The Spanish freelance quota 2024: What (and why) you need to pay

Written by Xolo
on marzo 03, 2023 8 minute read

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verified by Elena Garro
Especialista en Contabilidad e Impuestos




Yes, we know. Paying the freelance quota on the last day of every month is quite a hassle. You work, work, work, work, work (don’t sue us, Rihanna), then poof! A three-figure chunk of money disappears from your account. 

And for what? Simply being a freelancer in Spain? 

Meh, that’s a bit biased. First off, the common belief that we pay for the privilege of working is half true at best. In fact, your monthly payments actually go toward your public healthcare, retirement, and work benefits. But what’s more is that as of 2023, the freelance quota has finally switched to a progressive system — your payments now reflect your actual income.

This article will shed light on what the freelance quota is, why you have to pay it, and how much you’ll have to pay. But on the bright side, we’ll also cover some of the plus points, like the first-year reductions and the enticing “zero quota” benefits. 

So without further ado, let’s get going.

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What is the freelance quota in Spain?

The freelance quota is an obligatory monthly payment for anybody working as an independent professional in Spain. When you sign up on the RETA (special regime for freelancers), you agree to pay the amount to the social security system in Spain (Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social — TGSS). In exchange, you get access to the social security system, including medical treatment, sick pay, retirement, and more.

Before you ask, both registering as a freelancer and paying your monthly amount are mandatory by law. If you try to get around these obligations, you’re going to run into financial and legal troubles, just saying. 

“But why don’t my friends who work in companies have to pay the social security contribution?”, we hear you ask.

We’re one step ahead of you. Freelancers pay their quota directly to the TGSS, whereas employees pay their social security contributions before they receive their salary. So yes, they do pay it, they might just not notice. However, there is a difference between the freelance quota and salaried employees’ payments. As freelancers, we can deduct business expenses from our gross income to create a taxable income. From 2023, the freelance quota is based on that taxable income, so you might fall into a lower contribution bracket 😉.  

With that little explainer, we hope the freelance quota seems less “waste of money” and more “an investment in your own health and wealth”. 

What services does the freelance quota provide?

We’ve already briefly mentioned the services that the Spanish social security system provides. Now we’re going to get a bit more comprehensive. Our monthly payment as freelancers covers us in five areas:

  • Common illness
  • Work-related illness or accidents
  • Cessation of activity (only after flat rate is over)
  • Professional training 
  • Retirement

Now let’s take a deeper look into each section to see exactly where your freelance quota is going:

Common illness — 28.3%

Let's take an easy example. Imagine you’re an electrician, but at a family party — uh-oh, you’ve picked up the flu from one of those snivelling kids. It wipes you out on Sunday, and by Monday morning, you don’t even have the energy to waste time flicking through TikTok. It’s clear you can’t go to work, but your illness wasn’t a result of your work. A large chunk, 28.3% of your social security contribution, is for events like these.

Work-related illness or accidents — 1.3%

Continuing with the electrician motif. Just after you've recovered from the flu, you get zapped by a light fitting, fall off a ladder, and now your ankle is in a cast. Just 1.3% of your freelance quota goes to occupational accidents like this.

Cessation of activity — 0.9%

So, we’ve established you’re an electrician, if a bit clumsy at times. But if you have to completely stop your work, you’ll need a cash injection to keep food on your table. The government is quite generous with the reasons, which include:

  • Economic, technical, productive, or organizaitonal issues
  • Losing your license to work
  • Divorce or separation
  • Force majeure 
  • Gender or sexual violence

The last two here can be either temporary or permanent.

Professional training  — 0.1%

Need some training to take you to that next level? Maybe there’s a new connection that you have to learn to get to grips with to stay competitive. OK, fine, we know nothing about electricity. Anyway, 0.1% of your quota goes to courses to help you improve professionally.


This is probably the one you’ve really been looking out for. Even though you’ll be working until 104, it’s nice to know that you’ve at least paid into a pension, just in case.

It's all very well to talk about percentages and contribution bases, but how much exactly will your freelance quota cost?


These guys literally saved my business life, after talking to many gestors for all money of the world I found Xolo and they just did everything very fast (organized the company, explained all rules, registered all taxes) and since then within almost 2 years I am happy with the support and advice for super reasonable price.

Alyona S. 





How is the Spanish freelance quota calculated?

From 1 January 2023, the freelance quota rises in line with your income. If that’s too vague, it’s based on your net income over a month. We can almost hear you screaming: “BUT MY MONTHLY INCOME FLUCTUATES!” 

So what has the Ministry of Social Security, in all its wisdom, done to address the problem? 

Every self-employed worker in Spain makes a prediction of their income and bases their contributions on that. There is some flexibility in the system — you can update your estimate every two months, or six times a year. 

If you haven’t spotted the gaping loophole here, congrats, you’re an honest person. But clearly, you can’t get away with earning €10,000 a month and paying the bottom quota. To counteract this flavor of fraud, social security speaks to the tax office at the end of every year. If you’ve been cheating the system, you’ll get a chunky bill to balance the books. 

How much does a Spanish freelancer pay to social security in 2024?

For this year, freelance quotas are based on actual income, and work out to the following amounts:

Net income



Change from 2022

Up to €670



From €670 to €900



From €900 to €1166.70



From €1166.70 to €1300



From €1300 to €1500



From €1500 to €1700



From €1700 to €1850



From €1850 to €2030



From €2030 to €2330



From €2330 to €2760



From €2760 to €3190



From €3190 to €3620



From €3620 to €4050



From €4050 to €6000



More than €6000




Special cases for the freelance quota

The 2023 changes to the freelance quota are intended to make the system more fair for more people. As such, there are two umbrella categories that contain ways to reduce your payments:

  • The reduced quota
  • Zero quotas

The reduced quota since 2023

As the new system came into force in January 2023, many new freelancers got spooked by the prospect of paying €230. For a while, it seemed like the reduced contribution for first-time freelancers had gone out of the window, but we’re happy to say, it’s still with us.

The reduced freelance quota for 2024 i set at €86.66 per month for the first year of a new freelancer’s activity.

And good news! If your business hasn’t gotten off the ground, you can extend the reduced quota for another year. Even better news: if you’re a man under 30, or a woman under 35, you can extend it for a third year. However, all extensions are on the condition that your income doesn’t exceed the minimum wage (€1134 at 2024).

General requirements

The general requirements to access the reduced quota are:

  • To be a first-time freelancer. OR (and stick with us here) to have not been registered in the last three years, or last two years if you’ve never received a reduced quota.
  • You can’t be a “collaborating freelancer”. This is a term for people working for freelance family members.
  • To be free of debts with the tax or social security authorities.
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Special conditions for disability and victims of gender violence or terrorism

As the title suggests, there are special conditions for people with a disability equal or greater than 33%, victims of gender violence or victims of terrorism. As with the previous case, the reduced fee of €80 is extended to the first 24 months. At the end of this period, you can continue with the €80 payment for a year if you’re still under minimum wage. However, if you’ve jumped above minimum wage by your third year, you can benefit from an extra 12 months at a reduced rate of €160. Nice and simple, right?

The reduced freelance quota under the “pluriactivity regime”

Wow, that’s a lot of words. Welcome to Spanish admin. 

Right at the beginning of this article, we mentioned that you technically sign up to the RETA (special regime for freelancers), when you register with social security. But that’s not the only special regime.

If you’re signed up to both the RETA and the pluriactivity regime, you are someone who works both for an employer and for yourself.

If you’ve been an employee for a while and want to break into the freelance world without losing the security of your “normal” job, you can register as a freelancer and choose between two reductions:

  • The standard reduced contribution for first-time freelancers — €86 per month.
  • A requested discount on your contribution, based on the length of your working day in employment.

Let’s dig a little deeper into that second option. 

  • For full-time employment, you can reduce your contributions by 50% for the first 18 months and 25% for the following 18 months.
  • For part-time employment, you can reduce your contributions by 25% for the first 18 months, and 15% for the following 18 months.

The “zero quota” since 2023

If this sounds like a seriously good deal, you’d be right. 

In the regions of Madrid, Murcia, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands, 2023 introduced the zero quota for freelancers. It really is what it sounds like: 100% of your social security payment is covered by the local government.

Obviously, nothing in this world is quite as good as it first appears. 

Requirements for the zero quota

  • You have to be eligible for the €86 reduction
  • If you’re in the Balearic Islands (the Mediterranean islands, not the Atlantic ones), you can also qualify by being under 35 or a female entrepreneur.

Qualifying for these requirements will give you full access to the zero quota for 12 months, and an extra 12 if — you guessed it — you don’t exceed the minimum wage.

However, in many cases, this reduction is retrospective. You can apply for it in the two months before your €86 reduction expires. As these rules get ironed out and confirmed, it’s best to talk to an expert for your individual case. 

The quota for corporate freelancers

Another curious term there. A corporate freelancer is any self-employed worker who has set up a commercial company

The minimum base of the corporate freelancers cannot be lower than that of group 7 of the General Regime (the new contribution table), and in order to apply it, they must have been in this condition for 90 days (with management functions and partners of labor companies with a shareholding of 50% or more of the capital stock).

To summarize, corporate freelancers who had the previous minimum base, in 2023 will have a minimum base of 1,000 euros. This means that the corporate self-employed who pay the minimum base will have to pay a contribution of 310 euros per month.

To be eligible for the corporate freelancer quota, you have to meet the following three requirements:

  • Hold a minimum of 25% of the company in question and perform management or decision-making tasks in it.
  • Hold at least 33% of the company's shares, in addition to working for the company.
  • Live with a partner who owns at least 50% of the shares.

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FAQs: The Spanish freelance quota 2024

When is the freelance quota paid?

This is where it gets easy. The freelance quota is charged on the last working day of each month 📆. Simple and straightforward.

If 28 February falls on a Sunday, the fee will be debited from your bank account on Friday 26 February.

Can I change my freelance quota during the year?

With the incremental social security contributions comes a bit more autonomy in how you pay. The Social Security Ministry allows you to change your estimate of monthly income every two months, with your freelance quota changing as a result.

Sound a bit complicated? Get Xolo on the job!

Nobody gets into freelance work because they love admin and red tape…if only there was a way to get around it 🤔.

You can see where this is going.

Xolo was designed by freelancers to make life as easy as possible for people like you who are trying to make the leap. We know how complicated topics like the 2023 freelance quotas can be for newbies, which is why our team is on hand to make it simple.

But that’s not all. With Xolo, you also get:

✔️ FREE freelancer registration with social security and the tax authorities

✔️ An easy-to-use billing platform to keep your accounting on point 

✔️ An unbeatable team of financial experts to file your quarterly tax returns correctly

So, if you need a friendly face to help you make sense of the freelance quota and much more, give Xolo a call!

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