Spain – Self-employed worker

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a self-employed person in Spain? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

To carry out an independent activity in Spain as a self-employed worker, you must obtain:

  • a work and residence permit; and
  • a self-employment work and residence visa.

Where and how to apply

Work and residence permit

Before you apply for a visa, you must apply for a work permit at the Embassy or Consulate in your country of residenceSearch for available translations of the preceding link. The permit will generally be authorised by the Provincial Aliens Affairs Office.

The residence permit will be granted together with the work permit.

Work and residence visa

You must then apply for a work and residence visa at the Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence,Search for available translations of the preceding link which will allow you to enter Spain for the purpose of carrying out self-employed activities.

Documents required

  • You must present a viable business plan and sufficient financial resources to invest in accordance with the business plan.
  • You must show that you possess the skills and experience required to carry out the envisaged activities.
  • You must get the appropriate licenses or register, if required.
  • The potential to create employment will also be assessed before granting the permit.
  • Criminal records for the last 5 years, where he/she could not be convicted for criminal offences under Spanish law.
  • Medical certificate stating that he/she does not suffer from any disease included in the International Sanitary Regulation of 2005 which can affect the public health in the country.

Duration of validity of permits

The work permit may be limited to a specific activity and region. Work permits are granted for one year.

Further requirements

Once you arrive in Spain, you must get a Foreign Identification Card (known as TIE) at the Police Department where you intend to reside.

You must also register with the social security system.


Decisions can be challenged by way of an administrative appeal.

Further information

More on working in Spain

Change of status

You must submit a new application and meet the necessary conditions.

Long-term residence

Long-term residence is generally granted after five years of continuous and legal residence.

This status enables the holder to reside indefinitely and work in Spain.

More on long-term residence in Spain

No information available