How to become autónomo (self employed) in Madrid.

[:en]So, you’ve decided it’s worth it to be an autónomo in Madrid. What should you do next? In the following lines we will try and summarize the process.


Before you start the process, makes sure you have:

Steps to become a freelancer in Madrid.

  1. Get an appointment with Hacienda. Hacienda, or the Agencia Tributaria, is the office that collects taxes in Spain. You have to get an appointment with them. For that go into their website, and on the left column you’ll find the option : Cita previa.
    Then select Solicitud de cita previa.
    The options to select in the menus are Gestión Censal y acreditación certificado digital > 036/037. IAE. NIF.  Impuesto de Actividades Económicas (IAE),
    The 036/037 form is the one you will have to fill in at the office to become an autónomo.
    Select your area by ZIP code and confirm your appointment.
  2. Go to Hacienda and fill in the form Modelo 036/037.  When you arrive at the office of the Agencia Tributaria, tell the civil servant you want to become an autónomo. They will know what to do and will help you through the procedure, which is essentially to fill in the model above.
    They will ask you for your Código de Actividad (Activity Code), your IAE code. Each activity has one, just tell them you are going to teach languages and they will know which one to assign for you.
    They will also ask for a start date for your activity and for your NIE, Social Security number and bank account.

    So, after you’ve finished this step, you are a freelancer for the tax office. Now you have to inform the Social Security.

  3. Now you have to inform the Social Security you are an autónomo. You can do this either in a Social Security Office or online. In both cases you have to fill in Model TA0521.
    To do it online you will need either a Certificate (we will write an article on how to obtain one), or a Cl@ve number (which we will also write about).
    To do it in an office you need to go to your nearest one (no need for an appointment), and tell the woman at the desk you want to become autónomo. She will give you a ticket with a number  (or give you instructions on you how to get one) and you have to wait until you see it on the screen.
    Once you get called, tell the clerk you want to become autónomo (alta de autónomo) and they will ask you to give in Model TA0521, they will as for your NIE and the copy of model 036/037 they gave you in Hacienda.
    They might ask you how much you want to pay (you can say the minimum) and remember you have a fixed fee of 50€ for the first two years (three in Madrid).

NB: teaching languages is not taxed with VAT (IVA). So you don’t have to declare your VAT nor add it to your invoices.

Done! You are officially an autónomo.

Now make sure you do your taxes (IRPF mainly in teaching) correctly every 3 months. I would recommend to hire a legal advisor (asesoría). They will tell you how to do your invoices, what to be careful with, how much IRPF to discount in your invoices and for how long, and will take care of every legal paperwork. I really think it is the best choice to avoid problems. You don’t want to owe money to Hacienda or the Social Security. Fines are common and sent immediately.


4 thoughts on “How to become autónomo (self employed) in Madrid.

  1. Hi,
    I have a Highly Qualified Worker residency and I have lived in Spain for 2 yrs & 10 months already. I have been 5-6 months out of Spain during this period, in total.
    I would like to modify my status to Autonomo.
    Would you please tell me if I can straight away go to a Hacienda to do to the process that is mentioned above, as I have a NIE, social security number, bank account already? Or do I need to follow some additional steps because of my current residency status?
    Thank you for your help & sharing knowledge on this subject.

  2. Hello

    What a great article. Super informative. I have one question. My academy has offered to give me a contrato merchantil so that I can apply as a freelancer. I am aware that the minimum pay amount per month is 900e. This is before tax correct?

    Thanks so much for the information.

    1. Contratos mercantiles are not really contracts. They are agreements between two companies (or a self employed and a company). There are no conditions there except the ones you agree, and no minimum.
      There is no need to have a “contrato mercantil”, although it does add an extra security. However, if they decide to break it, they are pretty sure you won’t report them to the authorities.

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