How to hire an employee in Spain without setting up a company
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How to hire an employee in Spain without setting up a company

In the event that a foreign company intends to hire an employee in Spain, without creating a subsidiary or a branch in Spain, the procedure is very streamlined and fast, provided you have experience.

Here is a brief practical guide:

1 – First, it is necessary to identify the foreign company in Spanish territory. To do this, it is necessary to request a Spanish Tax Code (NIF, Numero de identificación fiscal). The NIF obtained will start with the letter “N”, to indicate that it is a NON-resident company in Spain.

You will need to have:

a) an authentic copy of the company’s chamber of commerce registration, certified by the Apostille of The Hague at the office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Court;

b) a translation made by a sworn translator in Spain.

Subsequently, you will fill out the Modelo 036 in which you will communicate to the Tax Agency: the identifying data of the company, an address in Spain for possible notifications, the data of the representative and the type of activity (in this case, hiring of an employee).

2 – Once the NIF is obtained, it will be possible to request the opening of the foreign company’s bank account in Spain. This step is necessary as every month the company’s social security contributions will be automatically debited from the bank account and withholdings deducted from the payroll will be settled quarterly.

We at Lawants are able to open a bank account in Spain without your physical presence. Once the bank account is opened, you will receive the access credentials directly on your mobile phone to operate independently with the bank remotely.

3 – Once the NIF is obtained, within the next 24 hours it is possible to request the company’s Certificado digital, which will allow you to proceed with the hiring of employees as well as connect to the web pages of Spanish public entities and operate online (e.g., check or submit tax declarations, view your tax position on the Tax Agency’s website). For more information on the Certificado, see also

4 – Before concluding the employment contract, it is advisable that each worker registers at the Spanish Employment Center, personally presenting themselves at the SEPE – Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal – and apply for the tarjeta de demanda de empleo (DARDE). In this way, the company can benefit from some advantages. They must also request the social security registration number (Seguridad Social in Spain) at the competent SS office. These registrations are free and very quick and in some offices, it is possible to obtain them without an appointment.

5 – Once the worker has registered as a demandante de empleo and obtained the DARDE, it will be possible to proceed with the drafting of the employment contract. Although in Spain employment contracts are mere forms because they are regulated in all aspects by the legislation, we at Lawants advise relying on a labor consultant for more information about the professional classification, category, the applicable CCNL, and the fiscal and economic advantages that the company can provide. Remember that in Spain the annual gross salary is considered as the base, not the net salary as in Italy. Here is an article where we explain in detail everything you need to know:

6 – Once the employment contract is drafted, it will be necessary to communicate to the Social Security the hiring that has taken place. This formal communication constitutes the birth of the employment relationship regardless of the signing of the contract, which has a mere and possible probative value. From that moment, social security contributions will begin to be paid, which will be paid on the 30th of the following month.

For more information and assistance in the labor field, get in touch with our labor law professional.

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