Pay Contractors in Spain : Your Ultimate Guide

You are currently viewing Pay Contractors in Spain : Your Ultimate Guide

Navigating the nuances as to how to pay contractors in Spain can be a tricky and intricate process. From understanding who qualifies as an independent contractor and knowing the legal requirements, to figuring out the intricacies of payroll management, payment protocol, and tax liabilities- several elements need consideration.

Who is an Independent Contractor in Spain

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, we need to understand who qualifies as an independent contractor in Spain. An independent contractor, also known as “self autonomo,” is someone who operates their own business, providing services to other businesses or individuals on an invoice basis.

These contractors can range from freelance professionals such as writers or designers, to construction workers, therapists, and consultants. The critical distinction between an independent contractor and an employee is that a contractor operates independently of any employer, setting their own hours, project parameters, and work methods.

When it comes to freelance professionals, the world of independent contracting in Spain is vast and diverse.

Writers and Designers

Writers, for example, can find themselves working on a variety of projects, from creating engaging content for websites to crafting compelling marketing copy for businesses. Designers, on the other hand, may specialize in creating visual identities for brands or designing user-friendly interfaces for digital products.

Construction Workers

Independent contracting is not limited to creative fields. Construction workers, for instance, play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of infrastructure in Spain. From building residential properties to renovating historical landmarks, these contractors bring their expertise and skills to ensure the successful completion of various construction projects.


Therapists, too, can operate as independent contractors in Spain. Whether they are providing physical therapy, psychotherapy, or alternative healing methods, these professionals offer their services to individuals seeking help and support. By working independently, therapists have the freedom to tailor their treatment approaches to meet the unique needs of their clients.


Consultants, on the other hand, provide specialized knowledge and expertise to businesses in various industries. They may offer strategic guidance, conduct market research, or develop customized solutions to help companies overcome challenges and achieve their goals. As independent contractors, consultants have the flexibility to work with multiple clients simultaneously, providing valuable insights and recommendations.

It is worth noting that while independent contractors have the autonomy to determine their work arrangements, they are also responsible for managing their own business operations. This includes tasks such as marketing their services, handling client communication, and ensuring timely invoicing and payment collection.

Overall, the world of independent contracting in Spain is vibrant and dynamic, encompassing a wide range of professions and industries. From creative professionals to construction workers, therapists to consultants, independent contractors play a vital role in the country’s economy, offering their expertise and services to businesses and individuals alike.

Also read- Pay International Contractor: Your Go-to Guide 

Pay contractors in Spain with Asanify

Hiring contractors in Spain involves particular legal requirements. While this liberates employers from many of the responsibilities associated with traditional employment, it also entails particular legal requirements and responsibilities, such as ensuring that the contractor has legal registration in place to work in Spain.

In addition to ensuring legal registration, there are several other important considerations when hiring contractors in Spain.

A Well-documented Contract

One such consideration is the need for a clear, well-drafted contract that outlines the terms of the contractor’s service. This includes their fees, deadlines, job description, and any other policies pertaining to their engagement.

The contract serves as a legally binding agreement between the employer and the contractor, protecting the interests of both parties. It provides a clear framework for the work to be performed and helps avoid any misunderstandings or disputes that may arise during the course of the project.

Furthermore, it is crucial for employers to familiarize themselves with the applicable labor laws and regulations in Spain. This includes understanding the rights and protections afforded to contractors, as well as any obligations that the employer must fulfill.

For example, employers must ensure that contractors are provided with a safe working environment and that they are not subjected to any discriminatory practices. They must also comply with tax and social security obligations, ensuring that the contractor’s payments are properly reported and any required contributions are made.

Classification of Employment Status

Another important aspect to consider when hiring contractors in Spain is the classification of their employment status. In some cases, misclassification of contractors as employees can lead to legal consequences and potential liabilities for the employer.

Therefore, it is advisable for employers to seek legal advice or consult with a professional who specializes in labor law to ensure compliance with all legal requirements. This can help mitigate risks and ensure a smooth working relationship between the employer and the contractor.

In conclusion, hiring contractors in Spain involves specific legal requirements and responsibilities. From ensuring legal registration to drafting a comprehensive contract and complying with labor laws, employers must navigate various legal considerations to establish a successful working relationship with contractors.

Also read- Foreign Independent Contractors: Guide to Best Practices 

Do’s and Don’ts of Designing an Independent Contractor Agreement for Contractors in Spain

While we are laying out some general do’s and don’ts when making an independent contractor agreement in Spain below, it’s important to consult with a legal expert for specific advice.


1. Define the Scope of Work

Clearly outline the tasks and responsibilities of the contractor in the agreement.

2. Payment Terms:

Specify the payment structure, including rates, frequency, and any applicable taxes or deductions.

3. Duration:

Define the project’s timeline, start date, and end date, if applicable.

4. Confidentiality:

Include a confidentiality clause to protect sensitive information.

5. Intellectual Property:

Address ownership of any intellectual property developed during the contract.

6. Termination:

Detail the conditions under which either party can terminate the contract.

7. Insurance:

Specify whether the contractor needs to have liability insurance.

8. Dispute Resolution:

Include a clause outlining how disputes will be resolved, often through arbitration or mediation.


1. Misclassify Employment:

Avoid misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor to prevent legal issues.

2. Overly Restrictive Terms:

Be cautious of overly restrictive non-compete or non-solicitation clauses, as they may not be enforceable in Spain.

3. Ignoring Local Laws:

Ensure the agreement complies with Spanish labor and tax laws, as they can be complex.

4. Omitting Taxes:

Both parties should be aware of tax obligations. Don’t overlook the need for invoices and tax reporting.

5. Ambiguity:

Avoid vague language in the agreement that could lead to misunderstandings.

6. Exclusivity:

Be careful when requiring exclusivity, as it may impact the contractor’s ability to work for others.

7. Neglecting Signatures:

Make sure both parties sign the agreement, and consider notarization for added legal weight.

8. Assuming One-Size-Fits-All:

Tailor the contract to the specific needs of the project and the contractor’s role.

How Payroll Works When You Move Ahead to Pay Contractors in Spain

Once the contracting arrangements have been made, the attention shifts to payroll. Instead of being paid a salary as employees typically are, contractors invoice for their services, which is often subject to VAT (Value Added Tax) in Spain.

The way this typically works is that the contractor sends an invoice at the end of each month detailing the services they have provided and charging for them. In return, the employer remits payment according to the terms of the contractor agreement and the stipulations on the invoice.

When it comes to payroll for contractors in Spain, there are several important factors to consider.


One of the key aspects is the inclusion of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the invoicing process. Independent contractors need to pay for their own taxes and social security contributions. The progressive income tax rate in Spain varies between 19% to 47%.

In Spain, VAT is a consumption tax that is levied on the sale of goods and services. As contractors provide services, they are required to charge VAT on their invoices.

In order to properly calculate the VAT, contractors need to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the applicable VAT rates in Spain. These rates can vary depending on the type of service provided. For example, the standard VAT rate in Spain is 21%. However, there are reduced rates of 10% and 4% for certain goods and services.

Compliance With Tax Authorities

Contractors must also ensure that their invoices comply with the legal requirements set by the Spanish tax authorities. This includes including specific information such as the contractor’s name and address, the client’s details, a detailed description of the services provided, the VAT rate applied, and the total amount to be paid.

Once the contractor has sent the invoice, it is the employer’s responsibility to remit payment within the agreed upon terms. This typically involves transferring the funds to the contractor’s designated bank account. It is important for employers to adhere to the payment terms to maintain a good working relationship with the contractor.

Maintaining Payment Records

Additionally, employers should keep detailed records of the payments made to contractors for tax and accounting purposes. This includes maintaining copies of the invoices and proof of payment. These records will be crucial in case of any audits or inquiries from the tax authorities.

Overall, the payroll process for contractors in Spain involves invoicing for services rendered, including the appropriate VAT, and ensuring timely payment from the employer. It is important for both contractors and employers to understand and comply with the legal requirements. This would avoid any potential issues or penalties in future.

Also read- Pay Contractors in UK: Your Ultimate Guide 

Hire and pay contractors in Spain with Asanify

Tax Filing Requirements

Independent contractors in Spain need to compulsorily register for VAT (Impuesto de Valor Anadido, or IVA). Further, they need to file quarterly and annual VAT statements:

  • Modelo 303
  • Modelo 390

Even if the contractors don’t meet the earning boundary of €1m per annum, they need to register for Spanish business tax.

On a side note, clients/companies hiring freelancers or contractors based out of Spain also need to submit a Modelo 111 form quarterly and a Modelo 190 form annually.

Minimum Wages for Contractors in Spain

In Spain, the minimum wage is €7.82 per hour. This amounts to €14,000 per year. So, the amounts need to be bifurcated into 14 separate payments of €1,000 each. However, the minimum wage legislation is not applicable to independent contractors. In case you plan to convert any independent contractor in Spain to an employee, you will have to follow the minimum wage dictum.

Best Ways to Pay Contractors in Spain

The best ways to pay contractors in Spain depend on various factors, including the nature of the contractor’s work, the agreed-upon terms, and the company’s standard practices.

While some businesses may prefer traditional bank transfers, others might opt for digital payment solutions like PayPal or BitPay, especially for overseas contractors. It is crucial to settle on a payment method that is convenient and accessible for both parties.

Traditional Bank Transfers

When it comes to traditional bank transfers, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, it is important to ensure that you have all the necessary banking details of the contractor, such as their account number and SWIFT code. This information is crucial for a smooth and error-free transfer. Additionally, it is advisable to check with your bank about any fees or charges associated with international transfers to Spain. This will help you budget accordingly and avoid any unexpected costs.

Digital Payment Solutions

Digital payment solutions like PayPal offer a convenient and secure way to pay contractors in Spain. With PayPal, you can easily send money to contractors using their email address or mobile number. The platform also provides a level of buyer protection that is beneficial for both parties involved in the transaction. However, it is important to note that PayPal may charge certain fees for international transfers, so it is essential to consider these costs when deciding on the payment method.

Another digital payment solution that is gaining popularity is BitPay. BitPay allows businesses to pay contractors in Bitcoin, which can be a convenient option for tech-savvy contractors who prefer cryptocurrency. With BitPay, you can easily convert your local currency into Bitcoin and send it to the contractor’s Bitcoin wallet. However, it is important to keep in mind that the value of Bitcoin can be volatile, so it is advisable to discuss the payment terms and agree on a conversion rate beforehand.

Payroll Management Software- To Pay Contractors in Spain

The best way to pay your contractors in Spain is by resorting to a payroll management software. By using such a platform, you can generate payroll and disburse remuneration to your contractors’ accounts with just a click. Asanify is the best payroll management software that streamlines contractor hiring and management processes. Further, you won’t have to worry about the exchange rates. With Asanify, you can make bulk payment in the contractors’ local currency. The Global Contractor Payroll Management platform and International Hiring feature of Asanify will surely delight you as you get to de-stress from the herculean task of making contractors’ payments.

In conclusion, there are several options available when it comes to paying contractors in Spain. Whether you choose traditional bank transfers or digital payment solutions like PayPal or BitPay, it is crucial to consider factors such as convenience, accessibility, and any associated fees. Choosing Asanify is going to be a great decision anyday. By selecting the best payment method for your specific needs, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free payment process for both you and your contractors.

Also read- Pay Contractors in France: Your Ultimate Guide 

Global Contractor Management by Asanify

Currency and Other Considerations to Pay Contractors in Spain

When dealing with international contractors, you might also need to consider monetary exchange rates and international transfer costs. Often, businesses have to bear the expense of conversion rates and transfer fees when paying international contractors.

Spain, a vibrant and diverse country located in southwestern Europe, is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine. As a popular destination for tourists and businesses alike, it’s important to understand the currency and payment transfer considerations specific to this country.

Spain’s official currency is the Euro (‚Ǩ), which the majority of its population uses. This means that if you are paying international contractors based in Spain, you will need to convert your local currency into Euros. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the exchange rates, as they can fluctuate daily. By staying informed about the current rates, you can ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.

When it comes to international payment transfers, there are various methods available to businesses.

Bank Transfer- Option to Pay Contractors in Spain

One common option is to use a bank transfer, which allows you to send funds directly from your bank account to the contractor’s account in Spain. However, it’s important to note that this method may incur transfer fees, depending on your bank and the recipient’s bank.

Online Payment Platforms- Option to Pay Contractors in Spain

Another popular option is to use online payment platforms such as PayPal or TransferWise. These platforms offer a convenient and secure way to transfer funds internationally. With PayPal, for example, you can link your bank account or credit card to your PayPal account and send money to your contractors with just a few clicks. TransferWise, on the other hand, uses a peer-to-peer system to transfer funds, which can often result in lower fees and faster transfers.

Timeliness of Payment

While considering the monetary aspects of payment transfers, it’s equally important to ensure that your contractors receive their payments in a timely manner. Timeliness and assurance of payment can play a crucial role in maintaining a solid working relationship. Therefore, it’s essential to establish clear payment terms and deadlines with your contractors, and to communicate any potential delays or issues that may arise.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Spain has a strong banking system with a wide network of branches and ATMs throughout the country. This means that your contractors will have easy access to their funds once the payment has been transferred. However, it’s always a good idea to discuss with your contractors the most convenient method for them to receive payments, whether it’s through a bank account, a prepaid card, or another preferred method.

As you navigate the world of international business and engage with contractors in Spain, it’s essential to consider the currency exchange rates, transfer costs, and timely payment delivery. By being proactive and well-informed, you can ensure a smooth and successful working relationship with your international partners in Spain.

Also read- Pay Contractors in Germany: Your Ultimate Guide 

Book a demo today!

Tax and Other Payroll Costs for Contractors in Spain

When it comes to employment in Spain, there is a distinct difference between traditional employees and independent contractors. Unlike traditional employment, employers don’t need to withhold taxes from contractor remunerations. Instead, independent contractors in Spain are responsible for managing and paying their own taxes.

However, it is critical to bear in mind that the lack of withholding does not mean the lack of tax liabilities. Contractors are subject to tax on their income, and, often, to an additional VAT on their services, which are paid quarterly.

Let’s delve deeper into the tax obligations that contractors in Spain need to be aware of.


First and foremost, contractors must register with the Spanish tax authorities, known as the Agencia Tributaria. This registration process involves providing personal information, such as identification documents and proof of address, as well as declaring the nature of their business activities.

Filing of Taxes

Once registered, contractors ought to file their taxes on a regular basis. In Spain, the tax year runs from January 1st to December 31st, and contractors must submit their annual tax return by June 30th of the following year. This tax return includes details of their income, expenses, and any applicable deductions.

It’s important to note that contractors in Spain are subject to both personal income tax (Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Fisicas or IRPF) and corporate income tax (Impuesto sobre Sociedades or IS) if they operate through a legal entity, such as a limited company. The rates for these taxes vary depending on the contractor’s income level and the nature of their business.

In addition to income tax, contractors may also be liable for Value Added Tax (VAT), known as Impuesto sobre el Valor Anadido or IVA. VAT is applicable to most goods and services provided by contractors, and the standard rate is currently set at 21%. Contractors are required to charge VAT on their invoices and remit the collected amount to the tax authorities on a quarterly basis.

It’s worth mentioning that contractors in Spain can claim certain expenses as deductions against their taxable income. These expenses can include business-related costs such as office rent, utilities, professional fees, and travel expenses. However, it’s crucial for contractors to keep accurate records and receipts to substantiate these deductions in case of a tax audit.

While contractors in Spain enjoy the flexibility of managing their own taxes, it’s essential for them to be well-informed about their tax obligations. From registering with the tax authorities to filing regular tax returns and considering deductions, contractors must navigate the Spanish tax system diligently. This is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid any potential penalties or legal issues.

Pay contractors in Spain with Asanify

Difference between Employee vs Contractor in Spain

When it comes to hiring individuals for specific roles, businesses in Spain often face the dilemma of choosing between employees and contractors. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, it is essential to understand the distinct implications associated with each.

Level of Work Control

One of the key differences between employees and contractors in Spain lies in the level of work control. Employees are typically subject to the control and direction of their employer. The latter has the authority to dictate the tasks they perform and how they work on it. On the other hand, contractors enjoy more autonomy and have greater flexibility in deciding how they complete their work. They are often engaged for a specific project or task and have more control over their own work schedule.

Remuneration to Pay Contractors in Spain

The nature of remuneration is another aspect that sets employees and contractors apart. In Spain, employees receive a regular salary, mostly on a monthly basis. They get access to benefits such as paid vacation, sick leave, and social security contributions. Contractors, on the other hand, are usually paid based on a specific contract or project. They may negotiate their fees and payment terms, and are responsible for managing their own taxes and social security contributions.


Speaking of taxes, the tax obligations for employees and contractors differ significantly. Employers in Spain are responsible for withholding and paying income tax and social security contributions on behalf of their employees. Additionally, employees enjoy certain tax deductions and benefits. Contractors, however, are responsible for managing their own tax obligations. They must register as self-employed and file their own tax returns. This is important to ensure compliance with the tax laws and regulations of Spain.

Job Security

Job stability is yet another factor that distinguishes employees from contractors in Spain. Employees typically enjoy more job security as they receive protection from labor laws. These laws regulate termination and provide severance pay in case of dismissal. Contractors, on the other hand, often work on a project-by-project basis. So, they may not have the same level of job security. They are engaged for a specific duration or until the completion of a project, and their contracts may not be renewed once the project ends.

Considering these differences, it is crucial for businesses in Spain to carefully analyze their needs and the nature of the work before deciding whether to hire an employee or engage a contractor. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and understanding the implications can help businesses make informed decisions that align with their goals and requirements.

Also read- Pay Contractors in Netherlands: Your Ultimate Guide 

Hire global contractors with Asanify

Risk of Misclassification of a Contractor in Spain

Misclassification of a contractor can lead to serious consequences. It can involve penalties, liability for employment benefits, and potential disputes with the contractor or the authorities.

Classifying someone as an independent contractor when they should be an employee could lead to hefty fines and penalties, both at national and EU levels. Such penalties can be severe enough to even cause ripples in the company’s financial stability.

Pay Contractors in Other European Countries

Wondering how to pay contractors based out of other European nations? Well, we have simplified things for you. Just click on the state from where your contractor hails, and simplify contractor payment disbursal at a momentous pace.

FAQs- Pay Contractors in Spain

This section will discuss some of the most common queries regarding contractor payments in Spain.

[saswp_tiny_multiple_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”How to work as a contractor in Spain?” answer-0=”To work as a contractor in Spain, one needs to apply for a work visa at a Spanish consulate or embassy. This visa has a validity of one year. If you match the required conditions and prove that you have enough finances to sustain yourself, the extension of the visa is possible. ” image-0=”” count=”1″ html=”true”]

[saswp_tiny_multiple_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”What is the contractor tax in Spain?” answer-0=”Independent contractors need to pay for their own taxes in Spain. The income tax rate varies between 19% to 47%, depending on various factors. ” image-0=”” count=”1″ html=”true”]

[saswp_tiny_multiple_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”How do clients pay contractors?” answer-0=”Clients may use checks, wire transfers, or payroll management software to pay contractors. ” image-0=”” count=”1″ html=”true”]

[saswp_tiny_multiple_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”Can I work self-employed in Spain?” answer-0=”If you have a residence permit and a work permit, you can work as a self-employed professional in Spain. ” image-0=”” count=”1″ html=”true”]


Paying contractors in Spain can be a complex process. However, by understanding your legal obligations, financial commitments, and the rights and duties of your contractors, you can help ensure a fruitful and compliant work relationship. This, in essence, is what contributes towards a healthy business ecosystem.

Not to be considered as tax, legal, financial or HR advice. Regulations change over time so please consult a lawyer, accountant  or Labour Law  expert for specific guidance.