • When to carry out the operations it is required to contribute for the IAE .

The presumption admits evidence to the contrary.

It is irrelevant whether in the exercise of the activity the operations are habitual or occasional, as well as the purposes or results pursued by the activity or the specific operation and will be taxed even if they are carried out in favor of the partners, associates, members or participants themselves. of the entities that carry them out.


A City Council organizes a basketball game to raise funds for an alcoholism prevention campaign.

The sale of tickets carried out by the City Council that give the right to attend the basketball game is considered carried out in the exercise of a business activity, without the destination that will be given to the income or benefits resulting from said activity being relevant for such purposes. .

The following will be considered businessmen or professionals acting as such with respect to the services provided to them by businessmen or professionals not established in the territory of application of the Tax:

  • Those who carry out business or professional activities simultaneously with others that are not subject to the tax.

  • Legal entities that do not act as businessmen or professionals, as long as they have been assigned a VAT NIF provided by the Spanish Administration.


A City Council hires a French company to carry out a project on the implementation of renewable energy systems in its municipal area. The City Council will be considered an entrepreneur or professional with respect to the services provided by the French consulting firm only if it has a VAT NIF for having carried out a prior subject AIB . Otherwise, you will not be considered a businessman or professional.