Tuesday, 14th July 2020

This Month's Magazine
Working on your own Account

Working on your own Account

EU Nationals can work in Spain without restriction but they must abide by the countryÂ’s rules just like any other Spaniard.

Foreign nationals coming from non EU countries can work as self employed in Spain but first they must obtain a residence permit as well as permission to work in Spain as “Autonomo”, both are issued at the same time for a defined duration.
Foreign nationals from EU member countries have no restrictions but they must follow the countyÂ’s rules, therefore, before doing anything else, they must obtain an N.I.E number which will identify them for tax purposes.

You cannot do much in Spain without following formalities.

Before you launch into self employment, you need to join the “Régimen de Trabajadores Autónomos” (Self Employed Workers special system) and application must be made to the “Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social” (Social Security General Treasury), in reality you have a maximum of 30 days to do so from the day you commence trading.

Once you have registered you then become liable to pay your Social Security contribution every month which entitles you to the national health benefits which include maternity as well as illness and a pension based on the amount of contributions made. As a self employed person, you will not be entitled to unemployment benefits; basically you are your own employer.

The amount of monthly contribution is determined by the base you choose, for example you may wish to pay for temporary incapacity cover or to pay to obtain a higher pension at retirement.

Remember also that you are required to provide evidence to the effect that you meet the requirements needed to operate a business and/or perform a particular profession in Spain.


You also need to register with your corresponding Hacienda (Spanish Tax Office) in order to start on your accounting and tax obligations. Yes, itÂ’s more formalities and paper work on a quarterly basis to disclose your turnover (and possibly other required figures like I.R.P.F.) as well as making the I.V.A. declarations and payments which depend on the tax system under which you register.

In addition to the I.V.A. quarterly payments (the difference between the amount of IVA paid to suppliers and I.V.A. received from clients), there is also an annual business tax to be paid yearly to the local town hall plus a yearly tax payment, if any, with your yearly “declaración de renta” (personal income tax declaration).

It may all sounds quite clear cut, in reality such formalities are more involved, whilst there are other declarations to be made yearly, the law also is amended from time to time. It is strongly recommended that you employ the services of a gestoría, a private Spanish agency specializing in dealing with legal and administrative work. For a fee they carry out the “trámites” involved to get passports, work permits, car documentation etc. and liaise with the Inland Revenue (Agencia Tributaria), thereby saving their clients much inconvenience, queuing and even fines.

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