May 13, 2021

Spain, country of microenterprises

Spain is a country of microenterprises, the vast majority with two or less workers, many of which also declare losses. Only companies considered large obtain profits above 6 million euros per year. The size of companies is traditionally one of the problems of the Spanish economy, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining employment. In addition, the life of societies is more than dangerous. Only 16.7% have exceeded 20 years of life, most of them big.

The number of companies active in Spain reached 3.36 million at the beginning of 2019, date of the latest available data, according to statistics from the Central Business Directory (DIRCE), of the INE. The report, which has just appeared, is a true radiography of the Spanish business network, which is complemented by the data collected by the Central de Balances de Banco de España. The vast majority of Spanish companies, 82.74% have two or less workers. In fact, 1.88 million companies, of the total 3.36 million, do not have workers and another 900,000 have one or two employees. Conversely, Only 2.09%, that is, 70,720, have 20 or more people in their workforce. All major sectors of activity have very few companies with more than 20 workers. However, the industry stands out, where there are 16,240 companies, 8.25% of the total, which exceed twenty employees on payroll. In commerce there are only 1.54% of companies in that situation; 1.65% in construction and 1.77% in what is called other services. The low percentages of employees, especially in industry and construction companies, indicate that outsourcing is widespread and that, in turn, they are closed with companies with very few workers.

Subcontracting is widespread in Spanish companies

The data from DIRCE are compatible and complementary to those collected by the Bank of Spain, which uses information from the Commercial Registries. For fiscal year 2018, the Central de Balances processed data from 537,923 companies, private and public, non-financial, divided into four categories: Large companies, which are those with more than 250 workers; medium-sized companies – less than 250 workers and more than 50-; small businesses – less than 50 and more than 10 -; and microenterprises, which are the ones that employ less than 10 people. As in the statistics of DIRCE, the vast majority of the companies studied by the Central de Balances are microenterprises, 463,148 out of a total of 537,923, that is, 86.01%. Be analyzed as analyzed, everything confirms that Spain is a country of mini-companies.

No benefits

The Central de Balances also offers information on the results of the companies studied, which could be extrapolated to the total, since the sample used by the Bank of Spain, more than half a million companies, that is, 16% of total assets, It is a more than significant percentage to obtain conclusions from the statistical point of view. 65% of companies obtain benefits, while the remaining 35% yield losses. The data would explain, perhaps, that only 16.7% of companies survive more than 20 years. The absolute figures of profits and losses, according to the data of the Central de Balances, also attract attention. Companies with profits earned 85,719 million euros in 2018, of which 70,258 came from 11,732 large companies, which yields an average of 6.17 million euros of profits per company. In the case of medium-sized companies, the average profit was reduced to 500,000 euros, while small businesses earned 120,000 euros on average and the 293,915 microenterprises with benefits had average annual earnings of 25,000 euros.

The map of companies with losses is equally fascinating. A total of 184,837 companies lost 19,022 million euros in 2018. Again, the vast majority -169,233, 91.5% of those who lose- are micro businesses with fewer than ten employees. His red numbers were about 20,000 euros on average. Those figures also increase with the size of the company. Small companies – from 10 to 50 workers – showed an average of 100,000 euros of losses, which rise to 200,000 in medium-sized companies and exceed 2.11 million in the case of large companies, those with more than 250 workers.


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