The Institute’s legal name is the “Fundación Real Instituto Elcano de Estudios Internacionales y Estratégicos”. It is a private non-profit cultural foundation whose assets are used to further its objectives in pursuit of the public interest. 

Among other areas, the Institute’s Bylaws define its purposes and activities as a foundation, its legal framework, the scope of its activities, its duration, principles for action and beneficiaries, members, corporate governance and financial matters.