“Eleven years ago, Andorra decided to face up to the financial crisis and international pressures, restructuring its entire legal framework and bringing it into line with Europe and the rest of the world, with a speed never seen before in our country and probably in no other country of Europe. Today it is one of the most competitively viable jurisdictions in the world at all levels, both in terms of quality of life, public safety, and very competitive taxation system.
In recent years, with 100% opening to foreign investments in all sectors, it has been possible to observe a job well done both at public and private levels in favor of attracting talent, one of the key tools for getting on the train of progress and guaranteeing the consolidation of Andorra’s economy in the future. During this time, newcomers began to arrive, laden with talented and innovative projects and demanding a wide range of attentions and infrastructures.
Thus, the first coworking spaces and business centers started to appear, and immediately the Government began to stimulate a whole series of changes in order to promote measures in favor of bureaucratic agility and, above all, to create the legal framework that would give consistency to this new entrepreneurial climate.
And here we see that in the end, the current legislature´s masterpiece has seen the light of day: the new Digital Economy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Law which was approved by the General Council on December 1, 2022. This law design a majestic legal framework that, if it finds real practical development, will make Andorra an international benchmark similar to, or even better than, other international jurisdictions that have made a strong commitment to innovation and the digital world, such as Latvia, among others.
With entrepreneurs, digital nomads, researchers and inventors as key players, a whole series of infrastructures and facilities are regulated to enable new innovative projects to be developed there, strategically managed and financed, and forming part of a new ecosystem that is gradually developing.
Therefore, there are special economic zones to initiate favourable conditions for national and foreign investment in certain sectors, with facilities and incentives for the companies that locate there, and control by the Ministry of Economy. The operation of business incubators and accelerators is also regulated, as well as public and private clusters, with a series of advantages for those who set up there. It also regulates the shared spaces within the digital nomad ecosystem of co-living and co-working spaces, with different modalities and where flexibility is a key element to facilitate their development, a complete revolution in the exploitation of real estate assets, although with the antecedent of some pioneering centers in the country that generated awareness of the need.
The majotity of these infrastructures will be occupied by professionals, whose way of mobility does not make them in need of specific spaces in which to live and work. Precisely for this reason, non-residential work permits, digital nomad status and visas for entrepreneurs have also had to be established, as well as the conditions for self-
employed residence for other cases not linked to the digital world and innovation, increasing the AFA’s deposit to €50,000, when they are already exempt.
The law is completed with the formation of a new type of start-up company with its own registry and requirements and with a series of advantages but at the same time a control by the governmental authorities. Also added are the regulation of participatory financing, innovation laboratories or living labs and other aspects that we will have the opportunity to review in detail in the next publications.
Most importantly, the legal framework created is a historic opportunity for the country and all efforts must be put into its development. Let´s start this new year of 2023 with the focus on this new initiative open to all international talents looking for a friendly and competitive space to develop their projects. Andorra, the best kept secret in Europe, has a great future!”
By Pere Augé, CEO and Founding Partner of Augé Holding Group
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