So, you’ve decided to start your own small business or work as a freelancer. As soon as you send your first invoice, you will have to start paying an autonomo fee in Spain. Autónomo is the official Spanish term for self-employed workers in Spain. To clarify, an autónomo can have people working for him or her; it is not necessarily a one-man business.
Starting as an autónomo is not the cheapest option in Spain, considering that if you went bankrupt or were issued with a claim through a lawsuit, you would be personally responsible for the financial consequences. In the worst case scenario, when in debt, they could take away your house and personal belongings or savings. If you want to prevent running this financial risk for you and your family, you should consider starting a small business (an SME, or PYME in Spanish).
The Spanish monthly fee is the highest in the European Union and this has been a source of many complaints over the years. Discover the different fees below and which might apply to you by continuing below:
Different Autonomo Fees in Spain
- Now there is a so-called “flat fee” for new autónomos for the first two years, which makes it much more accessible for new autónomos to get started and grow their business.The fee will now be €50 a month for the first year.
- For the next six months, the fee goes up to €137.97; and the last six months of the second year, the fee will increase again to €192.
- Self-employed workers in Spain who have been registered for a period of more than two years pay a minimum monthly fee of €286.10 euro.
- These fees are the same as in 2020 and are not subject to review/change until 1 June 2021. The general autónomo fee in Spain will then be set at €289.
- When you register as an autónomo, you can choose to pay the minimum fee or pay more than what you owe to slightly increase your government pension in the long term. Most people opt for the minimum fee and start a private pension scheme under their own conditions.
- The current minimum fee is (except for the first two years) €286.
- The maximum fee is €4,070.
For more information, consult the Seguridad Social website.
Gestors and Paid Leave for Autonomos in Spain
The Spanish Tax Authorities are improving conditions for autónomos bit by bit. It’s a good idea to hire a gestor (a private professional that specialises in Spanish administrative bureaucracy) to help you with your tax return. If you pay your taxes too late or file a false or incorrect return, expect hefty fines. There is a new condition for recent mothers that return to work as an autónomo, to pay the flat-rate Spain autonomo fees as mentioned above, without having to wait three years to restart.
Not every autónomo generates the same amount of work for a gestor. Therefore, the fee can vary, but on average they will charge you between €50 – €150 a month for their services.
Parents who take maternity or paternity leave will no longer need to continue to pay their social security fee every month during that period. The only condition is that you have been paying your autónomo fee in Spain for more than 12 months.
Starting your own business can be a particularly good idea but make sure you’re up to speed on these monthly fees before you take the leap.