How to become a freelancer in Gran Canaria

If you want to become self-employed in Gran Canaria (autónomo), you need to register with the Spanish Social Security, the Spanish Tax Authorities, and the Canarian Tax Office.

Fortunately, there is a one-stop shop for all of this at the Ventanilla Única Empresarial office in Las Palmas, where you can set up as a freelancer in 30 minutes.

Before visiting the Ventanilla Única Empresarial to register as a freelancer, make sure you have the following documents:

  • For EU citizens: your passport (or your national ID card) and your NIE (it has to be the definitive one).
  • For non-EU citizens: your passport and work permit. Mind that the work permit has to clearly state that you got your permit to work on your own and not because you have a contract.

The Ventanilla Única Empresarial is also a good place to go if you have any questions about the official steps you need to take to set up a business in Gran Canaria.

Freelancing from Gran Canaria

Freelancers (autónomos) have to contribute to the Social Security system, declare all their earnings, and pay taxes, like in any other EU country.

The Canary Islands are outside the EU VAT area. Therefore you don’t have to collect Spanish VAT on your invoices. Instead we have a similar sales tax called IGIC, with a rate of 6.5%.

You only have to charge IGIC in your sales to:

  • customers based in the Canary Islands.
  • private individuals based out of the EU.
  • any customer that consumes your services/products in Canarian territory.

If your customer is another Spanish freelancer or business, you also need to apply an additional -15% withdrawal tax on your invoices.

The minimum Social Security fee is about €283.30. New freelancers get an important discount though:

  • First year: €60 flat rate
  • Months 12 to 18: €141.65 (50% off)
  • Months 18 to 24: €198.31 (30% off)
  • Months 24 to 36: €198.31 (30% off) only for men under 30 and women under 35.

This blog post is for informational purposes only. Be advised that sales tax rules and laws are subject to change at any time. For specific sales tax advice regarding your business, please contact a professional tax advisor.