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How to Get a Job in Spain? Becoming a Freelancer in Spain

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Who wouldn’t want to secure freelance work in Spain

Imagine working on a website on the shores of Lumebó Cove, Galicia. Or scheduling meetings for your American client in a charming restaurant while sipping coffee. 

This could be your story because the Spanish startup scene is quite lucrative. It has many new projects in multiple sectors, welcoming talented freelancers like you. You can become your own boss in paradise! Enjoying the unmatched independence freelancing has to offer.

But wait. Before you get too excited, please learn all the facts about how to get a job in Spain. In this piece, we’ll highlight the Spanish market and finish with a few tips to help. 

Ready to kickstart your potential freelance work in Spain? 

Keep reading.

Overview of the Spanish Job Market 

The Spanish job market is always welcoming work in Spain for foreigners.

Currently, you will find freelancing expats in multiple sectors. The first familiar freelancers are in the tourism industry. These professionals offer foreigners and locals hospitality, tour guiding, and event planning services.

The second group of freelancers are techies. These include web developers, data analysts, scientists, and computer scientists. Techies are in high demand because the Spanish tech market is rising. 

In 2022, there were approximately 11,000 tech startups in the region. Today, that number is higher because of the recent advancements in AI technology and the attraction of more investors. 

Third on the list of the most valued freelancers are online English tutors. Despite the huge Spanish population, only 22% speak English. Since most systems are being developed in English, tutors are in high demand. 

Other freelancer groups in the Spanish job market include business consultants and marketing gurus. Content creators, writers, and designers are also needed in the region. 

All freelancers can work from home jobs in Spain; however, there is a condition.

To work remotely in Spain, you must do it legally. 

You need to secure the Digital Nomad Visa, which was in effect in early 2023. This visa caters to freelancers, entrepreneurs, and employees working remotely using digital technologies.

The following sections describe securing permanent or contractual jobs in Spain.

Steps to Finding a Job in Spain 

Before you harness the many benefits of working remotely from Spain, there are steps to follow. These help you set up shop so everything is aligned when you get employed. 

Imagine securing a life-changing opportunity without proper invoicing channels like Ruul’s! That would set you back a few steps, and you might even lose that job. So, to mitigate any of that, follow these steps:

Research All Spanish Job Hotspots: 

Spain’s main job hubs are Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Bilbao. Where would you love to live and work? 

Research to fully grasp and immerse yourself in the work culture in these regions in Spain. Read articles and blog posts, watch videos, and interact in online communities to uncover what each city offers. 

This thorough research pinpoints precisely how to work in Spain. It teaches you the people’s cultural beliefs, norms, and taboos. It also welcomes you into the Spaniard culinary, social, and economic lifestyle. 

While you are at it, remember to consider the cost of living in Spain. This information will help you budget in the future.

Job Preparation:

To prepare for work in Spain, revise your resume and tailor the template for your cover letters. Make a list of all the top job search platforms, including websites and recruiting agencies, that could help. 

Run mock interviews because interviews are still a huge part of job applications. Seek common interview questions and practice giving the best answers.


To work in Spain as a freelancer, you must register as an autónomo. The Spanish government recognizes six types of autónomo. They are

  1. Autónomo Profesional is a self-employed professional like a freelance doctor, engineer, translator, or designer.
  2. Trabajador Autónomo is a self-employed worker like a freelancer who is their own boss but can hire others.
  3. Autónomo Societario is a corporate self-employed professional who runs their own LTD company.
  4. Autónomo Colaborador is a self-employed collaborator who is also a freelancer who works for a direct family member or their spouse. 
  5. Trabajador Autónomo Económicamente Dependientes is a Dependent self-employed worker or TRADE. This is a professional whose 75% income comes from one employer.
  6. Autónomo Agrarios is a self-employed agricultural worker.

This application grants you the permits and licenses to distribute your services in Spain legally.

Open a Bank Account:

To fully immerse yourself in the work culture in Spain, you’ll need a bank account. However, this step happens after you have acquired the country’s foreigner identification number.

Please consider banks that are expat-friendly and have intuitive mobile applications. They should also at least support multiple languages and currencies. Examples of these are the N26, Revolut, and Sabadell.

You can also set up international payment channels like Ruul and Paypal.

Legal Requirements for Working in Spain 

You must be over 18 to work in Spain. If you are younger than 18, say 16, you can work under your parents or legal guardians.

The second legal requirement is to have a work permit, the autónomo. The visa requirements for working in Spain include 

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of funds
  • Merit certificates
  • Medical certificate 
  • Health insurance
  • Business plan  

You commence this process through your home country’s Spanish Embassy to get approval. 

The Spanish government will assign you an NIE (foreigner identification number). This number tracks your financial and legal activities in the country. You will also need to apply for social security.

If your stay is less than six months, apply for the residence card. You apply for the Foreign Identity Card if your stay exceeds six months. You will also need a license called the Licencia de Apertura if operating on public property.

This process will take three to six months and cost approximately 80 Euros. The charge might vary depending on your location, so please check.

How to Become a Freelancer in Spain? 

After legal requirements, this section highlights what successful English-speaking work in Spain entails. Remember the research details you gathered? Here is where they come in handy. This research helps you gain traction on:

  1. Networking: Finding freelance jobs in Spain starts with networking. Connect with other Spanish professionals in your niche. Study potential clients’ needs by reading and interacting in local co-working spaces, online forums, and communities. Attend workshops and take courses to fine-tune your knowledge, tailoring it to the Spanish market.
  2. Learning the Language: If you haven’t done so, do it! Take online classes or even hire a Spanish freelancer to help you. Boost your vocabulary beyond Ola and include a few words specific to your offering.
  3. Sharpening Your Freelancing Skills: The Spanish market is highly competitive. Considering you are independent, you always need to elevate your skills. Take classes, attend workshops, and volunteer to stay ahead of the curve.

Navigating Spanish Taxes and Regulations 

Once you secure your visa to work in Spain, tax compliance precedes. Tax compliance in Spain is essential because it shows you are law-abiding. It also assists Social Security in offering healthcare and other governmental services. Below are some of the taxes and the regulations to adhere to:

  • Income Tax: If you’ve lived and worked in Spain for over 183 days, you pay income tax. The percentage rate varies but ranges between 19% and 47%.
  • VAT: The current Spanish VAT is 21%. You pay this once every quarter. You include this percentage on all your business-related invoices.
  • Social Security: The Social Security fee is a fixed 293 Euro fee. You pay this amount each month without fail, giving you access to the country’s services.
  • Tax Deductions: Work in Spain for foreigners also comes with some deductions. The government might reduce your taxes on supplies, utilities, and vehicles. You can get up to a 30% deduction on all expenses you pay on the phone or the Internet. You can also make a few deduction claims, but please confirm them with a Spanish Tax expert.

Tips for Success in the Spanish Job Market

Meeting all the visa regulations for digital nomads might land you your dream job. But to keep it, you’ll have to do more. The following are some tips that will help you flourish in the freelance Spanish job market:

  • Master the language to ensure clear communication in all your interactions.
  • Build your work portfolio with solid qualifications and an exceptional track record.
  • Be patient and persistent in navigating the entire job-seeking process.
  • Network like your life depends on it. Because it does. Working in Spain is highly competitive for freelancers, so always share your contact information for later collaboration.

Ready for a New Freelance Job in Spain?

Whether you are a photographer or copywriter, Spain offers a lucrative business opportunity, beautiful cities, and countryside to settle in. It also has willing clients. 

Thankfully, you now know about the visa regulations for digital nomads. You understand how to start the process and how to survive once you get there. It might not be easy, but if you push through, everything will align.

We bet the idea of creating on the shores of Lumebó Cove, Galicia, doesn’t seem so far-fetched now, right?


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