Becoming self-employed in Spain

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 Are you looking to launch an entrepreneurial venture in Spain, but you are unsure of the steps to follow? You’re in the right place. Becoming self-employed in Spain isn’t complicated, but it’s important not to forget any of them. This is why our experts have developed a detailed procedure to follow in this article.

What is an autónomo?

Self-employed, independent contractor, freelance… In Spain, this status, which is increasingly prized by the working population, goes by the name “autónomo” and means a physical person exercising an economic activity to obtain remuneration on their own behalf and without an employment contract. The status thereof does not create a difference between personal and professional property. Tourism, start-up, education… Professional opportunities abound in Spain, and there are many French citizens who want to launch an entrepreneurial venture on the other side of the Pyrenees.

Prerequisites for expatriates

If you are not a Spanish citizen, this will not be an impediment in your quest for obtaining autónomo status. However, you will have to meet certain prior conditions: first, become a resident of Spain for tax purposes (in other words, reside on the Spanish territory more than 180 days per year, or concentrate the majority of your economic activities there); second, hold a Foreigner’s Identification Number (NIE) in Spain. 

This invaluable door-opener can take up to three months, and its request is made via commissariats or a lawyer. This is a document, which will be indispensable for any administrative formalities necessary to become established in Spain: sign up for a telephone subscription, pay your taxes, purchase a vehicle… As a last step, open a Spanish bank account: all you need to be present yourself to a bank with an ID, your NIE and proof of Spanish residency.

Declaration to the Hacienda

Let’s start with a small introduction to this Spanish institution: the Agencia Tributaria, better known as Hacienda, is the body responsible for managing the entire Spanish tax system: tax return, taxes, VAT… To become an autónomo, it is therefore necessary to declare yourself to the Hacienda. To get started, you need to make an appointment in the office closest to you. It is possible to apply online, but we advise that you make an appointment and visit in-person, so employees can help you complete your application. 

On site, you will need to fill out the form called modelo 36, or its simplified version on modelo 37 (the choice between these two forms will depend on your activity and your VAT regime). To complete the form, you will be asked for a code corresponding to the nature of your activity (you can consult the list here). If some of your activities are going to other countries of the European Union, you will have to register for the Regimen de Operadores Intracomunitario (intra-Community VAT regime). This appointment will also allow you to learn about taxes payable, as well as quarterly and year-end returns.

Social Security registration

It will then be your responsibility to register with social security, the body responsible for the management of health coverage, workers’ contributions and pension schemes. Just like the previous step, you will need to request an appointment online in the office closest to your home. On site, a new form will have to be filled out, called “Modelo TA0521”.

Following the appointment, you will be the holder of a social security number and can be enrolled in the specific scheme reserved for the self-employed, called “RETA” (Régimen especial de trabajadores autónomos). 

The process is free and carried out in a few minutes by an agent. This step will also allow you to find out about the Social Security or your municipality of residence that you can benefit from. 

For example, entrepreneurs under the age of 30 can benefit from a reduced contribution. The amount is gradual and increases in the first two years for everyone. AMOUNT OF MONTHLY SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTION FOR THE FIRST TWO YEARS

  • first 6 months: € 60.00
  • 7th to 12th month: € 152.50
  • 13th to 18th month: € 186.25
  • At the 19th month: € 283.30

Your obligations as autónomo

Congratulations, you are now an autónomo! You are now liable for taxes specific to this status, which are mainly summarized by personal income tax (IRPF) and the VAT.

The IRPF is a progressive tax, that is, the more income you generate, the larger the percentage of the tax will be. The rate also varies depending on the Spanish autonomous community where you live. 

VAT is a tax on the value produced by companies. In Spain, its rate is 21% and must be included in the cost of your services. Conclusion You are now informed of all the steps to be taken to become independent in Spain. 

As you have seen, these remain relatively simple. If you still have doubts, do not run the risk of making a mistake, but turn to the professionals instead. Whether you are based in CulleraSuecaJaveaMoraira or Alicante, at Delaguia & Luzon, our legal advisors and qualified lawyers are at your disposal to help you with the process of establishing your business in Spain.

Calling on our firm will allow you to focus solely on your professional activity, without having to worry about the administrative aspects. Our team will inform you of your rights and duties and help you make the best decisions for your business. Do not hesitate to contact us today to discuss your project with our advisors.

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