If you’re thinking of becoming a freelancer, also known as autónomo, in Spain, this article is for you. It includes all the information you need to take the next step in your professional career.
When it comes to becoming a self-employed worker, Spaniards as well as foreigners have the same rights and responsibilities and are treated the same. However, expats will need a Foreigner’s Identity Number (NIE) (Número de Identidad de Extranjeros) and non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals may need a freelance visa to enter Spain, and a residence permit in order to stay and work as a freelancer in the country.
The process to become a freelancer in Spain is relatively easy, quick and straightforward. In this article, we have gathered the five steps you need to take to start living your dream and working for yourself.
1. Get an Appointment, aka Cita Previa in Hacienda, the Treasury Department in Spain
The first step to become a freelancer is getting an appointment in Hacienda. Here you’ll need to log your NIF/NIE and your complete name and then, they’ll ask you to select a procedure. You have to choose “Gestión Censal y Cl@vePin y Acreditación Certificado Digital”, and then “036/037. IAE. NIF. Etiquetas y cambio de domicilio.” After this, you’ll only have to enter your ZIP Code number and select a date to confirm your appointment.
2. Choosing between the 036 and the 037 Model
There are two different models in Spain through which you can be registered as self-employed worker: the Model 036 and the Model 037. Although they are quite similar, it is important to know the differences between them in order to make the right choice.
The model 036 includes all the varieties and activities a freelancer can do. In the other hand, the 037 is a simplified version and, therefore, it’s not suitable for every case. If your activity is going to take place in Spain, the model 037 will be the right one for you. However, if you’d like to sell online or to be part of a big firm, you’ll have to consider the model 036. You can find more information about it here.
3. Register in Hacienda the for the IAE (Impuesto de Actividades Económicas)
Now it’s time to visit Hacienda and go to your appointment. At the office, the civil servant, in Spanish funcionario, will ask you for your NIF/NIE Document, a filled-up form and two questions: when would you like to start your activity and what service are you going to provide.
It is really important that by the date you choose to start your activity, you have already registered in the Social Security (We will go more in detail in the point number 5). Then, the funcionario will give you your “Activity Code Number” – each profession as a particular category or code within the IAE – and you’ll be able to ask him for more specific information regarding your activity as a freelancer, such as which are your responsibilities (IVA and IRPF percentage, etc)
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4. Getting your Electronic Certificate or Certificado Electrónico
This certificate allows freelancers to interact with Hacienda and to keep updated in an easier and faster way. In order to get it, you’ll have to install the FRMT Certificates in your computer and apply for your user certificate. Once this is done, they’ll send you a code to your email and you’ll have to prove your identity and present your ID card at the closest Seguridad Social Office.
5. Signing up as a self-employed worker in the Seguridad Social
By registering in the Seguridad Social you will start paying your monthly quote, which gives you access to the public health system.
To do so, you’ll need to go to the closest office of Seguridad Social, ask at the info desk for the Model TA0521 and fill it up. After this, they’ll give you a queue number and once it’s your turn you’ll have to go to the counter and provide them with the following documents: your Social Security Number, your ID card, a copy of the Model 036/037 from Hacienda and the FNMT-RCM Code you received in the previous step.
As we mentioned before, it is important that the date you choose to start your activity as a freelancer in Hacienda, is after the date you are register in Seguridad Social. For example, let’s say you go to Hacienda on April 20th and, when the funcionario ask you for a date when you’ll start to provide your service, you say May 15th.
Then, you’ll have to go to a Seguridad Social Office to register as a freelancer between the 20th of April and the 15th of May, but not after! Otherwise, you’l have to pay monthly 283€ instead of 60€.
Congratulations! After following these five steps you can proudly call yourself a freelancer, or, as Spanish people say, an autónomo! If the service you provide is an online job, you can check out this article and learn everything you need to know to become a digital nomad, a new trend that keeps on growing! And don’t forget that if you’re looking for a flat in any of your destinations as a nomad, you can always check Uniplaces to find your perfect place!
If you’re looking for more information on Spain, make sure to check out our blog. Local tips, gastronomy and much more!
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A quick reminder we’d like to mention is that the information provided in this article is a guide which aims to help you to get a first idea of what this process looks like. We highly recommend you seek specialist advice on specific issues.
If you like this article but you still don’t feel too confident to become a freelancer, maybe a part-time job will be interesting for you. Check out the best tips to find a part-time job in Spain!