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spanish business culture

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Spain has a quite different mindset from other European countries and that can also be seen during any business process. Are there any certain rules that should be followed in order to get the best results during any business issue? How’s the business culture in Spain like?

In Spain, some companies are still working with an old mindset: long workdays, hierarchy or long breaks during lunch. Even though this is totally true, must also be said that these habits are fastly changing thanks to the partnership with other European countries and the new generations that are starting to get into the companies.

Let’s see the main aspects of Business Culture in Spain:

  1. Hierarchy. Even though many companies are starting to change and to implement a line organizational structure, Spain still has some old traditions such as the hierarchical structure. It’s important that, if you’re looking to engage in some partnership with a Spanish company, search information about it before anything else so you’ll know with who you should talk and which kind of behavior should you have (more friendly, more formal…).
  2. Appointments. It’s quite important in the Spanish business culture that you could establish the meeting a few days, weeks if it’s an important visit, before the day of the meeting itself. In Spain, punctuality is always a must, even though Spanish people are not exactly known for being punctual.
  3. Meetings. Once you’re in front of the person you’re going to meet with, the most normal thing to do in Spain is hands shaking. When it comes to business it’s the formal way to greet someone. Meetings are usually long. They start late and end up late. Must be warned that they usually work in a split shift, so either you can start the meeting in the morning knowing you must have finished it by 2 approx. Or you can start it after 3 – 3.30pm.
  4. Business Cards. It’s important that, if you come to Spain and you want to get into their business culture, you have a business card in Spanish or, at least, a business card two-sided: one in English and one in Spanish. In Spain not many people can speak fluent English so, if you can do that, it’s better. Also, if you don’t speak Spanish, we highly recommend you to use a translator. Make sure you know if the person you’re going to meet with speaks it.
  5. Lunch & dinner.  Spanish people are very social and they love enjoying a nice conversation along with some drinks and food. Meals could be a great chance to get to know the partner you’re going to work with. Try to avoid to do business during that lunch or dinner cause Spanish people need to know their partners before anything else.
  6. Holidays. Usually, Spanish people have 24 labor days of paid leave per year and 12 free public holidays. It’s up to the company to decide how those holidays can be spent (all together or separated).
  7. Working hours. In Spain, there’s not much 9-5 business culture. It’s the “siesta” country so, per normal, the working day begins at 8 or 9. After that, there are a few coffee breaks and a lunch break which usually lasts 1 or 2 hours. They continue working after that until 18h or 19h. Since many companies are starting to do business with companies from other countries and they’re now usually open from 9 to 18h.

Thinking about starting a company in Spain?

Now you’ve read it, you’ve been able to see how Spanish Business Culture is quite different from the one on the other countries but easy to adapt to.

If you’re thinking of starting a new company in Spain we can help you with every step of the process. Our corporate lawyers will assist you, just let us know your inquiry here:

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