Free Essay

Doing Business in Spain


Submitted By 321zzz
Words 1380
Pages 6
Doing business in Spain
Doing business in Spain is similar to doing business in the rest of Western Europe. A few tips, though, may help you in developing your business relationships in Spain.
While many Spaniards will meet each other with a kiss on both cheeks, this is not common in business relationships unless you know the other party well. It is wisest to offer a handshake, and if a kiss is appropriate, the Spanish party will initiate it. (And note that you don't kiss their cheeks. You kiss the air while touching cheeks.)
Addressing a person
Spanish people have two first names and two surnames, composed of their father's first surname and their mother's first surname. Use Señor (Sr.) or Señora (Sra.) as you would Mr. or Mrs.
Business meetings
In the first meeting, Spaniards will want to become acquainted with you before proceeding with business, so you should be accommodating and answer any questions about your background and family life. Spaniards will really check to see if you are honest and reliable, to know they can place their trust in your products or business before starting a relationship.
It is unlikely that a meeting will stick closely to a detailed agenda. Negotiations in Spain tend to be quite open with one party taking the lead, but agreements can be flexible and you will probably need to persevere in order to ensure that commitments are put into effect. Understand that your goal is to do business in Spain, not to impose a business culture.
Business meals
If you want to discuss business at lunch, you should mention this in advance so the Spanish counterpart is ready to discuss the issues with you. Meal times in Spain are generally considered the time to relax and enjoy oneself rather than to close deals. More typically, the deals are done at the office, and then after the successful negotiations, you all go to celebrate at a restaurant. If the Spanish party wants to be nice with you, they will most likely invite you to go to a nice restaurant. The one who extends the invitation is the one who foots the bill. Bills are rarely split in Spain, regardless of the circumstance. If you have been invited out, you should reciprocate at a later date, being careful not to give the impression that you are simply 'repaying' your earlier hosts.
The Spanish are great conversationalists, this is how they spend their free time. Ask them about their children or family; few subjects are taboo. The Spanish are proud of their food and wine; you'd be wise not to disagree. Don't be surprised if an evening out lasts until the late hours (nor will they be offended if you leave because you can't keep your eyes open). Spanish presentations can tend to be long-winded; expect it and don't get frustrated. If you're female, don't be surprised if they compliment you and tell you you look good. You can compliment them back if you feel like it or just say thanks. There's no culture of political correctness in Spain.
Spaniards do not, on average, speak English as well as a Northern European. Many companies in Spain have staff with good English language skills, but an initial approach in Spanish is more effective.
Spaniards derive a sense of identity from their particular region rather than the country as a whole so you should try to be sensitive to regional differences and to avoid making misinformed comments about a Spaniard's region of origin. There are seventeen autonomous regions, each with a different degree of independence from Madrid, and each has its own individual characteristics; you should respect local sensibilities and manners without recourse to stereotypes or caricatures.
Working hours, holidays
In Spain, the hours that a shop and business may be open to the public are regulated by the government. Shops are usually open from 9:00 am to 1:30 or 2 pm, then from 4:30 or 5 pm until 8 pm, Monday through Friday, and Saturday morning. Large department stores are open all day. Professional offices usually open from 10 to 2, then from 4 to 7, though it is becoming more common for businesses to stay open through the traditional siesta hours. Banks are open from 10 to 2, then by law, they can choose either to open one afternoon a week, or on Saturday morning. In August, when most people take their vacations, office hours change to jornada intensiva: 8 am - 3 pm.
Lunch is between 2 pm and 4 pm. Most people in Spain eat at home, though in big cities, it is common to go to a restaurant and have a menu (and avoid the double commute). Dinner is generally a lighter meal; 10pm is the normal time at restaurants.
There are national, state, and local holidays. For a list, go to Spain's Social Security site, and on the left side, click on "Mas informacion", then "Calendario laboral". When a holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, it is common in the office to take the adjacent Monday or Friday puente off for a long weekend.
At restaurants, bars, and taxis, it is typical to leave the small change, though you won't get dirty looks if you don't.
Time and punctuality
The famous mañana joke, besides being dull, is also not true. If you want to give a good impression, you should be on time, and can expect that the Spanish party will be on time too.
There is now a regulation against smoking in public places, though as with many regulations, there is some degree of leniency. Spaniards are among the heaviest smokers in Europe. Californians will just have to accept that it may be impossible to persuade a smoking colleague to abstain from the habit, even at the dining table. If smoke is an issue to you, look for a smoke-free restaurant, bar, or hotel: now you can find them, and of course complain if it is not fullfilled.
At Christmas, most companies give their employees a hamper or basket of fancy foods and drink (cestas de Navidad). It is also common to celebrate a fiesta de Navidad with a lunch in a fancy restaurant. Companies often send bottles of cava, champagne, or wine at Christmas to their best clients.
At the conclusion of successful negotiations, it is not uncommon to give a gift to a broker or professional (including a bank officer) who was especially competent. If you receive a gift, you should open it immediately in front of the giver. Any gift should be a high-quality item, and should be finely wrapped. Companies often send those at Christmas to their best clients. Markenting merchandise will be more appreciated if it is a fine pen or a tasteful desk accessory. You should not give anything too personal or extravagant as your generosity may be perceived as rare or even insulting. If you are invited to a Spanish home, flowers, a dessert, or a good bottle of wine is the right gift.
In Spain the look of the person one is doing business with is important. Classic brand names such Loewe or Louis Vuitton are very appreciated, also Hugo Boss or Ermenegildo Zegna, less so Ferragamo or other Italian names. Look fashionable and smart if you want to cause a good impression; clean your shoes and get your hair in order.
Men are best off in dark subdued colours: preferably tailor-made woolen or linen suits, and white cotton shirts with silk ties. Women should wear well-cut suits of high-quality fabric. Designer clothes and brand names will be noted with approval. The female business traveller should emphasize their femininity through their immaculate clothes and hair.
Business casual means a clean and fashionable designer cotton shirt and good pants, and of course, no tie.
If an invitation to a party says formal, it means real formal: a black tuxedo for men and a cocktail dress for women, always in conservative colors. For these events, women wear more make-up, and have their hair done professionally. For men keep in mind that the Spanish cut of the suit is different than the American or British cut

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Spain Country Report

...Spain Country Report Feb. 14, 2013 Doing business in a foreign Country can be a very difficult thing to do if you are not familiar with proper business etiquette in the Country in which you are doing business. It also helps to have a good understanding of family life and the culture, ad well as social customs in the new country. This report will tell you, our valued employee’s, how to be successful in Spain, the home of our newest expansion branch. The figure to the left shows the current trends in the unemployment rates in Spain compared to the US, Portugal, and the UK. It is very important with the constant rise in unemployment in Spain that you go to the new branch prepared and therefore everything in this report should be considered important. Business Etiquette The first thing that you need to know when doing business in Spain is how to properly introduce yourself in a business setting. The most common and accepted way to professionally introduce yourself in a business setting in Spain is with a firm handshake with direct eye contact being kept throughout the gesture. Men should wait for women to extend an offer to shake hands if she wishes. When verbally addressing people in the business setting “Try to address people by their title and last name until invited to do otherwise.” (Coleman, 2011) For people in Spain, calling them by their title and last name is a sign of respect and this will go along way with them. These are two small things that will gain you the...

Words: 1624 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Professional Selling Cycle Spain

...1   Overall  professional  personal   selling  behavior  in  Spain   2   Table  of  contents   1.  Introduction                                                             3   4   5   9   12   14   15   16         2.  General  country  information     3.  Structure  of  the  10  steps  professional  selling  sales  cycle   4.  Professional  selling  behavior  in  Spain  according  to  the  10  steps     6.  Conclusion   7.  Sources     8.  Appendices                                                     5.  The  unique  characteristics  of  the  Spanish  (selling)  business  culture           The   10   step   selling   process   refers   to   a   sequential   series   of   actions   by   the   salesperson   that   leads   towards   the   customer   taking   a   desired   action   and   ends   with   a   follow-­‐up   to   ensure   purchase   satisfaction.         We   will ...

Words: 5494 - Pages: 22

Free Essay

Culture and thought” (Culture, 2010, pg. 5) Culture of Spain Spain’s culture includes the personal beliefs of religion, the practices of the society, and the attitudes of the people. The Spanish culture has made adjustments to meet the demands of the international and the way of doing business in Europe, but retains much of its older, more comfortable traditions as well.  Spain is relatively consistent in its population ethnicity, unlike Germany in which one must bear a German family name to be a citizen. Spain’s ethnicity varies in itself because the different regions within the country. The influence of the Moors from centuries ago still plays a part in the architecture and beliefs of some people. Spain embraces its art and architecture that consists of aqueducts, castles, historic churches, and housing.  The largest cities, such as Barcelona, still maintain buildings that are both traditional in style and features.  The cities also maintain their small and narrow streets.  Various Elements of the Spanish Culture Spain has a rich linguistic heritage. Spain has four official languages; “Castilian Spanish (the most commonly spoken), Catalan (used in Cataluña and the Balearics), Basque (spoken in the Basque regions of both France and Spain) and, finally, Galician. There are also a number of local dialects such as Valéncian and Andulucian” (Spain culture- guide, 2008). These languages are all part of the diverse culture of Spain. Companies...

Words: 1127 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Market Overview for Exportation of Leonardite for Spain

...2 million people, Spain is the 12th largest economy in the world and the fifth largest in the EU. Spain was the 13th largest importer in the world in 2010. In addition, the country was the 7th largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2010 and the 10th largest investor worldwide in terms of foreign direct investment. Major Spanish firms in the telecommunications, banking, infrastructure and energy sectors have become global leaders. Procurement decisions for these companies continue to be made within Spain. * After 15 years of solid GDP growth that made it the world’s ninth largest economy, Spain entered into a recession in the second quarter of 2008 from which it has not yet emerged. GDP contracted by 0.1 percent in 2010, before turning slightly positive in 2011, growing by 0.7 percent. However, consumption continued to fall due to the ongoing rise in unemployment (22.85 percent in December 2011) and GDP growth is predicted to be negative again in 2012. As of the end of 2011, inflation was at three percent. The economic and financial crisis and the mixed results of the government’s efforts to end it led to a serious loss of confidence in the government. General elections were held in November 2011. The opposition, Popular Party had a majority win and is in the process of announcing and implementing a battery of measures with a view to reducing the deficit, re-structuring the financial sector and reforming the labor market. * Spain and the United...

Words: 9113 - Pages: 37

Premium Essay

Selling Beer in Spain

...Selling Beer in Spain George A. Murray MG352 International Business July 16, 2010 Abstract This paper explores the possibility of Red Drive Brewery expanding its operations into an overseas market. The country of Spain has been identified as the initial target market for Red Drive’s expansion. Research into this plan has been accomplished using the internet and the Business Source Premier database (BSP). Some of the areas explored in this paper deal with the economics of doing business in Spain, the attitudes of people in Europe generally and Spain in particular toward adult beverages, and an analysis of the overall market for adult beverages complete with specific information concerning beer. Facts and figures are used in an effort to validate a decision rendered as to whether or not to pursue the expansion of Red Drive Brewery operations in overseas markets. Keywords: Alcohol market in Spain, economy of Spain Selling Beer in Spain Spain is located in the extreme southwest portion of Europe. The country shares a border with France to its northeast and Portugal to its west, is bounded by Bay of Biscay to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the east and south (See Figure 1). In 1975, the government of Spain moved from a dictatorship to a democracy and began to experience an economy which was both dynamic and rapid in growth [ (CIA - The World Factbook, 2010) ]. The economy of Spain began a period of recession in 2008 with the collapse of its housing market...

Words: 1741 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Culture in Spain

...In Spain the family is the basis of the social structure and includes both the nuclear and the extended family, which sometimes provides both a social and a financial support network (kwintessential). Now days is less common than in the past for family members to work in a family own business, as personal preferences are important and university education is general. Exploring Spanish culture trough the Hofstede 5-D model we can deduct that Span consist of a hierarchical society, with no equal distribution of power within the members of the society. In contrast with the United States Spain culture is considered collectivist rather than individualist. People look out for each other, something that in the U.S you maybe only see within family members. In Spanish society the dominant values are caring for others and quality of life, while in the U.S is more driven by competition, achievement and success (Hofstede). Uncertainty avoidance is a dimension that can best describe Spain. Spain is considered the second noisiest country in the world. In order for the American business to better expand to Spain, I believe we should learn more of their customs and culture. One thing that helps us is that the Spanish culture is embedded in the U.S history, as is a big influence on South Florida due to Spanish colonists. Learning the Spanish culture, like their famous “siesta” (usually their lunch time of two to three hours), can helps us better do business with them. Spain and the United...

Words: 501 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Original Imc Plan: Coffee World

...Assignment 4 Original IMC Plan Integrated Marketing Communication (MBA 570) Zaved Mannan D-6 Tower Bhaban, Fuller Road Dhaka University Campus Dhaka 1000 Bangladesh Student ID: 11320053 Date: 12.10.2011 Charles Sturt University Australia Executive Summery Coffee World is Swiss based global premium coffee chain and like to expand its business in Spain. Marketers have prepared an original IMC plan based on zero-based planning model. Target markets are mainly tourists (40%), professional (30%), students (20%) and others (10%). This report has analyzed critically Company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in Spain market. Communication objectives can be based on think-feel-do model. Coffee World’s behavioral communication is to offer best product and service to the customer. Marketers will use various MC tools to crack the Spanish market. Campaign message will be “Where The World Meets!” Marketers will use ‘demonstration’ and ‘humor’ strategy to run IMC plan. A detailed IMC plan for Coffee World is discussed in this report. The report will evaluate the effectiveness of proposed IMC plan. Table of Contents Introduction 4 Zero Based Planning 4 Identify Target Market 5 SWOT Analysis 6 Marketing Communication Objectives 8 Developing Strategies & Tactics 10 Integrated Marketing Communication 12 Evaluation Effectiveness 15 Conclusion 15 Appendix 16 References ...

Words: 7760 - Pages: 32

Premium Essay

Submitted Required

...Intercultural Management Analysis (IMA) | Blue Ridge Spain Case | Adam HughesNam DangJoanna Savva | 3004IBA Intercultural Management | Table of Contents Summary MBI Analysis Excel Cultural Scenario Map Recommendations for a Business Solution References Appendix A – Cultural Summary and Observations Summary 1. Case: Blue Ridge Spain case 2. Key Business/Management Issues: Blue Ridge restaurants, a profitable franchised joint venture is facing dissolution at the hands of its incumbent owners Delta foods corporation. The managing director of Blue Ridge Yannis Costas has been aimlessly attempting to convince his superiors to remain partners, but in turn is completing an imminent foreclosure strategy. Sodergran the in experienced native Fin vice president of Delta Foods is crusading to dictate management and expansionary contract terms, must to the dismay of Blue ridges Costas and its Spanish counterparts at Terralumen, most notably its company president Andres Balaguer. . 3. Goal: Before the new owners Delta Food Company, Blue Ridge Restaurants have been operating with much success. If the joint venture were to dissolve Blue Ridge Restaurants may have to close down. The goal is to resolve the issue with all counter parts and continue with a joint venture. 4. Key Players: Yannis Costas Greek/American, (Blue Ridge Managing Director). Andres Balaguer Spanish, (Terralumen Company President) Mikael Sondergran Finish, (Delta foods corporation...

Words: 3052 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Labor Law in Spain

...Labor law in Spain. Amira Hassanaly BLAW 225 Labor law in Spain. Amira Hassanaly BLAW 225 Outline I. Introduction II. Employment contract a) Permanent contract or fixed contract b) Temporary contract c) Training contract d) Work experience contract e) Part time contract III. Working Conditions a) Salary b) Working time c) Rest time d) Overtime e) Working day and family f) Holidays and leaves g) Unpaid leaves h) Maternity and paternity leave i) Dismissal IV. Employee’s rights V. Social Securities VI. Unions VII. Conclusion I. Introduction As is the case almost in all European countries, Spanish labor law is very understandable and ensure protection for employees. According to the definition labor law is a body of law that govern the employer-employee relation, including employment contract. The relationship between employer and employee is more than the exchange of labor for money it is also covers workplace rights and a large group of regulation on issues such as protection from discrimination, wages hours and health and safety. Labor law also deals with individual and collective relationships between employees and employers. The economic crisis of 2008 showed that the Spanish labor model was not working out. The labor legislation change in 2012 in order to be more suitable in a time of crisis within the labor market, the legislation modifies the institutional...

Words: 2824 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay


... Introduction This paper analyses the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental (PESTEL) structure of Spain and it exposes a rational approach to the Spanish market in order obtain a successful implementation of the Everline product in the country. Everline is part of WDFC UK and it is aimed to offer an innovative, fast, flexible and convenient source of credit to entrepreneurs looking to expand their business, manage working capital, or fill a short cash gap. WDFC UK is currently working in three continents and it is supported by some of the world’s leading venture capital firms, with a heritage of building and backing world-class internet companies including Facebook and LinkedIn (“About us” Everline group include other brands like, which has provided millions of loans to more than a million customers in the UK alone, and the online retail payment service, PayLater. In 2012 reporter a net benefit of £62.5m, former Wonga Business applied to have the trading name Everline added to its credit licence in September this year the domain name was registered by WDFC SA. Everline, former Wonga for Business, was launched in May 2012, and offers £3,000 to £50,000 loans to limited companies, LTD’s, or partnerships, and £10,000 to trade solders; money can be borrowed between one and fifty two weeks and the business have to been trading for at least two years. Methodology research The compiled information for adobe PESTEL analysis...

Words: 4147 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Country Report -Spain

...COUNTRY REPORT SPAIN Submitted to: Dr. Fritz Rieger. Submitted by: Sai Krishna Gumparla. Student No: 103943448. Section: 03 Date of Submission: 10 July 2013. Spain, Span. España āspäˈnyä, officially Kingdom of Spain , the 13th-largest economy in the world, the fifth-largest in the European Union, and the fourth-largest in the Euro zone, based on nominal GDP comparison is a constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 40,341,000), 194,884 sq mi (504,750 sq km), including the Balearic and Canary islands, SW Europe. It consists of the Spanish mainland (190,190 sq mi/492,592 sq km), which occupies the major part of the Iberian Peninsula; of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea; and of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Ruler: King Juan Carlos I (1975) Prime Minister: Mariano Rajoy (2011) Land area: 192,819 sq mi (499,401 sq km) Total area: 194,896 sq mi (504,782 sq km) Population (2012 est.): 47,042,984 (growth rate: 0.654%) Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Madrid, 7,254,321 (metro. area) Other large cities: Barcelona, 1,621,537; Valencia, 814,208; Seville, 703,206 Monetary unit: Euro (formerly peseta) GDP: 1.477 trillion USD Unemployment: 25.1% Inflation (CPI): 3.1% CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT: Overview Situated in south-western Europe, Spain's geographical diversity encompasses landscapes that range from deserts and coastal beaches to snow-covered mountains. Present-day Spanish culture, deeply rooted in tradition, has been carved by the many outside influences the...

Words: 3510 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Nonstop Yacht Case Study

...led the firm’s management to question whether or not a strategic alliance might be a beneficial alternative to their current business model. To address the firm’s current quandary, this case has answered the following central question: Should NSY strategically align with key industry players; or, would organic growth be a more beneficial option for generating the additional value needed to once again realign the company with both internal and external expectations? Analysis of the situation focused on three strategic issues found to be key in determining the firm’s strategic options: NSY’s core competencies; their internal environment which encompasses the firms operations, structure and culture; and how the industry trend of consolidation might affect the firm’s positioning. Based on a thorough analysis, it is recommended that NSY forgo an alliance with an industry player, instead focusing on organic growth. This growth is recommended to first begin by reinvigorating their e-commerce approach. NSY’s website must deliver on the value that was originally intended at the firms inception. Second, it is recommended that NSY steadily grow their brick and mortar footprint throughout locations that typically see substantial industry activity. This growth is suggested to begin as regional, and as finances allow, spread outward from their home base in Spain. These recommendations will enable NSY to build a recognizable brand within the industry; ultimately, creating the type of...

Words: 4378 - Pages: 18

Free Essay

Cultural Comparison Between South Korea and Spain - Advise on Communicating for Both Countries

...Measuring and comparing business cultures South Korea Vs Spain Ivan Kuzevanov - Panagiotis Sarantidis – Jaime Carvajal Treschov Alexey – Maria Safarovic World Business Cultures [pic] Business culture in South Korea The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is a constitutional democracy, has a population of roughly 51 million people, occupies a land of 99,720 square kilometers, and its currency is called Won ($USD=1073,43KRW, 3/3/2014). About 50% of the population practices religion (10,7 mil. Buddhists, 8,6 mil. Protestants and 5,1 mil. Catholics). The country of Korea was occupied by Japan since 1910 and it was split up after the Japanese loss in 1945, under the agreement that the north part would be administered by the Soviet Union, while the southern part by the U.S.A., and is divided to North and South Korea to this day. Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Power distance At an intermediate score of 60, South Korea is a slightly hierarchical society. This means that people accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. Hierarchy in an organization is seen as reflecting inherent inequalities, centralization is popular, subordinates expect to be told what to do and the ideal boss is a benevolent autocrat. Individualism South Korea, with a score of 18 is considered a...

Words: 3899 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Spain Economic Report

...freedom, monetary freedom, and the management of government spending, that outweigh declines in freedom from corruption and fiscal freedom (Heritage, 2015). Spain is ranked 21st out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the world average (Heritage, 2015). After experiencing a lengthy recession in the wake of the global financial crisis that began in 2008, in 2014 Spain marked the first full year of positive economic growth in seven years, largely due to increased private consumption (World Factbook, 2015)). At the onset of the global financial crisis Spain's GDP contracted by 3.7% in 2009, ending a 16-year growth trend, and continued contracting through most of 2013. (Worldfactbook, 2015). In 2013, Spain’s government successfully restored struggling banks (that were caused by the downward spiral of Spain’s real estate & construction sectors). Exports were resilient throughout the economic downturn and helped to bring Spain's current account into surplus in 2013 for the first time since 1986, where it remained in 2014 (Heritage, 2015). Rising labor productivity and an internal devaluation resulting from moderating labor costs and lower inflation have helped to improve foreign investor interest in the economy and positive FDI flows have been restored (Heritage, 2015). The economic crisis caused Spain very high losses & nearly...

Words: 788 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Porter's Diamond - Case Analysis of Spain

...[pic] Porter’s Diamond Analysis of Spain (Topic 8) Manuel Gall 6 Elboden Street 7004 South Hobart Strategic Management University of Tasmania Dr. Dallas Hanson Submitted on October 23, 2012 Introduction: Porter (1990) raised the question: “Why does a nation become home base for successful international competitors in an industry?” According to porter’s diamond, the answer lies in four elements, namely the factor conditions, the demand conditions, the related & supporting industries and in the context for firm strategy and rivalry (Fisher, Hughes, Griffin & Pustay 2009). These four factors interact in a self-reinforcing system that essentially determine a nation’s international competitiveness. This theory can be classified as a hybrid between the classical country-based trade theories[1] that emphasise the country’s factor endowments and the more modern firm-based theories[2] that focus on the action of individual companies (Fisher et al 2006). Spain is ranked as 36th out of 144 countries in the actual WEF[3] Global Competitive Report (2012). Thus, it is classified as innovation-driven economy that has reached highest development stage. However, the recent financial crisis has hit Spain, that suffers since years under a structural deficit, on the wrong foot (OECD[4], 2010). As a consequence, Spain recently has had trouble to finance its debt over private capital markets and is dependent...

Words: 1615 - Pages: 7