Argentina 10 min

How to set up as an independent contractor in Argentina

Written by Pedro Barros
Pedro Barros

Share

share to linkedInshare to Twittershare to Facebook
Link copied
to clipboard

If your entrepreneurial flame is burning as fiercely as a fiery tango, then where better to go it alone than Argentina?

Whether you’re looking to set up shop in the colorful chaos of Buenos Aires, the rolling vineyards of Mendoza, or the rugged landscapes of Patagonia, this proud and famous country offers a perfect work-life balance.

Before you can start your self-employment journey, though, you’ll need to know how to:

  • Register your business in Argentina

  • Avoid misclassification as an employee

  • Create compliant contracts that protect you

  • Invoice and collect payments from around the world

In this article, we’ll cover all these things, and help you navigate your tax responsibilities as a self-employed worker. We’ll also discuss some of the other risks and liabilities you should be aware of, making the whole process as deft and effortless as a Lionel Messi stepover.

So let’s begin.

First, it’s important to clarify how Argentina defines independent contractors.

What is an independent contractor according to Argentinian law?

Independent contractors are workers who provide paid services (or products) to another party. However, they are classified differently to employees, and are usually not entitled to the same benefits, such as paid leave, sick days, and minimum wage. On the flip side, contractors have more freedom and flexibility in the way they work.

See also: Why businesses hire contractors vs. international employees

As in most countries, Argentina does not explicitly define the difference between employees and independent contractors in law. Instead, the distinction is made based on the nature of the working relationship, and the degree of control exercised by the client/employer.

Based on these guidelines, and the definitions of employment in Argentinian contract and labor law, you are generally considered to be an independent contractor if you:

  • Determine your own work schedule and working hours

  • Perform work for other companies

  • Set your own rates and scope of work

  • Provide your own tools or equipment

  • Are not integrated into one specific company and its operations (i.e. you don’t have an internal email address)

  • Are able to delegate or subcontract work

  • Work without direction or supervision

When you work with clients, it’s important to be correctly classified to avoid penalties and fines, and to ensure that you are paying the right taxes.

Business registration in Argentina

Before you can begin working as an independent contractor in Argentina, you’ll first need to choose a formal structure for your business. This will determine what your liabilities are, and how you will pay tax.

The two most popular choices for sole owners are to register as self-employed, or opt for the monotributista model. Under both of these structures, you have full control of your enterprise, although there is no legal separation between you (the owner) and the business; you are personally responsible for all its debts and liabilities. Each structure does, however, have different tax implications, while the monotributista model has some trading restrictions; namely, you cannot earn more than:

  • ARS 5,650,236.51 (around $24,000) per year for services provided; or

  • ARS 8,040,721.19 (around $34,000) per year in movable goods sold.

If you opt for one of these structures, you must register accordingly with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP). Note that, in both cases, you will need an Argentine tax number (CUIT) and a fiscal code. We will cover the tax differences between these two structures in the taxation section of this guide.

If you want more legal protection, you’re working with other partners, or you anticipate generating a large amount of revenue, you can also incorporate a formal sole shareholder company or enter into a partnership. If you’re unsure which structure is most suitable for your business, it’s a good idea to speak with a registered solicitor or accountant.

If you are a registered professional (i.e. a doctor or an architect), the process may be slightly different. In such cases, you should consult with your profession’s regulatory body.

Note, too, that the Argentine government offers the Independent Employment Program (PEI), which provides financial and technical assistance to anyone who wants to become self-employed.

How do I get paid as an independent contractor in Argentina?

As an independent contractor, it’s down to you to handle your invoices and payment collection. Unfortunately, this means billing each client individually and collecting payment through their preferred payment method — which can be inefficient and time-consuming.

Some of the most common ways to collect payments include:

  • Bank transfers

  • Direct deposits

  • Paper checks

  • Money orders

  • Virtual wallets

  • Digital transfer services like PayPal and Wise

These methods all have their own pros and cons. For instance, bank and digital transfers can be pretty quick, but often come with hefty service fees. And if you have clients in other countries besides Argentina, the payment collection process can be even more complicated. 

Alternatively, you can use a trusted solution like Remote. Our platform is a simple, secure, and reliable way to get paid quickly in Argentine pesos — and with no hidden fees. Learn more about how our platform can help

Independent contractor taxes in Argentina

As an independent contractor, you’re responsible for filing and paying your own taxes and social security contributions.

The good news is that, as a self-employed person, you pay personal income tax on your business profits (using your CUIT). This means that you do not have to fill out extra returns or pay additional corporate taxes.

If you initially registered with AFIP as a monotributista, you will be enrolled on the Simplified Regime for Small Taxpayers. This is a fixed monthly tax that also includes your pension contributions. You can see a full breakdown of the rates here.

Alternatively, if you are registered as self-employed, then you will be taxed at the standard personal income tax rate. This is a progressive rate of between 5% and 35%, depending on how much you earn. You must also make separate contributions to the General Social Security Scheme.

All self-employed people must file their annual tax return by June 30 each year, and make advance monthly payments throughout the year. Note that this can only be done through certain designated Argentinian banks.

As in most countries, self-employed people can claim tax deductions on standard business expenses. However, monotributistas can not claim tax credits.

VAT information for independent contractors in Argentina

As a self-employed person, you must register for — and charge your clients — VAT, regardless of your level of income. These payments should be made on a monthly basis.

The standard VAT rate in Argentina is 21%, although some goods and services are charged at the lower rate of 10.5%.

Liability considerations for independent contractors in Argentina

As a self-employed person, you are personally liable for finance and tax debts, which means your private assets can be forcibly used to settle your business debts. Many independent contractors purchase liability insurance to help mitigate this risk.

It’s also important to cover yourself when drafting and signing agreements with clients. Our legal experts can provide you with fully compliant contract templates, for both Argentinian and international clients.

Accounting requirements for independent contractors in Argentina

As a self-employed person, you do not need to publish annual financial statements.

However, you should keep organized, accurate records of all your income and expenditure (including client invoices, purchase orders, bank statements, and receipts). This will help you correctly file your taxes, give you a stronger picture of your financial situation, and generally make life easier if you are audited by the tax authorities.

You can either manage these records yourself using an accounting or bookkeeping tool, or hire a professional bookkeeper or accountant.

The dangers of contractor misclassification in Argentina

As we’ve mentioned, independent contractors are classified differently to employees in Argentina. Many of the protections and benefits employees enjoy do not typically apply to contractors.

As a result, companies may deliberately misclassify you to circumvent their legal obligations, while at other times, it may happen accidentally. Whether it’s intentional or not, misclassification can result in penalties and fines for both you and your client.

As an independent contractor, you can work with your clients to ensure this doesn’t happen. Discuss your role and responsibilities with them, and review the working arrangement regularly.

If your working relationship changes over time and you become more integrated into a client’s company, you can ask to be converted into an employee.

Use our Contractor Compliance Checklist to avoid misclassification

Work through this checklist to help determine if a new hire should have a contractor or employee relationship.

How do I ask the company I’m working with to convert me to an employee in Argentina?

Open a dialogue with your client and carefully discuss the risks and benefits of moving to an employer-employee relationship. In particular, be clear about how it can benefit both parties — not just you.

You can even suggest the help of a third-party solution, such as Remote, to ease the transition. Our global employment services help both parties stay compliant by taking care of key HR functions (like payroll management and benefits administration) in line with Argentinian law.

4 ways Remote makes life easier for contractors and their clients

As you can see, there’s a lot to take on board when setting up as an independent contractor. Remote can help you with many of these challenges, allowing you to focus on growing your business and delivering to your clients. Here’s how:

1. International payments in countries around the world

Navigating all of your clients’ different invoicing, approvals, and payments systems can be complicated and time-consuming. And manual methods of invoicing and collecting payments can increase the risk of fees, errors, and delays.

Remote gives you access to a highly secure, streamlined dashboard that makes invoice management and international payments cost-effective and efficient. You can use our platform to get paid in Argentine pesos (or other currencies), without any hidden fees.

2. Localized in-app contracts and advice

When you draft agreements and contracts for your clients, you run the risk of non-compliance with local labor laws — especially when working with international clients. Remote offers localized contracts tailored to Argentinian laws, ensuring that you stay compliant. Our legal experts can also provide guidance on complex issues, such as local classification and intellectual property protections.

3. Invoicing automation

With Remote, you no longer need to rely on spreadsheets and other manual tools to invoice for payments; we remove many of the inaccuracies and delays caused by archaic processes and manual management. Our platform lets you create invoices, submit them for approval, and subsequently get paid in your local currency without needing to switch to any other tool or software.

4. Tax management

Tax management is notoriously complex work. Remote helps you quickly and efficiently deal with tax management by compiling data about your income based on your invoices and payments received.

Setting up as an independent contractor in Argentina

Having the freedom and flexibility to work on your own terms is liberating. But your administrative responsibilities can distract from what you really want to be doing: helping your clients, delivering great work, and collecting invoices.

By using a stable, trusted platform like Remote, you can manage these obligations quickly and efficiently, allowing you to focus on your business goals. Specifically, we can help you:

  • Avoid intermediary fees and delays with international client payments

  • Draft compliant contracts for Argentinian and foreign clients

  • Enhance your invoice management and avoid manual processes

  • Comply with local labor laws regarding work practices

Our platform makes it quick, simple, and seamless to get started as an independent contractor. Learn more about how our expertise can save you time and resources today.

Subscribe to receive the latest
Remote blog posts and updates in your inbox.