If you are living in spain and wish to start your own business here, you need to register as self employed (autonomo) for income tax and social security reasons. many small businesses also prefer that their staff are autonomo too, as this effectively means that they are working without a contract and are therefore liable for paying all taxes and contributions themselves, and are working without the protected rights that a contracted employee would have.
You may already be registered for tax (for instance if have already purchased and sold a property here)or if you have had any other employment in Spain. Contact an assesor or gestor and give them your NIE number and they will check to see if you are on the tax office's ( Hacienda ) database. If you are, they can then proceed to register you as Autonomo online without the need for any further documentation.
If you are not already on the hacienda’s database then you need to take copies of the following documents to your assesor or gestor ....
- Certificado de Empadronamiento (available at your local Ayuntamiento - town hall)
Social security registration
It is necessary to then present your autonomo registration at your local social security office (however, your assesor may do this included in the whole process for you - but make sure!)
- Copy of your NIE.
- Copy of your passport picture page.
Usually you will be required to have these copies certified (compulsada). Your local Ayuntamiento will often do this for free, if not a Notary will be able to do this for you at a modest charge.
Social security contributions
The current rate is approximately 240 euros per month and after registration this will be debited automatically from your bank account at the end of each month.
There is optional state cover for work-related accidents and illness; the extra monthly contribution for this is roughly 25 euros.
What happens after registration?
Once you are registered, you or your Asesor must submit quarterly income tax returns and payments on account. This is usually done the 3rd week of jan, april, july & october, but your facturas need to be presented to him sooner to enable him to prepare and submit the tax return.
Your quarterly tax bill will then be calculated based on the iva that you have charged minus the iva that you can reclaim. Your assesor will then give you a slip which you need to pay by bank transfer at your local bank (usually before the 21st of the month) - Fines are levied for late payment!If you are supplying goods or services which are subject to vat (called iva in spain), it is also necessary to file quarterly returns.
Social security benefits
As of the 6th novermber 2010, changes to the social security system for autonomo workers allows the option of paying a voluntary 1.7% extra contributions (approx 15 euros per month) in order to have provision for a maximum 12 months unemployment benefit payments. The duration of time that payments will be made for will depend on the amount of time that contirbutions have previously been made, and a minimum qualifying period of 12 months contributions is in place.
Please click here if you wish to read about these changes to procedure.