When is it necessary to register as a self-employed person in Spain?

There is an obligation to register in the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers (RETA) when an economic activity is carried out on a regular, personal and direct basis for profit.

Although it is a very widespread thought, there is no article of any regulation that states that if we obtain income below the SMI due to an activity, we are not obliged to register with the RETA (Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers).

It is not a quantitative limit that defines the obligation or not to register as a self-employed person, but rather this quantitative limit (SMI) serves as an indication to prove to Social Security that an activity is not habitual. Even if the SMI is not exceeded, if you issue invoices every month, the Social Security may determine that the activity is carried out regularly.

On the other hand, the receipt must always be issued, regardless of whether or not to register as a self-employed person. VAT must be paid yes or yes. To do this, you must register with the Treasury (it is free). The invoice must include 21% VAT and withholdings, 15% for professionals and 21% for the rest. Likewise, in the income statement, it is necessary to pay taxes for this and reflect the withholdings. In the same way, you also have to declare the profits to the Treasury. 

At the time of processing a self-employment registration, Social Security always checks the date of registration with the Treasury. If this does not coincide with the application for self-employment registration, the registration will be applied retroactively until the match. Thus, a debt with Social Security is generated equivalent to the cost of the self-employed insurance from the date detected to the current date, without the possibility of a discount and with a direct surcharge of 20%. 


This content is for guidance only and not a legal document or a recommendation, since we are not specialists and it is not our objective. We advise you to turn to a professional advisor to study your particular case if you have any doubts.