Lately, there are a lot of Spanish people relocating to various parts of Europe, but is also happens the other way around! For many Europeans it is a dream to live and work in Spain, and especially in Mallorca. Julia Emmert, founder of ezebee.com shares with us her experiences as an expat and founder living in Mallorca
An Expat, living in Mallorca
I, myself am from Munich and came to Mallorca several years ago with my husband and daughter. Meanwhile we created the Social Commerce Platform ezebee.com, a place to buy and sell online for free! So, we made our experience of living and starting a business in Mallorca ourselves… Let’s see what advantages and disadvantages I found whilst living and working on the Mediterranean island!
Why we moved to Mallorca
When you hear Mallorca, the majority think about the Magaluf, or Playa de Palma. And so did I… actually I only came here for the first time when we were looking for a place to live. When we decided to do so, I was pregnant and we were looking for a place where we both could imagine living together, after some years of a long distance relationship. I was very much for going to the south of France. As I spoke fluent French and no Spanish at all. But in the end, Mallorca just proved to be more convenient. Moving to Mallorca was actually not so much a heart felt decision, but more a practical one.
Advantages of Living and starting a company in Mallorca
It is bias, but for sure the weather and the sea is one reason to move to Mallorca or anywhere in the south of Spain. At the moment has been raining in Germany for months, whereas here you can go to the beach every day. So I don’t think we need to say more on that matter.
But what really astonished me, when I first came here, was the incredible infrastructure for expats! I did not speak a word of Spanish, except for ‘un café con leche por favor’ but all the same I immediately met other Germans and English speaking expats to help me out with everything! Finding a flat? No problem, as there are a lot of real estate agencies specialized for foreigners. German speaking doctors? No problem ether. International Schools? Take your pick!
Another big plus for Mallorca compared to other locations in Europe and also in Spain are the frequent flight connections to nearly all major cities within the EU. As an expat and especially as an entrepreneur you are likely to travel a lot. In Mallorca you will never have any problem finding a convenient flight!
Mallorca has developed into a kind of melting-pot lately, that is seldom found within the EU. You are likely to meet lots of Germans, Brits and Swedish here, but also French, Polish and people from all over the EU (and the rest of the world). All of those would consider them-selves more Europeans than Germans or British. This is a climate without many barriers and with much creativity. This also makes it easy to find international employees and sometimes there is a lack of qualification. But if you are not lucky enough to find someone directly on the island itself, people from all ofter Europe are willing to move here just for the sake of living in the Mediterranean!
All this actually makes it pretty easy to relocate to Mallorca and to make a living here. Still, there are some dark spots, too…
Disadvantages of Living and starting a company in Mallorca
Whereas the good infrastructure for expats is one off the main reasons to move here, the language is one of the main disadvantages. To really integrate in the island community you do not only need to speak Spanish, but also and mostly Catalan – which I do not, although I do understand most of it. Luckily most administrative things can be done in Spanish. But the Catalan question is huge and applies mostly in education.
Let’s be honest. In my opinion, if you move to another country, you have to learn the language. And so I did and I am pretty fluent in Spanish. So is my 5 year old daughter. We decided not to send her to a German school for integration reasons, she speaks Spanish and also Catalan. But she is not yet fluent. All the same we always get into trouble with Catalans, telling us we first of all need to speak Catalan and teach Catalan to her at home. I personally understand the trouble of Catalan people speaking a minority language in their own country. But we are living in Spain. And having to learn yet another language does not make life any easier.
As administration for relocating to Mallorca for Europeans is fairly easy, administration for starting a company can sometimes get quite tricky. Moreover, it sometimes seems to be arbitrary. It is not always clear which license you need and why – and fines are extraordinarily high! This can really give you a hard time! But then again, administration and taxation is always a difficult subject, whether you are living in Spain, Germany or Brittany!
One more thing: If you do not want to start your own company, be prepared to work as a freelancer, as full time working contracts are rare on the island. You can also discover some really nice coworking spaces in Mallorca if you work for yourself.
In my opinion the advantages of living and starting a company in Mallorca by far outdo the disadvantages. Even the laid back lifestyle that can sometimes get to you, especially if you have a company here, can prove to be an advantage! Just relax and enjoy it!
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