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Businessman working in the office

The The freelance fee is a headache for many: understand it, accept it, pay for it and assimilate it, and there are many variants, conditions, subsidies and even urban legends about it.

We will try to tell you all about it freelance rate and the famous and attractive 'flat rate' of fifty euros.

When you start, or anyone, to work on your own, you must 'become autonomous' to be able to work within the legal framework of Spain, acquiring certain benefits and obligations with it.

The main one is registration in the Special Regime for Self-Employed Employees (RETA), which entails the monthly payment of a fee that we know as the 'freelance fee' that varies every year.

This fee is paid from the first day of your business activity or self-employment. You could work like autonomous dependent or independent. Here we will talk about independents.

The self-employed must make the payment of said rate to the General Treasury of the Social Security, indicating an account number, with IBAN included in said treasury, remembering that this rate or monthly fee is not the only one that a self-employed person must comply with.

The freelance fee It is nothing more than a percentage calculated based on the contribution, or let's say, the salary, that the worker estimates to have each month, having a minimum and maximum contribution base defined by the Government of Spain.

This base of the quote will be the base (sorry for the redundancy) to calculate unemployment benefits, to be absent due to accident or illness and, fundamentally, to calculate retirement, as we will see later.

The minimum contribution base is, in 2016, € 893.10 per month, which is equivalent to a monthly fee of € 267.04, and the maximum is € 3,642 per month.

You should know that the 85% of the self-employed are registered under the minimum contribution base, either because their income is not enough, due to uncertainty or basically because they do not know, voluntarily or not, the effects of selecting the base in the medium long term. future.

Types of freelance rates

Before continuing, you have to be clear that there is no single quota for freelancers, since according to age, sector of activity, moonlighting, etc. The State defines different quotas:


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  • Self-employed with various activities

In the first 18 months of activity, the rate is € 133.52 per month, and subsequently € 200.28 per month.

  • Self-employed with 10 workers

If you have or had 10 workers in your company, the rate is € 1,063.33 per month. If you only quote for minimal contingencies, the monthly fee is € 319.14.

  • Self-employed persons under 47 years of age

There are several conditions for freelancers who are 47 years old or younger, these are:

  1. If your contribution in 2015 was equal to or greater than 1,945.80, or if you have just signed up for the self-employed regime, you can select the amount between the minimum and the maximum base allowed by the Government in the current year.
  2. If your contribution was 1,945.80 or less, you cannot select a base higher than € 1,964.70 per month, unless you declare it before June 30 of the current year, or you are a surviving spouse (it is the one who takes charge of the business of his partner then the latter dies)
  • Self-employed 48 years or older

Self-employed persons aged 48 and over must select a minimum of € 963.30 and a maximum of € 1,964.70 per month as the contribution base, so their freelance fee each month will be at least 288.03 euros.

If you are 50 years old or over, you must determine your daily contribution base according to your activity in recent years.

In general, these are the different types of self-employed regimes that exist in Spain, even though there are more depending on each activity, age and profile of the person who registers as a self-employed person, so you have to be very careful and walk accordingly. an expert to guide you in this regard.

How the freelance fee is calculated

You already know the most important thing: there are different freelance rates and that you must start paying from the first day of activity in your business, and that, as we have seen in the previous point, there are different rates, depending on the profession. , age and others. factors, you will have a Contribution base that you must selectWhether or not you agree with the amount, you know, the Government sends, as an example, this 2016 increased by 1% compared to 2015, and more increases are expected in 2017.


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At the same time, you should know that there are also coverages, like any insurance policy: Depending on the coverage selected, you will pay more or less.

These are the coverages that you can select for your pprotection in the self-employed regime:

  1. Common contingencies: Represents 29.90% and covers common contingencies plus breastfeeding and pregnancy.
  2. Contingency due to cessation of activity: Represents 31.5% of the daily contribution base that you have defined.
  3. Contingency due to accidents at work: Represents 29.3% plus the percentage according to branch of activity according to CNAE.
  4. Contingency due to accidents at work and cessation of activity: It is 31.5% plus the percentage of the activity category, according to CNAE.

If you choose the minimum monthly contribution base, these would be the quotas according to each mentioned contingency:

  • Common contingencies: € 893.10 x 29.90% = € 267.04 per month
  • With cessation of activity: € 893.10 x 31.6% = € 282.22 per month
  • Contingencies by activity: € 893.10 x 29.3% + % CNAE = € 268.72 - € 325.53
  • With work accident and termination due to activity: € 893.10 x 31.5% + % CNAE rate = € 289.36 - € 345.18

Should you pay your freelance fee if you don't make it to the SMI?

Now we want to show you an obstacle in recent Spain: whether or not to register as a self-employed person when the income is small.

Let's suppose that you generate a monthly income of € 300 in your activity, be it a graphic designer, bricklayer, architect or teacher. The freelance rate will leave you practically zero, Not to mention other taxes that the self-employed must face.

And it is that more people have this problem than they think, and that leads them not to join the self-employed regime, and therefore form part of the country's underground economy, causing a hole in the general budgets every year, he valued. in hundreds of millions of euros.

What is the problem? The legal vacuum in the matter: the Law does not say what to do with people who earn less than the Minimum Interprofessional Salary.


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If this is your case, and you consult the Ministry of Finance, they will tell you to register with the Treasury, so that your income is supervised by the ministry, so as not to handle 'black' money. They will tell you to register with form 036 or 037, so you can issue invoices to your clients.

If you go to social SecurityThey will tell you that you must register as a self-employed person yes or yes, regardless of whether you earn ten euros or two thousand per month. You must fulfill them, that's what they will tell you.

Many self-employed people therefore choose to register with the Treasury, to legally declare their income, without registering for social security, with the risk that, in a data crossing, the latter, very meticulous and rigorous, will send you a fine claiming the fees you have not paid, plus a 20% surcharge for that amount.

Although there is jurisprudence in these cases since 2007, in other words, many freelancers have received this sanction, and the Supreme Court has annulled them, understanding that, if the minimum contribution base and / or the minimum interprofessional salary are not met, there is There is no obligation to pay the freelance fee.

Even though you or anyone else shouldn't take risks, it is best to seek advice and avoid a possible fine, and even when it is possible that you can appeal it, all the paperwork and procedure of the paperwork is not pleasant.

Take advantage of the flat rate in the freelance rate

Whether or not your problem, you should know that the Government of Spain approved since 2013 a flat rate in the rate of self-employed, reducing it to € 50 per month instead of the full rates that we have seen. Initially it was only for those under 30, but in 2015 they left it for everyone.

It is about reducing the quota to a minimum and gradually reaching the full payment of the quota, in order to combat the underground economy and promote self-employment.

This is how you would pay your freelance rates with the flat rate:

  1. € 50 per month for the first six months
  2. € 133 per month from the seventh to the twelfth month
  3. € 187 per month from month 13 to 18

The requirements to enter this flat rate:

  1. Not having been enrolled in the self-employed regime in the last five years
  2. Not being a manager of a commercial company
  3. Not having received any social security voucher, never, without periods of time
  4. Not being a freelance collaborator