Self-employed work visa in Spain 2024

What’s on this page?

  1. General requirements and criteria
  2. Application process and required documentation
  3. Business plan presentation
  4. List of documents and proof of financial stability
  5. Decisive steps
  6. Main features of a self-employed visa Spain
  7. Strategic influence on business strategy and investments
  8. Different types of visas for people planning to be self-employed in Spain
  9. Comparative analysis: self-employed work visa, spain versus autónomo in Spain
  10. Financial and legal responsibilities
  11. Legal obligations and advice
  12. Strategic approaches to overcoming common difficulties

Spain is a country of warmth and constant sun. With all its fascinating combinations of culture and lifestyle, this country is attracting more and more international workers looking to start their own business here. As of the beginning of 2024, there are about 3.2 million self-employed people in Spain, which is almost 16% of the total population. Most of them work in the service sector, but many are employed in agriculture and construction. In this article, we have prepared for you everything about self-employment in Spain. We analyzed all the processes and subtleties of obtaining Spain self-employed visa.

IMPORTANT FACT: Self employed visa Spain can be obtained by persons who have reached the age of 16 and want to start their own business in Spain.

Spanish flag

Citizens of member states of the EU and the European Free Trade Association can enter Spain and work in this country without an additional permit. Here they can also form a business, which in Spain is called an Autónomo. We will talk about this in more detail below.

In order to obtain the self-employed visa Spain, you must first obtain a primary residence permit and a self-employed work permit.

So you need to fill out the EX-07 application form for initial residence permit and self-employment permit. You can download the form here

Please note that each applicant must complete and sign two visa forms, completing each section of the EX–07 form.

If you are coming to Spain from a non-EU country, such as Great Britain, you must meet certain requirements and apply for a self-employed visa Spain.


General requirements and criteria

To create a solid foundation for your business in Spain, understanding the general requirements, nuances and criteria for education is key. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with obtaining a self-employed visa (Spain, UK) using the example of residents of Great Britain. Recent updates to the application process, as detailed by the Consulate of Spain in London (website link here), include an increased focus on financial stability, a more thorough analysis of business viability and an increased focus on a sustainable commitment to contributing to the Spanish economy.

Requirement Details
Financial stability Confirmation of sufficient funds for business viability
Business viability In-depth analysis and implementation forecasts
Obligations to Spain Active participation and economic contribution plans

Application process and required documentation

The process of applying for a self-employed visa, Spain, does not require much fuss, but it does require attention to detail. We invite you to review the updated, as of February 2024, document checklist designed to ensure that future entrepreneurs accurately submit everything they need.

Documents required to obtain a Spain self-employed visa

Document Description
Valid international passport The minimum period of validity is six months
Completed questionnaire for obtaining self-employed visa, Spain In the questionnaire, you are obliged to provide all accurate and comprehensive data (click here)
Recent photos A recent color passport-sized photograph taken against a light background, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses and any clothing that hides the oval of the face
Proof of sufficient financial means Bank statements, tax declarations, proof of income
A business plan A detailed plan describing the proposed enterprise
Insurance Insurance policy coverage must be valid for the entire period of stay
Educational and professional certificates Demonstration of qualifications and expertise. Diplomas, certificate of completion of education, etc

*Information collected from the website of the Consulate of Spain in London.

Rules and criteria for obtaining a Spain self-employed visa:

  • business plan presentation;
  • proving financial stability;
  • proof of having relevant qualifications or experience in your chosen field.

Let us talk about everything in more detail and step by step

Please note that according to the latest changes, special importance and attention is given to a detailed business plan, emphasizing a clear and realistic path for the proposed enterprise.

Business plan presentation

In Spain, preference is given to well-developed, formed and comprehensive planning. Note that the business plan is the cornerstone of the self-employed visa Spain application process.

The following information should be included in the business plan:

  • detailed information about the nature of the business,
  • target market,
  • financial forecasts,
  • potential job creation.

Having clearly described all this, you will have more chances to get what you want. So, don't waste your time and think carefully about all the subtleties of your future business in Spain.

Potential entrepreneurs should start the process by doing thorough research and developing a detailed business plan. It is advisable to cooperate with local chambers of commerce, legal advisors or business support organizations.
The involvement of legal representation or professional consultants can help to cope with the complexity of the visa application process. Their experience ensures compliance with regulations and increases the chances of a successful application.
Self-employed persons are required to provide health insurance and contribute to the Spanish social security system. It provides a holistic approach to personal and professional well-being.

Business plan

List of documents and proof of financial stability

People planning to start their own business in Spain must collect a complete set of documents, including a valid passport, completed application forms, proof of financial capacity, the above business plan and health insurance documents. Additional documents relating to the nature of the business may also be required.

Applicants seeking a self-employed visa Spain must provide proof of financial capacity to support both their personal livelihood and business.

Documents considered as proof of financial capacity in Spain:

  • bank account statements,
  • confirmation of income,
  • confirmation of projected income.

Decisive steps

A crucial aspect of the application process is an in-person visit to a Spanish consulate or embassy. During this visit, applicants undergo biometric data collection and submit application materials.

Self-employed visa, Spain, processing times can vary, highlighting the importance of careful planning and an early start to the application process. Understanding current processing times is critical to effective planning.

Applicants should remain vigilant about the status of their application and promptly respond to any requests for additional information from immigration authorities. Regular monitoring ensures a proactive approach to potential problems. It is important for applicants to check the consulate website regularly for any updates or changes to the application process. The consulate website provides valuable information on specific requirements and recent developments, ensuring that your application meets the latest requirements.

Main features of a self-employed visa Spain

A detailed study of the specific features that distinguish the self-employed visa, Spain, reveals the latest updates aimed at making the process more attractive for international workers.

Among the important changes are simplified application procedures and increased emphasis on supporting entrepreneurs at the initial stages.

Strategic influence on business strategy and investments

Obtaining a self-employed visa Spain, is not only a legal process; it's a strategic move with significant implications for your business strategy and investments. The Spanish business environment offers a variety of opportunities, but a careful analysis of the suitability of your business for the local market is necessary. This includes studying market trends, identifying potential collaborations and understanding consumer behavior.

Different types of visas for people planning to be self-employed in Spain

There are such terms as "Visa for the self-employed", "visa of the digital nomad" and "freelance visa”, Spain). They are all somewhat similar, but not identical in concept, and may define different types of visas depending on the specific country and its immigration rules.

Self-employed visa, Spain:

  • A type of visa that allows you to work in another country as a self-employed person.
  • Usually requires a business plan, confirmation of financial stability and other documents.

Digital Nomad Visa:

  • This visa provides the opportunity to work in another country, usually remotely, but not necessarily as a self-employed person.
  • Usually designed for those who can work from anywhere, such as freelancers or those working in the internet industry.

Freelance visa, Spain

  • Type of visa for persons who work on a self-employed basis, performing work on contracts or projects.
  • Requirements may include the submission of a portfolio, contracts, and proof of financial stability.

If you want to start a business in Spain, rather than just work as a freelancer, you should know that there are a few key differences. For example, when starting a company, there are more requirements for initial investment, taxes, social security documents and payments to be made. You also have to adhere to higher accounting standards, unlike freelancers who only have to keep basic bookkeeping.

Comparative analysis: self-employed work visa, spain versus autónomo in Spain

One of the key aspects that entrepreneurs often find confusing is the difference between a self-employed visa, Spain, and the local term "Autónomo" in Spain. Although both concepts encompass self-employment, they differ in their meaning and implications.

Self-employed visa

  • Purpose: The Self-Employed Visa is specifically designed for foreigners who intend to set up and operate a business in Spain.
  • Application: This is designed for non-European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) nationals.
  • Business scope: The visa covers a wide range of business activities, from consulting services to entrepreneurial initiatives.

Autónomo in Spain

  • Purpose: "Autónomo" indicates the status of self-employment in Spain, which can be applied to both Spaniards and foreigners.
  • Application: This is a more general term that covers self-employment without specifying the nationality of the person.
  • Business scope: Although it includes various professions for the self-employed, registration as "Autónomo" is mandatory for anyone engaged in economic activity in Spain, regardless of their visa status.

Comparative analysis of Self-Employed visa, Spain, and "Autónomo" status

Feature Self-Employed visa Autónomo in Spain
Goal Opening business by foreigners Self-employment status for everyone, regardless of nationality
Application Non-EU/EFTA citizens It applies to everyone who is engaged in economic activity
Business sphere A wide range of business activities Mandatory for all economic activities, without sector restrictions

*Understanding this difference is important for applicants as it affects business scope and legal obligations.

Financial and legal responsibilities

Determining tax liability for the self-employed in Spain involves analyzing various aspects such as VAT, income tax and social security contributions. We have prepared for you a detailed look at how to manage the financial aspects of a business in Spain.

Financial and Tax Obligations for the Self-Employed in Spain

Obligation Details
VAT (IVA) The VAT rate is 21% of the value of the sold goods
Income tax The basic rate is from 4.7% of the salary, in some regions it can rise up to 48%
Contributions to social insurance 23.6% - temporary disability insurance,
 5.5% - unemployment insurance

Legal obligations and advice

For the self-employed in Spain, it is mandatory to conclude contracts, rights and obligations of employees, as well as current legislative updates.

Self-employed persons in Spain can count on a number of economic benefits, including the "modules" tax regime for entrepreneurs, a simplified accounting book and access to various financial benefits.

Strategic approaches to overcoming common difficulties

Strategically navigating the application process involves anticipating and dealing with common difficulties. Such difficulties may include:

  • language barriers,
  • cultural differences
  • specific regulatory difficulties.

Taking a strategic approach to overcoming them, such as investing in language courses or using local expertise, can greatly improve the application experience.

In conclusion, understanding the nuances of self-employment in Spain and navigating the self-employed work visa process are key for international workers looking to embark on an entrepreneurial journey in this exciting and culturally rich destination. In this understanding, combined with careful planning and compliance, lays the foundation for a successful and fulfilling enterprise in the Spanish business landscape.

We hope that we have become your reliable guide in the world of self-employment in Spain. Based on the latest updates and with access to key resources, the WTG Spain team has prepared a deep insight into all aspects of the process, helping you make an informed and strategic decision about your entrepreneurial journey in Spain. Good luck in your entrepreneurial endeavors!


What is the self-employed work visa in Spain?

The self-employed work visa in Spain allows individuals to work independently, managing their businesses or freelancing in the country.

How can I apply for the self-employed visa in Spain?

To apply, you need to meet specific eligibility criteria, prepare necessary documentation and follow the application process outlined by the Spanish immigration authorities.

Is there a difference between the self-employed visa and a freelance visa in Spain?

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, a self-employed visa in Spain generally refers to individuals managing their own business, while a freelance visa may encompass a broader scope of independent work.

Can UK citizens apply for the self-employed work visa in Spain in 2024?

Yes, UK citizens can apply for a self-employed work visa in Spain. However, they need to adhere to the specific application requirements post-Brexit.


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