Location Independent: How to Become a Freelancer in Spain
Spain is a wonderful country that 46 million people call home. In addition to those Spanish residents, some 82 million tourists pour into the country each year (which is actually causing a number of infrastructural problems).
Given Spain’s popularity, it’s no wonder why so many entrepreneurs have considered freelancing within the nation’s borders.
Are you one of those people?
If you are, brace yourself. Freelancing and collecting payments from Spanish businesses and citizens in Spain can be an unnecessarily complicated process that’s riddled with paperwork and fees.
Below, our team gives you a quick overview of how to become a freelancer in Spain and insight on how you can go through the process of getting properly documented.
Step 1: Ask Yourself if Freelancing is Right For You
Freelancing around one of the most culturally rich countries in the world may sound like a good idea, but is it really?
As a freelancer, there are no promises. You have to make your own breaks every day and if you don’t, you don’t get paid. Furthermore, as a declared freelancer in Spain, you’re unable to collect unemployment benefits during “soft periods”.
Couple all of that with the fact that Spain’s economy isn’t the greatest (meaning fewer clients) and everything can equal a pretty dismal life for a freelancer.
Still, people have made it as freelancers in the country before so if you’re willing to bust your butt, keep reading!
Step 2: Understand if You’re Eligible to Freelance in Spain
If you’re an expat from the United States that freelances remotely and wants to continue to do that in Spain, this article doesn’t really apply to you. You can easily get a tourist visa and work for your US-based clients from a beach in San Sebastian and no one will bother you.
After all, you’re bringing money into the country without taking any money out of it! The Spanish government will love you for that.
While you may run into some snags as far as visa renewals are concerned, as long as you can prove income, you should have no trouble getting things to work.
If you’re planning on actually freelancing in Spain by pulling money out of the economy (ex: having Spanish clients) things get a little dicier. In order to work in Spain, you’ll likely need to be a Spanish citizen or a member of the EU.
If you’re one of those two things and have the documentation to back it up, you should have what you need to start going through the freelancer documentation process.
Step 3: Get Your Paperwork in Order
Now the real fun of the how to become a freelancer in Spain process begins. You have to start getting your documentation in order to present it to the social security office and the Hacienda (the country’s tax entity).
You’ll need your Spanish citizenship documentation, passport or visa. You’ll also need your NIE or NIF (social security number), your bank account details and your Modelo 30 (more on that in a moment).
We also recommend bringing a native Spanish speaker with you when filling out paperwork.
Step 4: Visit Your Local Social Security Office
If you don’t have a Modelo 30 (a special tax document) you can pick it up at your local social security office. Note that there are a lot of social security offices in Spain and some provide different services.
Call ahead and explain that you’re going through the how to become a freelancer process. They will either reassure you that they can help or will point you to another social security office.
Step 5: Visit the Hacienda
With your Modelo 30 and other documentation in hand, it’s time to head over to the nation’s tax office. Getting seen at the tax office can be a grueling process filled with unnecessary paperwork and unhelpful agents.
Take a deep breath.
Even if you have to reschedule your appointment for another day due to some snag, if you’re respectful and follow directions to the best of your ability, you’ll walk out with the paperwork you need to be a registered freelancer.
Step 6: Turn in Your Paper Work to the Social Security Office
When you leave the Hacienda, you’ll come away with paperwork that your social security office needs so they can start taking freelancer taxes from your bank account.
This process should be simple and once your paperwork is turned in, you’re done!
Spain is relatively non-hospitable on the tax front when it comes to self-employment. They’ll take anywhere from 50 euros to 250 euros out of your account each month as a fee just for declaring yourself a freelancer (that’s a lot of tapas money).
This fee comes with no special benefits.
If ever you feel like the fees you’re being charged are making it impossible for you to operate, consider creditos online en el acto (taking out a small loan online or de-registering as a freelancer which is a much quicker process than registering.
Wrapping Up How to Become a Freelancer in Spain
The how to become a freelancer in Spain process is far from an easy one. Even when you accomplish it, the reality of being a freelancer in Spain is also far from easy.
If you’re set on going through the motions though, by all means, do it! If you end up being successful, you’ll be able to enjoy steady income in a beautiful place that’s teeming with delicious food!
For more information on all things self-employment and digital marketing, check out more of our content on Article City today!