Business dos and don'ts in Spain

Rvo,  Thursday, 12 October 2017

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The Spanish business culture differs from that of the UK. Even within the country, there are local rules and practices.

In the south, people are more relaxed and' unreliable' than in the north. In the north, they are much more businesslike. High discounts are not likely in the north. While in the south it is great to get high discounts. You should take this into account when setting the price for doing business. You will receive a few tips from us.


Start your first telephone or email contact with a few words of Spanish. Confirm your appointment shortly in advance and prepare well. Please note that just sending a letter or e-mail to a business relationship is not enough. Take a lot of time to build and maintain networks. No rushed lunches. Personal contact and interest are essential. The dress code is formal.

Business culture

The Spanish business culture is formal. Spanish companies are hierarchically structured. It is essential that the conversation is with the right person. Come to appointments on time. But do not expect you always to be welcomed in time. Please keep in mind long payment terms. This may depend on the product and industry you do business with. Check the creditworthiness of Spanish companies. Also, it is also good to consider taking out credit insurance.


Controlling the Spanish language is important. Take an interpreter with you. Information material must be in Spanish. This includes leaflets, websites, and manuals.

Working hours

There are different working hours: lunch from 14.00 to 16.00 or 17.00 hours. Afterwards, they work until 19.00 or 20.00 hours. In the summer, people often do not work in the afternoon. Many companies are closed all year round on Friday afternoon or in August.


Engage a legal advisor who is well acquainted with the Spanish judicial process. Procedures often take a long time. Record all agreements (purchase, sale and distribution agreements) in writing. Preferably provide a Spanish and English version of the contract. Be as transparent as possible and leave nothing to the interpretation of the other party.

Business Gifts

A business gift is appreciated. This does not have to be given at the first appointment. A gift without a company logo is appropriate, for example, a commemorative gift from the UK. A gift is immediately unpacked. Business relations are usually invited to a restaurant. The Spaniard only invites friends at home.

This article of is based on . Translated from the Dutch language by Jos Deuling.

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