Spain Expat presents five ideas for making a living in Spain and how to go about it.
Learn your competitive advantage.Not being independently wealthy shouldn’t hinder your dream of moving abroad. If you’re looking for a way to earn your bread and make a living in Spain, here are five ideas to help get you going: Ventanilla única empresarial. There, potential entrepreneurs can find a wealth of information, such as how to choose a legal business structure or the legal and financial obligations of a business in Spain, and can get a good idea of how to navigate the Spanish bureaucracy. A short online questionnaire can help you determine which forms you will need for what you plan to do. Offline you can find a Ventanilla única office in most regions of Spain. You can also find information and support (in Spanish) from Spain's Cámaras de Comercio (Chambers of Commerce), also with local offices throughout the country. If you don’t speak Spanish yet, it would probably be a good idea to have a business partner who does. To build a business in Spain from the ground up, you should first consider: What kind of business or industry am I familiar with or interested in? What kind of customers should the business be looking for? Where is a good location for the business? How can I raise the needed capital? How involved do I want to be with the everyday running of the business? And not least of all, what is my contingency plan if the business should fail? Go and buy a book on running a business; talk to some people who have already done it; learn more about your intended industry, region and customers; and then if you’d still like to take the plunge and open up your very own business in Spain, start with writing your business plan. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. (Check out Rich Dad, Poor Dad for some business inspiration.) exhaustive list of job sites in Spain. Though it may be grim to acknowledge, unless you’re an EU citizen or have some exceptional talent, experience or knowledge, your chances of getting a corporate job in Spain are not good. But if you do have one or more of those assets working for you, there’s nothing to stop you from making a good living in Spain.
It’s possible to transfer your career to Spain.English teacher in a private language academy. If you are currently an elementary or secondary school teacher in your home country, it’s possible to simply transfer your career to Spain. For example, American schools seek teachers with US teaching credentials, British schools seek teachers with British qualifications and so on. Check with your country’s embassy for a list of international schools in Spain. Otherwise, teaching English in a private language academy is a popular career-starting or career-changing move for English-speaking foreigners bound for Spain. Why? English is BIG business here; there is a relatively high demand for English teachers, language academies require minimal qualifications and it’s often easy to find a job. Some people deride the low wages and low educational standards of teaching English in private academies, but others happily make a career of it. There are a fair number of people, however, who use teaching English as a way to make contacts in Spain before branching out into something else. For more information on teaching English in Spain, see Spain Expat’s series on teaching English in Spain, as well as The Complete Guide to Teaching English in Spain. Internet connection to get going. Creative, editorial and technical fields of work lend themselves especially well to freelancing for clients based anywhere in the world. Think of journalists, writers, proofreaders, translators, photographers, graphic artists, web designers and computer programmers – with a computer, a VOIP phone number and an Internet connection, is there anything they can’t do? In-person freelancers are freelancers who provide a service at the client’s home or office, the freelancer’s office or a separate location. Consultancies, specialized professions and private lessons lend themselves especially well to in-person freelancing. Think of marketing consultants, financial consultants, business analysts, accountants, lawyers and solicitors, private-practice doctors, psychologists, masseuses, piano teachers and private English teachers. Depending on your specialty, however, you may first need to have your qualifications validated for equivalency in Spain. It also takes time to find enough freelance business to support yourself. If you don’t have another job or another way to make money waiting in the wings while you build up your client base, make sure you have a year’s worth of savings in the bank before you make the leap to full-time freelancing. Otherwise, being poor in Spain is manageable, but certainly less fun. See the cost of living page for an idea of just how poor one can be and how much you need to get by whilst living in Spain. schools and higher education in Spain. Second, your career might benefit from the chance to go back to school. You could get an MBA or other degree to help you advance in your career, or pursue a degree that allows you to change careers. Completing your coursework in Spanish could be a good challenge; otherwise Spain has a wide variety of degree programs and training courses available in English. Whichever of these five routes you choose to make your living in Spain, remember that with enough preparation and research, you should be able to find your niche. Good luck!
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Information on Spain’s main business taxes – Company Tax, IAE tax, and VAT – as well as other business-related taxes and Spain’s tax year.