Here we describe the procedure for the awarding of a work permit when one wants to work for his or her own account and apply at the same time for the Spanish residence permit.

We describe and explain the required documentation and some practical advice that might be helpful to you for succeeding in being granted these types of permits.

As a first step you must determine whether the request you will make is with or without the creation of a company.

Our first piece of advice is to always to set up a company, if possible, because by doing so you will only require a minimum in corporate paid-in capital and some minor maintenance costs.

The person who wants to make this type of request must fulfill the following requirements:

Fulfill the requirements related to residence.
a) That the worker is not illegally in Spain.
b) Not to have a criminal record in Spain and previous countries or residence for the last 5 years at the time of submitting the application.
c) Not find himself or herself in an irregular status in Spain.
d) Not be in a status that would cause him or her to be expelled from the Schengen area.

Comply with the material requirements of the work.
a) Comply with the requirements of the legislation in force for the opening and running of the proposed activity.
b) Have the professional qualification legally required or sufficient experience in the exercise of the professional activity.
c) Prove that the foreseen investment for the starting of the project is sufficient as well as, if applicable, the number of jobs that will be created.
d) Proof that the foreigner has sufficient economic resources to support himself or herself and pay for his or her own housing. In the event that the resources derive from one’s own professional activity, the valuation will be calculated once are deducted the minimum necessary expenses for the normal maintenance of the activity.

There is no set minimum quantity required for the authorisation. It depends on all the facts of the specific situation as the costs of establishment and maintenance of the lifestyle.

A word of advice: the minimum investment that one should have in order to be successful is about 50.000€, but this does not mean that one cannot have less. It will be necessary to analyse each situation in its own detail. I for example, in the establishment of my professional activity needed a minimum investment of 6.000€, accompanied with a survey of a professional association of self employees workers. I had success but this is an exceptional case and is not the rule.

In exceptional cases these steps will not be necessary, basically in the case of self employee workers without their own companies, particularly if they can show that one or more companies have contracted for their services.

In such cases the professional qualification required for the carrying out of the professional activity must be authorized or sufficient experience for the exercise of the professional activity must be shown, as well as the necessary qualification for professions that require special authorization.

How to proceed

Request the residence permit and work permit for working on one’s own account and the residence permit at the Spanish Consulate located in the country of ordinary residence.

Prior to making the request, the foreigner should proceed to the creation or purchase of a company in Spain, in the case that he or she has chosen to request a residence authorisation with a company.

The documents that must accompany the application for authorisation of a temporary residence permit and for permission to work on one’s own account that are required by law:

a) Complete copy of the passport or valid travel document.
b) Summary and breakdown of the authorisation or licences that are required for the setting up, opening or carrying out of the proposed activity or for the profession linked to applications, and pointing out the situation in which the different applications are with the different administrations.
c) Professional certificate or degree stating the capability to develop such profession in Spain, this document request the recognition of the degree or certificate before the Spanish Authorities.
d) Project describing the establishment or activity to be realized with indication of the amount of investment foreseen, the profit expected and, if applicable, the number of employee positions to be created.
e) Documentation that explains the economic investment necessary for undertaking the project or commitment of sufficient support from a financial institution or others.

A word of advice: in order to increase the chance of success for the applications, one should add a favourable statement from some independent professional organizations linked to Labour Ministry , this is optional, but it makes a huge different in compare with other applications, for example, the following points c, d and e can be fulfilled with a survey issued by any of the self-employees organizations UPTA, ASNEPA, CIAE, OPA.

When the visa authorisation is approved , the applicant has to ask for a VISA in the Spanish consulate or embassy where the applicant has his original residence.

Within a maximum of one month from the date of notification of granting the temporary residence permit and work on one’s own account.

Once approved one must personally collect it within one month of the date of notification.

Once in Spain you need to request a foreigner identity card with the police in your city of residence in order to receive a fiscal authorisation.

Final advice

Prior to requesting an authorisation and incurring a series of expenses, it is highly advisable to visit the country and get to know the city and the sector of activity that you will be undertaking, develop some contacts with persons who could assist you in establishing, developing and carrying out your business and who can help you to focus on the activity you will carry out.

Have a good project or business that will be able to create revenues from the beginning. Have enough initial investment to carry out the business and if possible, create some new opportunities of employment.

Have experience or enough knowledge about the business that you will create and if required, logically, have the required diplomas or degrees for exercising the professional activity.

Have the required funds for the business or have a commitment of a financial institution that it will support your business and support your request (obviously you will have greater success with your request the larger the commitment is). Have a bank account in Spain in the name of the person making the request that will hold the funds that are transferred for the creation of the business and the running of the business (a bank account of a foreign bank will not be accepted).

Some of the offices will require that the account extract is not older than 6 months and that the amount in the account is of a certain minimum amount, but this is determined on a case by case basis and depends on the type of business to be created (clearly it is not the same requirement to start a hair salon as it is to start a factory for the production of electronic components, for example).

And of course, choose the right Lawyer who will follow up with the application along the whole process and who will help you with this procedure and who can help you avoid problems and solve any problems that arise.