Spain Freelance Visa: The Ultimate Guide

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Quick facts about Spain

If you want to live in a European country where you can enjoy nice weather and great cuisine, why not consider Spain? 

Thanks to the self-employment/freelance visa, you can be an “autónomo” and start enjoying your new life in Spain. But how? In this article, we’re going to give you an outline of how to make an application and move to Spain.

Let’s begin.

What Is Spain Freelance Visa

A freelancing visa is a one-year residence authorization that allows you to work as a self-employed individual delivering services as an independent professional in Spain.


  • You’re a citizen of a country that is not a member of the EU
  • You’re over the age of 18
  • You don’t have a criminal record*
  • You have an appropriate business strategy and qualifications for conducting the business 
  • You’ve never held an irregular immigration status in Spain

*Your criminal record is retrieved from your former country of residence, where you resided for the preceding five years.

Required Documents

You'll need the following documents to apply for a self-employed work visa in Spain:

  • Your passport and its copy*
  • EX-07 application form filled out and signed
  • Professional and academic certificates to demonstrate that you have the necessary qualifications to perform your business
  • Proof of funds and income
  • A doctor's certificate stating that you have no major medical conditions that pose a public health risk (issued within the last three months)
  • Proof of health insurance that covers all medical expenses in Spain
  • A business plan that has been pre-authorized by one of the entities that the Spain government approves

*Make sure your passport isn’t older than 10 years and that it has at least one blank page for the new visa.

It’s said that you should prove that your monthly income is 2 times IPREM (Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator, Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples in Spanish). IPREM for 2021 is around €565, so you need to prove that your monthly income is a minimum of €1,130. If your monthly income is less than this, you can show your savings to make up for it. Still, we suggest you speak to the authorities before completing your application so you won’t face any problems.

The Procedure for Obtaining a Self-Employed Visa in Spain

A step-by-step guide to obtaining a self-employed visa in Spain is provided here.

Step #1

Make an appointment with any embassy in your home country that is nearest to you. Inquire about all of the application's required paperwork. Get details on documents that require photocopies, translations, or apostilles, as well as the visa price.

Step #2

Gather all of the necessary documentation. Remember that all documents will need to be translated into Spanish and notarized.

Step #3

Go to the embassy on the appointment day. Submit all essential paperwork, including the visa application form. Before the conclusion of the ten days, the visa application fee must be paid.

Step #4

Wait for the embassy's response. You will be notified if your form application is accepted. In some cases, you might be required to submit additional documentation. To avoid visa delays, make sure to provide them as soon as possible.

Step #5

If your application is approved, you will be contacted by the embassy to pick up your passport and visa for Spain at the embassy or consulate. You're all set to work in Spain now.

The whole process might take around from three to six months.

Upon Arriving in Spain as a Freelancer

Get a National Insurance Number in Spain (NIE)

Each foreigner in Spain is assigned an NIE, which is used to track legal actions and finances such as taxes, employment, and social security numbers. It is given to every foreigner in Spain, regardless of where they came from.

The NIE application can be completed either at an embassy in your own country or before arrival in Spain.

Taxation Registration

Complete the Modelo 036 and 037 forms and register as a resident taxpayer with the tax authorities. With these forms, you provide information about your identification, home, business plan, and business location.

Contributions to Social Security

After registering for taxes, the next step is to register for social security. It must be completed within 30 days. These fees enable you to take advantage of Spanish health care and pension benefits.

Open a Bank Account

Registration with social security necessitates the use of a bank account. Contributions are automatically taken from your bank account.

You'll need proof of identification and address, as well as your NIE number and documents proving your job status, to create a bank account.


If your business is located on public property, you'll need a license called "licencia de apertura". You can get it from the local town hall.

You will be subjected to a verification examination by the local town officials. To operate your business, you will need to pay fees and provide proof of documents as requested by the town hall.

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Self-Employed Structure in Spain

A self-employed person in Spain has a variety of legal forms from which to select. A self-employed individual can register as either self-employed entrepreneur or freelance professional:

Self-Employed Entrepreneur

This is the category you can register if you’re managing the day-to-day operations without the help of anyone else or running a small-scale business with few employees.

Freelance Professional 

You can register as a freelance professional if you’re working for other people/companies from time to time but you don’t have an employment contract with any of them. Your responsibilities will be the same as a self-employed entrepreneur.

Your Liability as a Freelancer in Spain


You are responsible for the administration of your work as an autónomo, which includes managing invoicing and tax returns. You must retain your accounting records in accordance with the minimum requirements set forth by Spanish law. In most circumstances, you are in charge of filing tax and VAT returns quarterly. In addition, you must maintain track of your social security contributions monthly.


You must also submit accurate invoices as a self-employed worker in Spain. Accounting records of income sources and papers for business expenses must be kept. Many business expenses, however, are deductible under Spanish tax legislation.


“Personal income tax” and “Value added tax” are both required in Spain. Personal income tax rates range from 19 percent to 47 percent, depending on the region you live in.

As an autónomo, you’ll file income tax paperwork and pay a 20 percent quarterly advance tax (in January, April, July, and October). In addition, between April and June, you will need to file your annual tax return.

Social Security

As a freelancer in Spain, you’ll need to contribute to the social security system. Access to public healthcare, maternity and paternity leave, and state pensions are among the benefits of the social security system in the country.

However, note that most self-employed individuals pay higher tax rates than employed individuals, due to the fixed tax rates.


If they register and pay into Spain's social security fund, self-employed employees can get a pension. You may be qualified for the minimum state pension after 15 years of contributions to the system, provided that at least two of those years occurred within the 15 years prior to your planned retirement.

You will have to rely on private pensions if you do not meet the requirements for a state pension as a self-employed worker. They're optional, and the terms vary. However, because you must still pay into the state social security system, you – the autónomo – are responsible for setting them up. This will add to your costs.

Banking for Freelancers in Spain

As a freelancer, you might need to open a bank account in Spain so your social security and insurance payments can be directly charged from that account. Most banks offer English-speaking services.


There you have it. We’ve tried to give you a basic understanding of the Spain Freelance Visa. 

Spain is a lovely country and you can start your new life there by applying for a freelance visa. Your application will be successful if you have all of the documents.

Have you ever been to Spain? Have you ever considered living there? Let us know…

Looking for other options? Check out our Digital Nomad Visas guide for more information.

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