Immigrants may carry out a business activity in Spain as registered independent workers as long as they have the corresponding work permits, temporary or permanent. First, we must understand the regulations stated in the law regarding self-employment.
According to the General Social Security Law it is understood that self-employed individuals engage in profitable economic or professional activity on a regular basis without an employment contract. It may be an individual or family run business which may require the employment of other paid employees.
Keeping in mind this definition, we must differenciate between immigrants who come from the European Union and those who do not; those who therefore apply to the general regime.
For EU member citizens, the procedure for self-employment is quite simple. Due to the right of all EU members to free movement throughout the member states, EU nationals may carry out a business activity under the same conditions as nationals of the host country. In regards to non EU citizens, they must first go to the Spanish Consular Office in the country where they reside and request a temporary residence and work permit for self-employment.
Once they have this work authorization, they must request the residence visa within one month of being issued the work authorization. This must be done at the same office. Finally, once notified that their residence visa has been granted, they must collect it within one month.
Once they have completed these steps, then they will only need to request their foreigner identification card at the police station in Spain.
However, if the immigrant already resides in Spain and has a valid residence permit, he simply needs to change his work permit from paid employment to self-employment if both are found compatible.
Translated by: Katherine Pascal