Subsidies for newly self employed autonomos

Availability of subsidies for autonomos

After a section about state support for businesses, the rest of this article deals with a particular subsidy program for newly self-employed in Andalucia. There are many other ways of getting subsidies in Spain and they vary from region to region but this is a typical example and gives a flavour of the eligibility and practical requirements.

Other Autonomo pages on this site: Full autonomo guide - Autonomo expenses guide - Starting a business in Spain

Centros de Apoyo al Desarrollo Empresarial (CADE)

As a general point for those looking to learn about subsidy availability in Andalucia, both for autonomos and other businesses, the first port of call should probably be the local CADE office. They are publicly financed offices which inform potential claimants of subsidy programs and help available. They have regular seminars and will discuss options one on one though usually with a prior appointment.

Each community has something similar and the best way to find it is to put a phrase like "ayuda autonomo [name of autonomous community]" into Google.es and look for information given by the regional government. There are some private firms who help find subsidies either for a fixed fee or a share of the subsidy won, but starting with the official bodies should be the more direct and cheapest route. Here is the relevant site for Madrid for example:

Portal de autonomos de la Comunidad de Madrid

Subsidy for the new autonomous workers (Andalucia)

The example program we are taking a look at here is called Ayuda para el establecimiento del trabajador autonomo or Assistance for setting up as self-employed. In brief it offers up to 11.000€ subsidy for new autonomos in Andalucia generally those who were previously unemployed. Having read the details then contact Advoco or go directly to your local CADE office to find out more. Alternatively go to the Junta de Andalucia's website.

Months of application

A common feature of Spanish subsidy programs is that there are set times to make the applications for them, in this case March and September each year. There is a special application period in 2010 between 15th May and 15 June in addition to the usual months.

Knowing this can influence the timing of taking up your autonomo registration and starting the business. If you are thinking of going autonomo then it is best to check out subisidies as early as possible so you don't just miss out on an application period.

Who can apply

Autonomos who are actually and fiscally resident in Andalucia other than those who are autonomos because they are directors of a company and those that also have some other form of work or business.

You must have become autonomo in the six months before the application window, so it is for relatively new autonomos and also not for future autonomos (you can't apply for the subsidy and then register when you get it).

You can't apply if you've already had a similar subsidy within the past three years. If you get a subisdy you have to keep being autonomo for three years to keep it.

Preferred activities

Again a very common feature of subsidy programs is a bias towards particular types of activity or areas. In this case they will look more favourably on applications from economically disadvantaged areas (see list) and businesses relating to :

- daily life / quality of life

- the environment

- leisure and culture

- new technology

From talking to CADE it appears that the way you frame your request on the application form is crucial in respect of the preferred activities. If you are planning to do something that does not seem to be covered directly you can spin your description of planned activity in the application form so that it is viewed more favourably.

The four headings above are only summaries and the full list of preferred activities (here) gives plenty of scope for this. For example if you are registered as an autonomo electrician, there is a preference for businesses which repair and maintain public spaces and also for reforming the inside of houses, both of which could give you an opportunity to look like a preferred activity.

Amount of subisdy

Again a typical feature of subsidy programs is that they favour disadvantaged groups and have a bias in favour of women particularly those who have suffered domestic violence. The scale is:

€5.000 for men previously without employment (€7.000 for women)

€6.000 for those less than 30 or in disadvantaged areas

€8.000 for disabled, immigrants, over 45s and long term unemployed

Combinations of the above get more with the very highest subsidy available being €11.000 for those unlucky enough to be unemployed women with disabilities and who have been the victims of domestic violence.

Documentation required

- A completed application form

- NIE

- Certificate from your bank to say you are the owner of the account on the application form

- Original copy of the social security form showing you are in the Regimen Especial Trabajadores Autonomo

- Registration of autonomo with the Tax Office: modelo 036 or 037

- A certificate from social security that you are up to date with your contributions (you can go to the social security office and ask for a Vida Laboral which is like a contribution history and will suffice)

- Copy of degree or professional qualifications

- If you are claiming for any of the special categories like being a victim of violence or disabled then you need to show accreditation for this.