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. Wrong. 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:
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.