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Quick guide to become a freelancer or what is known as autónomo in Spain

10/12/2018

Today in our coworking something happened that for sure happens regularly within the rest of the coworking spaces in Spain.  A workmate, new to the  freelancer life, came to us asking for advice about where he has to go to register as self employed.

He wanted to know if it’s really worth it and what to do with the invoices he issues, if it’s ok to save them or not. We answered some of his questions with the information we knew, despite us clearing his mind a little bit with our experience some parts of it remained uncertain. So for this reason we decided to make a quick guide for beginners to the freelance life to clear up any doubts you have about  it.

To be or not to be an autónomo this is the question…

The first thing you have to take into consideration is if you’re going to earn more than 9k a year this is the minimum annual Spanish wage and if you don’t earn more than this then good news you don’t earn enough money to put you into the tax paying bracket. However, You should still register yourself as self employed to be able to issue invoices for labour and services legally. You will then be required to pay tax on said invoice which will be returned to you at the end of the tax year, look at it as yearly savings!. Any decent accountant will advise you to do it in this way and let’s be honest, long term you’ll save yourself any hassle that can involve the tax man.

If you are going to be earning over 9k a year then you will be paying tax however as you are just starting out you will be offered a discounted tariff for the first two years as long as you fill the requirements. The tariffs can be found here broken down for the first 24 months

Social security

As in most countries even if you do not earn enough to pay tax you must pay your social security contribution. The quota is 29.90% of your total income; therefore, it will vary according to your earnings.

However, it’s important to point out that new autónomos get a discount for the first year and a half. For the first six months you will pay around 50 € which then rises gradually through the following year until you reach full payment of 29.90 % after the 18 month mark. 

When you go to register you will be required to submit a modelo TA0521  form along with a copy of your NIE.

Tax declaration depends on the individual and goes like this

IVA 21 %  of the total amount and you have to include it on every invoice that you issue, the IRPF  that taxes every income that you have in a Fiscal Year and you can include in your invoices when you add: Retención (retention in English) which is a little bit complicated to explain but means that you advance future taxes to Hacienda, deducing – 9% for the first three years to – 20% for the following years.

To register you will need to have these three basic requirements

NIE, Social security number and a bank account.

Where to register as self employed?

Good news you can do it yourself by going to the nearest tax office – hacienda  and the nearest Social Security office – Seguridad Social. You must make an appointment in advance here citaprevia.es  

They will give you the instructions to follow and will help you to clear up any doubts regarding becoming a autónomo.  Simply go to the offices on the day of your appointment and tell them that you want to sign on as self employed where they will provide you with the relevant paperwork that is not complicated at all.

The next option you have, as with most processes these days is the internet. You can do the full process online including registering with the tax agency and social security. The only downside is if you find you slightly lack the relevant language skills you may become a little lost without the help of a human to guide you through the correct steps.

At first glance it might seem a little bit complicated but once you get it done you’re going to be able to enjoy your working time more than ever and now that you’ve done the official paperwork all thats left to do is take the final step of giving up working from home to find your perfect coworking space.

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