A few tips and tricks for a freelance copywriter in Barcelona.
Barcelona is a fantastic city to live in: there’s the sun, the beach, great restaurants, culture, fiesta… the list goes on. Working as a freelancer in Barcelona on top of that only adds to the experience of living there. 5 years as a freelancer in the city, I have picked up a few tricks that helped me on my way.
The tax man.
First, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. What you need to know about the Barcelona tax man is that he doesn’t like the freelancers and it’s always best to keep him sweet. It gets pretty complex, but here are a few things you might need to know:
- Get yourself an accountant, but shop around for a bit before you buy. I’ve heard enough horror stories about accountants in Barcelona to know that it’s best to ask for referrals.
- You need a social security number before working. All the information you need can be found on the Seguridad Social website. The cost of social security depends on how long you have been a freelancer in Catalunya for. It can reach up to just under €300 per month.
- You are also required to have an NIE number. This is the tax and identification number for foreign workers. In the past few years, there has been a lot of changes in the process of obtaining an NIE number. You have to book an appointment, which can be a long, arduous process in itself. The appointment consists of an interview and proof of work. Most freelancers now pay for a lawyer to them up, but if you prefer to do it yourself, expect delays and a lot of waiting around.
There’s an abundance of places to work around the city. If you’re like me and your desk can be anywhere, then you’re in luck! Pretty much every bar/restaurant/café has wifi, so that’s a good place to start off with. There’s also the city wifi, which you can catch on most streets. It’s everywhere, even in the park and on the beach.
The libraries are fantastic places to work in. They’ve all been refurbished, they have great wifi. They have good opening times, all-be-it is a little awkward. Most importantly, they have air conditioning. This might not sound too thrilling if you’re reading this mid-winter in England, but believe me, when it comes to July in Barcelona, the library becomes a fresh, cool sanctuary. You do need a library card, which can be used in all libraries across the city. To obtain a card, drop into any library, show your ID and proof-of-address and you have yourself a library card.
Alternatively, there are lots of co-working spaces cropping up throughout the city, so if that’s your desk-of-choice, then you’re sure to find something in your neighbourhood.
Find your tribe.
There are hundreds of freelancers in Barcelona and there’s always a meetup or event for them. Here are a few groups you should check out – it’s great for jobs, events, meeting other freelancers:
About the author:
Beginning her writing career as an editorial intern at a local Barcelona magazine, Heather has continued to write, edit, transcreate and proofread over the past five years. Heather is currently based in London, continuing as a copywriter and photographer.