What Do You Need to Do to Be Self-Employed in Spain?

Market stall vendor

Being self-employed in Spain is a little complicated. You can’t just set up shop at home and start working. You must register with certain Spanish governmental entities and obtain particular requirements before you do.

The first thing you must do, if you are from an EU country  is to get your Número de Identidad de Extranjeros (NIE), (if you’re not from an EU country, you’ll have to apply for a work permit too). To get the NIE number, you’ll need to make an appointment at your local police station – the whole process takes about an hour, then you’ll have to wait to receive your NIE certification .  (Note too, if you are outside Spain, you can apply for your NIE at a Spanish embassy in your country before you leave – preferable, as you’ll have it once you arrive in Spain).

Then, if you are a self-employed, you will have to register with your local tax office. Called the Delegación de Hacienda, once you’re there you’ll need to register for a certain category of employment and for the IVA – Spain’s VAT.

You must also pay social security if self-employed in Spain, so you’ll need to register with your local social security office. Their website here, will show you how. Once registered, even if you’re not making any money, you’ll still have to pay 250 euros a month. This covers your social security payments every month, so you actually get some when you retire.

Now you are registered with the main governmental entities, don’t forget you also have to file a quarterly tax return each year, and your final tax return before the deadline every April.

Being self-employed in Spain is not easy or cheap but, in the current economic climate, if you can figure out a way to make a decent salary, it can be a godsend.