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Self-employed in Spain

way self employed in Spain

When you start a new business and are self-employed, you need an expert team to provide you with the assistance to become a Sole Trader (autónomo).

If you are starting a Limited Company the tax structure will be different and we can help you decide which is the best for you, The most common form of starting a new business is to be self-employed, and there are many reasons this maybe more cost effective, for example, lower costs of training and a simple book-keeping system. It is important to understand that when you are self-employed any business debts are paid solely by you.

The choice of being self-employed or a Limited Company should be deliberated over very carefully.

Tax issues and all accountancy paperwork can be very time-consuming and an expert adviser can help you run your business more effectively by reducing the burding of your task, whether you are Self-Employed or a Limited Company.

You will need to register with The Spanish Tax Office, Social Security, the Town Hall and some other Government departments when opening a new business in Spain.

A new business needs specialist advice to help you to deal whith problems that may arise, leaving you to concentrate on the successful running of your business.

Old people meeting

A Tax Adviser can answer your questions such as:

  • How to file VAT and Taxes?
  • Can I claim all my expenses?
  • When is the first tax bill to be paid?

LEGAL AND TAX HELP” can provide the services necessary:

  • Tax and Financial Planning.
  • Payroll and Employee problems.
  •  VAT registration.
  • Book-keeping.
  • Received and issued invoices (Bought Ledger and Sales Ledger).
  • Preparation of monthly, quarterly or annual profit and loss sheets.
  • Tax declarations.
  • Administrative tasks.

Change on the contribution base for self employed

In case you have already decided to register as an autonomous worker, you must know that you are responsible for your contribution before the Social Security.

The contribution base derives from the “theoretical” salary you choose as an autonomous worker (which fluctuates between a minimum and a maximum each year). If you modify that amount you can apply for a change in the contribution base adjusting the same to the regime indicated for such operation.

Most autonomous workers choose the minimum contribution base during their first years of activity; however, the same can be changed (in the event of a potential retirement for example) up to four times a year. It is worth mentioning that the payment of a higher contribution implies “a higher income in the event of illness or disability.”

Review the age limitations for each case: autonomous workers who are 47 or younger  can choose freely their contribution base (within the minimum and maximum). In case of those who are 48 or older, they shall have a contribution base ranging between 963.30 and 1,964.70 Euro/month.

On the other hand, autonomous workers who paid “in any regime of the Social Security System” before turning 50, shall comply with some specific rules that will make them choose a contribution that can reach the 1,964.70 Euro/month.

To process this modification, you can visit the Administrative Offices of the Social Security Treasury or through the web-room, making sure that:

You access the service only if you have a digital certificate included in the list of “admitted certificates.”

Make sure that your identification date matches the data on the Social Security database.

Appear as a “registered” individual at the time to use the service.

It is important to clarify that, even if the change is requested, if afterwards the interested party doesn’t wish to move forward with the change, the individual can cancel the request within the same period, with the cancellation being effective as of December 31 of the year when the request was presented.

Associated Work Cooperatives for autonomous workers

Getting started with your own company is always a very interesting option, just for the opportunity to have a job. However, as it happens with any investment it generates fear and uncertainty.

Now, this initiative can reach a middle point that sets a pause while you comply with the long list of paperwork and requirements, including the time required to obtain the same and other procedures to qualify as autonomous worker.

The point is to rely on the services of associated work cooperatives, an option to expedite the invoicing due to specific works performed occasionally. In general, the same are quite useful for freelancers who are barely getting started and have a very low income, few clients and are not registered in the Social Security in a regular manner.

A first step to apply for this type of invoicing is to be a member (partner) of the cooperative. Let’s look at the pros and cons of becoming a member of this system:


The worker is registered only during the days when he/she is performing the work activity.

A great advantage is that being a worker registered “as self-employed (cooperative)” the cooperative is responsible to present the declarations corresponding to the VAT, the calculation of the IRPF (Income Tax Return for Individuals for its acronym in Spanish) and the Corporate Tax.

Freelancers can invoice several specific jobs that are not substantially paid.

Said cooperatives usually offer free consultancy services in work-related, legal, fiscal and accounting matters for its partners.


The assistance, bonifications and discounts enjoyed by autonomous workers cannot be enjoyed by those who issue invoices as workers of a cooperative.

When the partners/members of cooperatives issue invoices they cannot discount neither the “proportional portion corresponding to their housing” (when they work from home), nor the services and other supplies necessary to develop their profession.

At the end of each job, the cooperative deposits the total of your work after discounting costs and taxes. Therefore, the members must pay a monthly quota (that can range from 80 to 100 Euro), management expenses, the costs of Social Security (based on the days of work), and IRPF (2% established for an annual income of 11,700 Euro), among others.

If you still have doubts in terms of becoming an autonomous worker or invoicing through cooperatives, the decision will certainly depend on the number of invoices issued, and the frequency to issue the same.

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