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Can I issue invoices even if I am not registered as self-employed (Autónomo)?

This is the question many people ask when they decide to work on their own: in some cases the work is sporadic; in others, it is upon starting a new economic activity and you do not know how things will go; in other cases, it is your main economic activity.

Carrying out an economic activity in Spain requires that you (1) declare your activity to Hacienda (AEAT) and (2) then contribute to the Social Security (SS) through the Special Scheme called “Regimen especial de trabajadores Autónomos”. The first one only implies an obligation to inform the Treasury of your economic activity and pay regularly the corresponding taxes, but with the second, you are expected to register and pay a fixed amount of between 260€ and 300€ per month.

It is mandatory to register in the Social Security as Autónomo. Some companies require freelancers to already be registered before hiring them, even if the work is sporadic.

The drawback is that in some cases, the payment to Social Security is disproportionate to the amount earned for the services rendered.

It is also mandatory for any professional to file a quarterly tax statement on his turnover (if the activity is subject to tax) and the annual individual tax return on this income.

It is possible to prove that the income received for the activity does not constitute your main source of income in which case one would not need to register as an Autónomo. Two circumstances must apply:

  1. That the worker receives an income that can be justified as their main livelihood which cannot be either a pension or unemployment benefits.
  2. That billing is done occasionally

This is common among professionals who charge for lectures, workshops, training or technical services while hired by another company.

To justify that the income received does not constitute a livelihood we refer back to the Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples (IPREM), the index used in Spain as a reference for aid, scholarships, grants or unemployment, among others. This index was created in 2004 to replace the minimum wage as a reference for these grants.

The IPREM was frozen in 2013 and the amounts in effect are as follows:

– Daily IPREM: 17,75 €
– Monthly IPREM: 532,51 €
– Annual IPREM: 6.390,13 €
– Annual IPREM including prorated extras: 7.455,14 €

Therefore, as long as you bill less than this amount and occasionally, it is not necessary to register as Autónomo since your revenues are not considered a main source of income.

Antonio Rodriguez – info@ustaxconsultants.net – Phone: +34 915194392 – es.linkedin.com/in/ardep/