Signing up as self-employed in Spain

Are you a freelancer in Spain with a business plan (or at least a couple of ideas on the back of an envelope and a few interested clients)? It might be time to officially sign up to pay self-employment tax in Spain.

There are two ways to do this:

  • The easy way is hiring an accountant (“gestor”) to do it for you.
  • The hard way is doing it yourself.

Can it really be so difficult to do your own tax?” The short (and long) answer is: yes, it really can. If you’ve done self-employed work elsewhere, you might think that becoming self-employed in Spain would follow a vaguely similar process. However, the Spanish legal system is full of plenty of red tape to trip up unsuspecting “autónomos” (“freelancers” in Spain). In fact, all the self-employed Spaniards I know hire an accountant to navigate the world of paying tax in Spain for them. It’s only the foreign friends I have who do things for themselves.

Despite this, I managed to work out how to sign up as self-employed in Spain for myself. Here’s what I found.

Going self-employed in Spain

You will need to sign up to pay tax in two places:

  1. With the Hacienda (Inland Revenue)
  2. With the Seguridad Social (National Insurance)

To properly sign up to freelance in Spain, you will need a valid NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero – resident’s number), as well as your passport, access to a photocopier and 1.50€.

You might also like to check the cost of freelancing in Spain quickly to see if it’s for you.

Ready? Let’s go.

Posted in Tax

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