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How to hire someone if you’re self-employed in Spain

The Local Spain
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How to hire someone if you’re self-employed in Spain
How to hire someone if you're self employed in Spain. Photo: Amy Hirschi / Unsplash

If you’re registered as self-employed in Spain and your business is doing well, you might start thinking about hiring employees to help you out. Here's everything you need to know about how to go about it.


If you work for yourself you have the option to hire employees in a number of different ways, you could hire someone on a short-term basis, hire their services similar to the way in which a client would hire you or you can hire them as a full-time employee.

Step 1: If you want to hire someone either on a full-time or a contract basis, but not as another freelancer, and you haven’t hired employees before, the first step is to register as an 'empresario' with the tax office, as well as with Social Security.

Step 2: In order to register with Social Security you will need to complete Modelo or form TA-6 here, followed by Modelo TA.7 here. When you have completed the second form, you will be given a Contribution Account Code ‘Código Cuenta de Cotización’, a number that identifies you as an employer.


READ ALSO: Will you pay more under Spain’s new social security rates for self-employed?

Step 3: If you are ready to hire someone straight away and know who you want, then you can register your employee with Social Security too by completing Modelo TA. 2/S here. You will need their social security number, ID and account number.

If you’re giving someone their first job, you must also make sure they get their social security number before you can continue. This number lasts for a lifetime, so they will not need a new one if they have worked in Spain before.

Step 4: You have a period of 10 days in which to register the contract with the Public State Employment Service (SEPE).

You can carry out all these procedures electronically, using the Cret@ System

This link shows you all the possible types of contracts you can choose for your new employee, from temporary to permanent.

Remember, if there is any change to your employees' contracts or you have to dismiss them for some reason, you must tell Social Security right away. You can do this by filling out forms TA.1 and TA.2/S here

After you have completed the steps above, you will officially have to start paying your employees' social security contributions, as well as your own, and of course their salary too.

READ ALSO: Why you should be raising your rates if you’re self-employed in Spain

How much does it cost to hire a worker when you’re self-employed?

The cost of social security and your employee's salary will depend both on the workers' Agreement that corresponds to your industry, and on the type of contract you have chosen.

In the general, the cost of their social security contributions will be 30 percent of their base salary.

How many people can I hire?

There is a limit to the number of workers you can hire if you are self-employed. You are allowed to hire a maximum of 10 employees, depending on the type of activity you carry out.

For example, if you own a bakery, you are allowed to hire a maximum of six people, while if your business is in retail trade, you can only hire a maximum of five workers. 


Can I hire another autónomo?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is possible to simply hire another self-employed worker too, meaning you won’t be responsible for their social security payments and you will hire them on a freelance basis. 

It means though that they can’t have a fixed work schedule and won’t have a set salary either. They will be in charge of paying their own social security contributions and will invoice you for the amounts they're owed each month, depending on how much you agreed upon.  

Can I hire a family member or a partner?

According to article 1.1 of the Workers' Statute, when a self-employed person hires a relative, they must do so as self-employed collaborators like above, except when it can be demonstrated that there is a professional employment relationship. In the second case, they will have to have a formal employment contract and you will have to pay their social security contributions.

In other words, if the family member lives with you and does not receive a fixed income, but shares the risks of the business, the hiring will be done as a self-employed collaborator. 

Can I hire another foreigner?

Yes, you are allowed to hire foreigners from both the EU or outside of the EU, providing they are properly registered in Spain and have the right to work here.  


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