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Susana Martínez-Rodríguez

Chapter 11 examines the development of corporation law in Spain. In some ways, Spanish law was notably conducive to corporations. In 1829 Spain adopted a corporation law allowing any man to register a corporation, a departure from the rules of most other European nations which at that time required incorporators to seek special governmental approval. While this right of general incorporation was suspended in 1848, it was again made available in 1869. When Spain adopted a new Commercial Code in 1885, it was surprisingly favourable to corporations, as its relative lack of detailed requirements gave corporate organizers great flexibility to arrange the internal affairs of their firms as they saw fit. This relative flexibility continued through much the twentieth century, extending to the limited liability company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, or SRL), which was legalized in 1919. While Spain’s company law was updated throughout the century, significant change only came again at the century’s end when Spain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) required legislative reforms to bring its law in line with European directives.