Written by George Chilton on behalf of Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona

Irene Talks Autónomo

There were other people in the room, honest

Have you ever considered becoming a freelancer?

A lot of people have thought about going autónomo, and a lot get put off the idea because it can be quite overwhelming – especially when you hate filling out forms and queuing for stamps like me.

Becoming a freelancer in Spain (or Catalonia for that matter) is not a cut-and-dry decision. It will affect your finances and you will have to become quite self-reliant. You might find that freelancing is not  right for you, but on the other hand, it could also be a very beneficial arrangement.

As for the bureaucratic process itself, the paper work is a hassle and there’s not very much help around. If you’ve been in the country long enough you’ll probably know that the system in Spain isn’t exactly famed for its friendliness or efficiency.

Most of our members in SLB are (or are becoming) autónomo – and so they know the pain you are going through.

All is not lost though, we have done the research, run the gauntlet of pink, blue, and yellow forms, presented all our photocopies and got our official stamps – and we are happy to help others do the same, and hopefully make it all a little less painful.

A BTTA Special Event (and an encore!)


There’s nothing free about freelancing.

It already feels like a long time ago, but back in February our head of Financial and Administrative services, Irene Almazán Garcia gave a presentation to the Barcelona TEFL Teachers Association. You can read more about Irene on her SLB profile page.

Irene talked the group through the challenges and difficulties of becoming an autónomo, gave an overview of the process, and explained what to do and what not to do – and of course had time for an Q&A with the attendees.

People found the session invaluable – in fact, it was so popular there’s going to be an encore!  The next presentation is going ahead on the  28th March, from 15:00 to 17:00, Carrer Església 4-6, Barcelona, at a cost of €10. Please note that all bookings must be done through the BTTA Facebook group.

If you’re a TEFLer and based in Barcelona, we urge you to get in touch with the BTTA – it’s a fantastic group for all involved.

There are social events, trips, lesson plan sessions – and with just over 4,6oo people in the Facebook group at this current time, there’s always something going on.

Finally we’ll leave you with this. They say exaggeration is one of the principles of comedy – but this feels like straight up realism to me.

Further reading on becoming an autónomo in Spain
If you would like to read more about the pros and cons of becoming autónomo, I recommend reading Neil McMillan’s posts:

If you’d rather not become a freelancer, but would like to know how to invoice your clients – this post is an excellent place to start:

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  1. Myles 17 March 2015 at 10:20 am - Reply

    The first session sounds like it was a success! I am rather interested in attending the round 2 session on March 28th. I can’t seem to find the event in the facebook book to sign up?

    • georgechilton 17 March 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Myles, unfortunately I can’t link to the post directly because it’s a closed group – however it is pinned to the top, so it should be the first thing you see in the group page. If not, you can use the search box to look for “ENCORE BTTA SPECIAL EVENT” – if all the places are taken (I think there are two left!) there’ll be a waiting list for people – or we can arrange another session. I hope that’s helpful!