How To Register for Autonomo

How To Register for Autonomo

How To Register for Autonomo - What is Autonomo?

Autonomo status is the Spanish equivalent of self-employed or freelance and in addition covers people operating (unincorporated) small businesses. Anyone engaged in any of these activities is obliged to legalise them with respect to registration, paying the taxes and charging IVA (VAT).

Autonomo will set you back costs of just under €300 monthly in social security payments, this figure is dependant upon age. This figure stays the same, it does not matter how much or how little you earn each month, (there’s a discount during the first two years), as well as 9-21% of your net profits in income tax. And don’t forget about VAT.


How To Register for Autonomo

News Updates 15th January 2022 Spain proposes new Social Security contributions for self-employed: From €184 to €1,267 depending on income

The plan, which is still subject to talks, will mean that freelancers pay according to what they earn rather than a flat monthly rate

Spain’s Social Security Ministry is continuing with its plans to reform how the self-employed make contributions to the Social Security system. Under its proposal, presented Thursday to business associations and unions, freelancers would pay monthly contributions based on their real income, rather than a fixed monthly amount regardless of how much they make.

Right now, with a few exceptions, it is possible to choose one’s contribution base, which in turn determines the monthly fee to pay, regardless of actual income. There is a minimum payment to make even for the lowest earners. Currently, an estimated 85% of Spain’s self-employed have opted for the lowest available contribution base, which is €944. This amounts to a monthly payment of around €250 or more for most freelancers.

The proposed reforms would dramatically change this system. According to sources close to the negotiations, the ministry has proposed creating 13 contribution brackets based on the self-employed worker’s income, ranging from €600 and to €4,050 a month. The self-employed in the lowest bracket would pay a minimum monthly fee of €184, while those who exceed the top bracket, would pay €1,267 a month.

The Spanish government – which is led by a coalition of the Socialist Party (PSOE) and junior partner Unidas Podemos – also wants to make the system more flexible, according to the same sources. Under the proposal, the self-employed would be able to change their income bracket up to six times in a year, on the understanding that freelance work fluctuates from month to month. In this way, a freelancer would be able to adapt their monthly Social Security contributions when they earn the most and when they earn the least.

According to the sources, the proposal estimates that two in three freelancers in Spain will pay lower Social Security contributions under the new system. The self-employed who earn between €600 and €900 a month, for example, will see savings of €600 a year. As for the €70 reduced monthly rate, the government plans to keep it in place, but wants to offer it primarily to freelancers who earn less than the minimum wage.

Information updated January 2021

If you do not have residency in Spain, from January 2021 you now need to apply for a SELF-EMPLOYMENT WORK VISA.

It does not apply to EU citizens or to nationals of countries to whom EU law applies, for being beneficiaries of the rights of free movement and residence.

NEED FOR RESIDENCY PERMIT IN THE UK It is an essential requirement to be in possession of a valid UK residence permit, and apply for a visa before moving to Spain. You must not be irregularly in the Spanish territory or within the period of no return to Spain that the foreigner has assumed when voluntarily returned to their country of origin.

JURISDICTION OF THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF SPAIN IN LONDON You can check if your place of residence is under the jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Spain in London through this website:

APPOINTMENT REQUESTS Applicants must request their appointment through the following procedure: Sending an email to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the SUBJECT they must specify the type of residence visa they wish to apply for. The TEXT of the message should state: -

PERSONAL DETAILS of the applicant (full name, nationality, passport number and telephone number) -

TYPE OF RESIDENCE VISA you wish to apply for. -

REASONS for the request. -

DESIRED DATE for the appointment at the Consulate General (only on TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS of each week, between 09:30 and 12:00).

The final date and time of the appointment will be confirmed through email. Applicants who wish to cancel their appointment are kindly requested to notify the Consulate as soon as possible. No applicant will be accepted without prior appointment, each appointment being only for one person, therefore, family members accompanying the applicant who wish to apply for a visa need to book an additional appointment. This Consulate General will not accept appointments that have not been requested in accordance with the aforementioned procedure. Both, the request for authorisation for self-employment work and the subsequent visa, must be applied personally, the application will only be accepted through a representative with a notarised authorisation, where there is justified reason or, in the case of minors, through their parents or legal guardians.

In the case of a positive answer, the applicant must collect personally their visa within one month from the date of notification. Failure to do so, it will be understood that they have renounced the visa granted, and the procedure will be closed.

The consular office, on the basis of a substantiated reason and in addition to the required documentation, reserves the right to request additional documentation or the personal appearance of the applicant without this implying the approval of the visa.

All official documents (birth certificate/death, marriage certificate/divorce, criminal record) must be legalised through the consular representations of the issuing country or, in the case of signatory countries to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, hold the Hague Apostille, except official documents issued by a Member State of the European Union, which will not require to be legalised. If your application is refused, you will not be refunded the fee you paid at the time of your application.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE The visa can be applied for up to 90 days before the desired date of entry into Spain.

REQUIREMENTS When applying for a visa, you must submit a photocopy of all the original documents that you want to be returned to you at the end of the procedure. This consulate does not make photocopies.

I. APPLICATION FOR AUTHORISATION FOR RESIDENCE AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT: 1. Fill in the EX-07 form of ‘Autorización de residencia temporal y trabajo por cuenta propia’.

2. Fill in the ‘Autorización inicial de residencia temporal’ fee self-assessment form 790-052, to be paid at the Consulate on the day your application is accepted.

3. Fill in the ‘Autorización inicial de trabajo por cuenta propia’ fee self-assessment form 790-062, to be paid at the Consulate on the day your application is accepted.

4. Valid passport or travel document, recognised as valid in Spain. It must have a minimum validity of the duration of the stay and at least two blank pages. Photocopy of all passport pages.

5. Work Permits or Licenses that sanction the building, opening and operation of the planned project or the professional activity, including the information regarding the stage of the process and, if corresponding, certificates of applications filed with competent authorities.

6. Business Plan of Activities that will be carried out, with the anticipated investments shown, your projected profits and the possible amount of jobs created and proof of sufficient economic funds, or contracts of investments or loans from financial institutions. There must be evidence of sufficient funds to establish and maintain employment indefinitely.

7. Proof of having the legally required professional qualification or sufficient experience of carrying on professional activity, as well as professional registration when required.

8. Proof of having sufficient economic funds for covering maintenance and accommodation costs. If the origin of these funds is the self-employed professional activity, it will be evaluated after discounting the necessary costs to cover the maintenance of professional activity.

II. VISA APPLICATION: In case the authorization for residence and self-employed work is granted, the applicant must personally apply for visa within ONE MONTH from receiving the notice of the authorization grant, providing the following documents: 1. National visa form complete, dated and signed. It can be downloaded free of charge on the website:

2. Recent passport photograph with white background. Information on the requirements to be met by photographs can be found in the ICAO document. This Consulate does not accept digital retouching on identity photographs.

3. Valid passport or travel document, recognised as valid in Spain. It must have a minimum validity of the duration of the stay and at least two blank pages. Photocopy of all passport pages.

4. Valid UK residence permit and photocopy. Visa applications submitted by non-residents who are in the UK on a C-Visit stay visa will not be accepted.

5. Certificate of criminal record (only in the case of persons over 18 years of age, criminal age in Spain) issued by the country or countries where the applicant has resided within the five years preceding the date of the visa application. It cannot be older than 3 months, unless the certificate itself specifies a longer expiration.

These certificates must be legalised through the consular representations of the issuing country or, in the case of signatory countries to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, hold the Hague Apostille, except official documents issued by a Member State of the European Union, which will not require to be legalised. Sworn translation into Spanish is also required.

6. Medical certificate, issued no later than 3 months prior to the date of application, it must be formulated in the following terms or similarly:

If the medical certificate is issued in the United Kingdom: “This health certificate states that Mr./Mrs. (…) does not suffer from any of the diseases that may have serious public health repercussions in accordance with what is stipulated by the International Health Regulations of 2005” Certificates issued in the United Kingdom must be accompanied by a sworn translation into Spanish.

If the medical certificate is issued in Spain: “Este certificado médico acredita que el Sr./Sra. (…) no padece ninguna de las enfermedades que pueden tener repercusiones para la salud pública graves, de conformidad con lo dispuesto en el reglamento sanitario internacional de 2005” The Consulate does not provide information about medical centres that issue this certificate.

The applicant may contact any public or private medical centre duly accredited in the territory of the United Kingdom or Spain. Medical certificates issued in countries other than the United Kingdom or Spain will not be accepted.

7. Pay the relevant visa fee at the Consulate on the day your application is accepted. (ENTREPRENEUR VISA - £966)

NOTICE: This information is intended to serve as a guide for visa applicants. While we try to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, Benidorm Seriourly does not assume any legal or other liability for its accuracy and refers to existing Schengen and national regulations.

How to register for Autonomo

How To Register for Autonomo

When do you have to register as autonomo?

If you are earning money in Spain and are not employed or conducting the business through a company.  If the business is incorporated and is a "one person" company, then the sole director (administrador) will be classified autonomo in any case.  If you are working for a Spanish company owned by someone else, then you should either have an employment contract with it or be invoicing the company for your services, which will require autonomo registration.

Unfortunately the rules are quite strict and for any earnings, autonomo registration is required.

Naturally enough this strict interpretation leads many people to accept cash in hand payments rather than register.  The question then arrises - is it possible to declare the income for tax?  The answer is no - unless you comply with the autonomo registration obligation to begin with, it is not possible to declare the income in your annual tax return.  Nor is it possible to provide an invoice to the customer for your service and then for them to deduct the expense against their taxes.  This is because there is no IVA threshold in Spain - all businesses and self-employed must charge IVA (though some activities and goods are exempt - and only registered businesses, autonomo or companies, can issue proper IVA invoices.  In summary, there is no grey area, earnings are either fully legal or fully "black" - not invoiced and subject to IVA, unregistered and undeclared.

How To Register for Autonomo

What's involved?

FEEL this is all a bit too complex to handle on your own get a professional to help you with the process.

Registering autonomo is essentially a two step process: registering as self-employed with the tax office (Agencia Tributaria) and joining the autonomo social security system (Regimen Especial de Trabajadores Autonomos RETA).  Both are reasonably straightforward and the only real requirements are -

There are no requirements to show any business plans, capital or prove professional qualifications.  Joining the autonomo social security system RETA does require that you are already in the social security system and this involves another fairly simple registration process.  Similarly the Agencia Tributaria would expect you to be registered as a resident taxpayer which involves completing a another form (Modelo 30).

That is the bare minimum requirement for registering as self-employed but there may be other steps to go through, depending on the type of business.  For example anyone opening premises to the public will require an opening licence called a "licensia de apertura".  This is obtained from the local town hall and will be granted according to local by laws, after passing an inspection by a municipal expert ("tecnico"), payment of fees, presentation of other documentation and certificates and undertaking any other remedial work demanded by the town hall (e.g. sound proofing, emergency exits, hygiene facilities).  In practice hiring a private tecnico to assist with this process is normally required.  It is important to note that the licensia does not belong to the building but to the person who took it out; therefore if you buy a business you will need to reapply for a licensia even if nothing has changed and you are operating from the same premises.

And then there are the ongoing obligations applicable to all autonomos,

How To Register for Autonomo

tax and VAT (IVA) returns on a quarterly basis

keep up social security payments (monthly)

issue properly drawn-up invoices, including IVA and - where appropriate - income tax retentions. 

keep accounting records according to the legal standard including income accounts, expense accounts, supporting invoices for expenses and accounts of capital items, being goods used in the business with a life more than 1 year and which can be depreciated (expensed) over a period of time.  These accounting records will be absolutely essential if you are selected for inspection by the tax.

How To Register for Autonomo

Choosing the right classification

There are two types of autonomo - commercial and trading businesses (autonomo empresarial) and professionals or freelancers (autonomo profesional).  Within these broad classifications there are individual sub-classifications depending on the type of business or professional activity being undertaken.  The Agencia Tributaria and Social Security offices both have their own classification systems. Many prospective self-employed people could choose which classification they are to be and they can have some important effects on the timing and structure of tax payments.

Deregistering / winding up

One of the positive things about the autonomo classification is that it is relatively simple to de-register.  Use the same forms for registering (dar la alta in Spanish) to de-register (dar la baja), being the modelo 36 or 37 in the case of the Agencia Tributaria and the TA 521 for social security.  As with registration, do the Agencia before the social security office who will want to see the de-registration for tax purposes before they will take you out of RETA.  Failing to leave RETA properly by filling in the forms will expose you to continuing social security liabilities (just cancelling the standing order is not enough). Also remember that you will still have to do an annual income tax declaration (la Renta) in the year following your last year as an autonomo.

NOTE: once you de-register from RETA your health system card should still be valid for 3 further months.

How To Register for Autonomo

A BASIC STEP BY STEP GUIDE - if unsure employ a Spanish Accountant/Gestor

1) Getting the appointment: Cita Previa. Here, the system will guide you through the following steps:

(You should click on the link to understand these steps better)

  • First they’ll ask you for identification – Identificación
    • NIE number – IE: X-1234567-D
    • Family Name – Primer Apellido (Spaniards have two)
  • Then they’ll ask you to select a procedure – Selección Procedimiento. You’ll have to choose the option of Economic Activity Tax or Impuesto de Actividades Económicas (IAE), first by clicking on: Gestión Censal y acreditación certificado digital; and then: 036/037. IAE. NIF. Etiquetas y cambio de domicilio
  • Now you have to choose your area – Selección Zona. You only need to enter your Post Code number (5 digit code. For example, Benidorms code is 53053.
  • Finally, confirm your appointment! To set up your appointment with Hacienda, you’ll have to follow three more easy steps:
    • Select a date – Selección Fecha
    • Select a time – Selección Horario
    • Click on: Confirmation – Confirmación

2) Signing up in Hacienda for Impuesto de Actividades Economicas (IAE)

Signing up for IAE used to be a tedious task. Today, but it’s surprisingly fast. You just need to show up with your ID and tell the civil servant that you want to become an autónomo. During this step, you are letting Haciendaknow that you would like to register as a freelancer by filling out Modelo 036 / 037.

The funcionario or civil servant will ask you two questions: when you would like to start your activity and what service you are going to offer. Then, he or she will provide you with an “Activity Code” (each profession has a category or code). If your Spanish is good enough, we suggest asking for specific information regarding your activity—IVA, specific retention, etc.

Here are the documents you must bring:

  1. NIE Document
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Bank Account Number

B) Obtaining your Electronic Certificate (Certificado Electrónico)

This will allow you to interact with Hacienda (pay taxes).

How To Register for Autonomo

What you need to do:

  • Install the FRMT certificates.
  • Then apply for your User Certificate. They will send a Code to your email.
  • Prove your identity. Once you receive your code in your email, present your ID card at a Seguridad Social office.
  • Finally, you will be able to download your User Certificate.

C) Becoming Autónomo in Seguridad Social’s eyes.

Last step — registering at Seguridad Social — isn’t as easy as it is with Hacienda. But not to worry; when it comes to getting paid, Spain is highly efficient.

By becoming autónomo in the Seguridad Social and starting to cotizar (‘to pay for social security’ in English), you will be covered by Social Security and you have access to the public health system.

What you need to do:

  • Find your closest offices here.
  • Fill out Modelo TA0521. There are workers at the info desk that will give you the form. Just let them know that you’d like to become an autónomo. They will also give you a piece of paper with a number.
  • Once you see this number on the screen, you only have to give them the following information:
    • Your Social Security Number
    • Your ID card
    • A copy of Modelo 036 / 037 (from Hacienda)
    • FNMT-RCM code to prove your identity (the code that you received in the previous step)

For other information on Paperwork required to live in Spain, check out this section of the website

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