SME or Autónomo: Which one is the best option in Spain


SME or Autónomo: Which one is the best option in Spain

February 28 / 2024

Making the decision to embark on a business path in Spain involves considering a series of crucial factors, including determining whether it is more beneficial being self-employed (“Autónomo”) or to establish a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME).

Lately, the options and advantages for both types of business structures keep evolving, making the choice more attractive than ever. In this article, we will explore the key considerations to determine when it is convenient to be self-employed or set up an SME in the Spanish country.

What are the benefits of being self-employed in Spain

Flexibility and independence

Being self-employed, also known as an “autónomo” in Spain, offers a high dose of independence and flexibility. This approach is especially suitable for those entrepreneurs looking to start and run smaller businesses with a limited scope.

Being an autónomo brings notable advantages, such as the possibility of making decisions in an agile way, maintaining full control over the business, and the ability to develop a more direct relationship with customers. This is quite important for people working as freelancers.

Tax exemptions and reductions

In addition, the tax regime for the self-employed in Spain has undergone significant changes that may benefit those who choose this route. Recent reforms have introduced tax breaks and reductions in social contributions for new self-employed workers, which may be attractive to those who want to set up a business with a relatively low initial investment.

Pros of a SME in Spain

Growth and strength

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) offer a more solid and stable framework for entrepreneurs who aspire to grow on a larger scale. The main benefit of establishing an SME lies in the ability to access additional resources, such as financing, personnel, and technology, which can contribute to the development and expansion of the business. In addition, the structure of an SME can generate an image of solidity and professionalism, which can be essential to attract clients and business partners.


In terms of the tax regime, SMEs also enjoy certain advantages. For example, they can benefit from tax deductions and specific benefits for companies that invest in research and development, which can boost innovation and competitiveness in the market.

Key Factors to keep in mind

The decision between being self-employed or establishing an SME in Spain in 2023 will depend on a series of individual and contextual factors. Here are some key considerations that may influence your choice:

  • Business Size and Ambition: If your goal is to start a smaller project with a simplified structure, being self-employed might be the right choice. If you are looking for long-term growth and expansion, on the other hand, an SME can provide the base and necessary resources.
  • Nature of Business: The type of business you plan to develop also plays a key role. Some industries are more suitable for independence, while others can benefit from the structure and additional resources of an SME.
  • Investments and Financing: If you require significant investment or external financing, an SME can provide you with access to broader financial resources and a greater capacity to meet economic challenges.
  • Tax Regime: It is very important to evaluate the tax advantages and obligations for both options. Consulting with a tax advisor can help you determine the best choice for your financial situation.
  • Administrative Charges: Being self-employed involves a lower administrative burden compared to running an SME, which can influence your decision based on your preferences and skills.


Ultimately, the choice between being self-employed or an SME in Spain will depend on your objectives, capabilities, and the specific characteristics of your business. Both options offer unique advantages and challenges that must be carefully considered.

If you wish to learn more about our services for freelancers, small businesses, or immigration procedures, you can visit our website where you can schedule a completely free consultation with one of our specialists who will assess your case.