Would you like to get your residence and self-employment permit or visa successfully and avoid any setbacks or even a rejection during your application? Then continue reading. In this article we will analyze all requirements in detail and we will explore some expert tips that will make the complete process as easy as possible.

In addition, we will include all the most important changes that the recent Spanish Immigration law update has implemented for this work permit.


What is a self-employment visa?


The self-employment work permit is the residence authorization requested when a non-European Union citizen wants to start his own business in Spain or develop his activity as an independent professional.

Thus, in order to set up his company, the foreigner must first acquire the legal capacity to be able to do so. That is to say, he must apply for a special type of work permit so that she can work legally in his business (which is not the same permit required to work for a company as an employee).

This means that she must first apply for this self-employment permit, register as self-employed in the Spanish territory, and then carry out all the procedures for the incorporation and launching of her business (even though many of them are closely linked to her application for a foreigner’s permit).


What is its validity and duration?


The duration of this residence authorization is 1 year initially, since with the initial application you will get a temporary card.

Once this first year comes to an end, and as long as you continue to meet all the requirements, you will have to renew it.

Big update! This renewal will, from now on, be for 4 years (instead of 2), and the renewed card will allow you to work both as an employee and as a self-employed individual, without the need for any extra paperwork.


Differences between the self-employed work permit and the entrepreneur visa


Important distinction!

As we have already mentioned in many of our articles, the foreigner who wants to set up his own business in Spanish territory has two options.

First of all, he can do it through the general immigration regime, applying for the self-employoment visa. Or, on the other hand, she could do it under the Entrepreneurs Law by applying for a visa as an entrepreneur.

These are two completely different procedures with different requirements.

What is the difference and in which case should one or the other authorization be obtained?

The entrepreneur visa is intended for those foreigners who wish to create a totally innovative company with a large technological base.

That is to say, if you are going to set up something unique that does not yet exist in the market, you will most probably have to obtain your residency under the Entrepreneurs Law.

But if you are going to develop any activity that already exists on a regular basis (such as accounting or digital marketing) or set up a business that has already been on the market for several years, then the self-employment path will be the way to go.

And that is what we focus on in this post.


Key requirements to successfully apply for this permit


We can find 3 key requirements to successfully obtain your self-employment permit. Each of them is of utmost importance. Let’s take a look at them.


Business plan


One of the MOST important requirements is to develop a proper business plan.

This plan is what will determine whether the authorities consider your business to be viable and meet the requirements to finally grant you the authorization.

Therefore, making sure that this business plan has everything it needs to contain will be key to a successful application.

What should it include?

Basically, it should be an exhaustive analysis of everything related to your business: exactly what activity it will carry out and what value it brings to the market, its differential elements and competitive advantages, who your target customers will be, how you will reach them (marketing and communication plan), how you will obtain sufficient funds to maintain the business (financial projection), etc.

Here, the more detail, the better.

Also, keep in mind that your business plan must be validated by one of the designated business associations such as the ATA (Association of Self-Employed Workers in Spain).

Find here one of our articles in which you will find the main keys to develop a successful business plan for your immigration applications.

Sufficient investment to start your business


There is something we cannot deny: any business needs a minimum investment to start up, no matter how small it may be.

This means that another key requirement will be demonstrating that you have sufficient financing to start up the business.

However, there is a small setback: there is no minimum or maximum amount established by law.

The amount to demonstrate will depend entirely on the type of business you start and its requirements, as there are some with much higher initial fixed cost requirements than others.

For example, if you require any type of building or real estate (since you are setting up a local business, for example), you will have to prove that you have enough money to buy or rent it.

In addition, we must also mention that it is NO longer necessary to provide financial means to support yourself personally in the country while you start your business.

While before it was necessary to prove 100% of the IPREM, after the recent and big Spanish Immigration Law Reform, the only funds you will have to prove are those related to the launch of the professional activity or company (that of the business itself).


Applicant’s profile and CV


The third key requirement (but not less important) has to do with your profile and experience as a worker.

It will be essential to demonstrate that you have sufficient education and/or training to develop the required work activity in your business or company.

This experience must be directly linked to the needs of the challenges that your business will pose.

That is to say, if you are setting up an accounting firm, your CV must include training and experience directly related to this field.


Complete application process


Applying for this authorization on your own can often be a long and somewhat tedious process.

First of all, you will need to prepare all the documentation. This includes:

  • Your passport
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Your business plan
  • A favorable report from the ATA or any other similar association
  • EX-07 application form

Once you have this documentation, you must send it to the Spanish consulate located in your country of origin or the country where you are legally residing at the time.

That is to say, the application is initiated from the country of origin, and never directly from Spain.

This consulate will transfer the application to the corresponding office of foreigners according to the Spanish region where you will set up the company.

Once this application is accepted, it will be transferred back to the consulate, where they will issue your visa, with which you will have 30 days to travel and enter Spain.

Once inside Spain, you will have to register in your municipality (something called “empadronamiento”), and then request an appointment for fingerprinting and collection of your TIE or physical card.

And, in addition, you will have to complete the complete process of registering as a self-employed person (becoming an “autónomo”), registering with the Social Security and the Tax Authorities.

Find out here a complete guide so that you can see step-by-step how to register as self-employed and start your professional activity as a freelancer.


So far we have covered the most important aspects of the self-employment permit. Since this is a procedure with a lot of requirements and nuances, our recommendation is that you have an expert team of lawyers to advise you step by step. This will ensure that your application is successful and you get your residency as quickly as possible. Thus, at Balcells Group we are ready to help you make this possible.


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and solve all your doubts:


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