Spore-forming bacteria are known to produce various enzymes and bioproducts valuable to different industries and to bear the harsh conditions found in the Antarctic environment. However, aerobic or facultative spore-forming bacterial communities found in maritime Antarctic soils yet remain poorly studied. In this study, 80 spore-forming and cold-adapted bacterial strains were isolated from nine different soil samples of King George Island, in maritime Antarctica, and further clustered into amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis groups within each soil. Representative strains were then identified as belonging to Bacillus, Rummeliibacillus, Paenibacillus and Sporosarcina by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The ability to produce extracellular enzymes, antimicrobial substances and biosurfactants was determined in all isolates. The enzymatic activities most frequently found among the isolates were as follows: esterase (45 %), caseinase (30 %), amylase (16.2 %) and gelatinase (15 %). Biosurfactant production was detected in 25 % of the isolates. The growth inhibition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was observed in 13.7 % of the strains tested, but only two strains inhibited the growth of Candida albicans. The isolated spore-forming bacterial species were also compared with the characteristics of the different Antarctic soils sampled based on their physicochemical properties, showing that pH, C and P were the main factors correlated with the distribution of this group of bacteria in the Antarctic soils studied. These Antarctic endospore-forming bacterial strains may have a potential for industrial processes occurring at low temperatures.