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How to become self-employed in Spain if you are a foreigner?

Being self-employed in Spain means carrying out an economic and lucrative activity independently. But have you ever wondered what happens if you are a foreigner? To join this employment modality you will have to fulfill a series of requirements and below we tell you everything you need to know about it.

Foreigners and registration as self-employed in Spain

Being self-employed in Spain involves registering with two essential institutions: the Social Security and the Tax Agency. Not to mention that you must have a residence permit and a work permit to be able to carry out your activities.

Steps to become a freelancer in Spain if you are a foreigner

Step 1: Obtain a NIE

The NIE is the Foreigner’s Identification Number that must appear in the documents and procedures that you want to carry out either for economic, professional or social interests. To obtain it, you must comply with the following requirements:

  • No criminal record

  • You are not in an irregular situation in Spain

  • Have sufficient academic training and professional experience to work as a freelancer.

  • Present a business plan that can benefit the Spanish economy.

  • Fill in the EX -07 model

Step 2: Registration with Social Security

The next step is to go to the Social Security Offices in Spain to register and start making contributions. To do so, you must comply with the following regulations:

  • Fill in the TA0521 form in order to register with the Reta (Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers).

  • To have a bank certificate for direct debit of the self-employed person’s contribution.

  • Present your NIE

  • Selecting a mutual insurance company in case of an accident

Step 3: Registration with the Tax Agency

After registering with the Social Security, you will have a maximum of 60 days to register with the Tax Agency and notify the start of your professional activity as self-employed.

To carry out this process, you will have to download and fill out form 037.

Step 4: IAE registration

Now, once you have completed the above steps, you must register with the IAE (Tax on Economic Activities) and select the type of economic activity that corresponds to you.


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Situations for becoming self-employed in Spain

Selecting Spain as your new destination to live and become self-employed is possible and one of the most attractive options today. However, the process will be different depending on the situation you are in. Below, we will detail the possible cases:

If you have a temporary residence permit

In the event that you have a permit to reside in Spain on a temporary basis, you may only register as a self-employed person if it indicates that you are authorized to work or to work as a self-employed person. It will not be valid if it authorizes you to work only as an employee.

Therefore, if your document does not specify the information in this way, you will have to go to the Oficina de Extranjería and request an amendment.

If you have a long-term residence permit

In this case, you must also specify that you are authorized both to reside and to be self-employed in Spain.

If you have a self-employment permit

Another case that may arise if you are a foreigner is to have a residence and work permit that specifies that you can only work as an employee.

To apply for a self-employment authorization, you will have to go to the consulate and foreigners’ offices and present the EX07 form.


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Self-employment permit authorization in Spain

Are you a foreigner interested in working as a freelancer in Spain? Then get ready to meet a series of personal and professional requirements:

Personal requirements

  • You are not in an irregular situation within the Spanish territory.

  • No criminal record in Spain, nor in any other country where you have resided for the last 5 years.

  • Not to be listed as rejectable in countries with an agreement with Spain.

  • The period of commitment not to return to Spain has elapsed.

  • Have paid the fee for processing the temporary residence permit.

Professional requirements

  • Complying with the requirements for Spanish self-employed persons

  • Have sufficient professional qualification or accredited experience.

  • Proof that the investment foreseen for the project is sufficient.

  • Have sufficient resources for your maintenance and stay in the country.

  • Have paid the fee for self-employment authorization.

Documentation to be submitted

Finally, you must pay attention to 4 essential documents to finalize your procedure and be able to become a self-employed in Spain. These are:

  • Copy of valid passport or travel documents

  • Certificate of criminal record

  • Sanitary certificate

  • Project of the establishment or activity and the required authorizations or licenses.


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Starting from scratch in a new country is the challenge for many foreigners, that is why in TAS Consultancy we offer you the right advice so you can carry out your tax and legal procedures in the most efficient way. So, if you have decided to settle in Spain and work as a freelancer, now you have the complete guide to start your process!

Do you still have doubts about it? Enter our website and contact our team, they will answer you in less than 24 hours!


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