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Doing business in Spain and the cultural implications

A deep-dive into the cultural factor when doing business in Spain

Julio Gomez

December 25, 2022

Doing business in Spain can be a rewarding experience for companies that are prepared to navigate its unique business environment. Located in southwestern Europe, Spain is the 13th-largest economy in the European Union and the 5th-largest in the eurozone, with a GDP of around $1.45 trillion (2021). The country has a diverse and modern economy, with a well-developed infrastructure and a strong service sector that includes tourism, transportation, and financial services.

Bureaucracy and red tape

However, there are also some challenges to doing business in Spain. For example, bureaucracy and red tape can be a barrier to starting and operating a business. Additionally, the process of obtaining necessary licenses and permits can be time-consuming. The Spanish tax system can also be complex, with different tax rates and exemptions for various types of businesses and industries. It is important for businesses to have a good understanding of the tax system and to seek professional advice to ensure compliance.

Cultural heritage

One of the key cultural considerations for businesses operating in Spain is the importance of personal relationships. Building and maintaining good relationships with business partners, customers, and employees is an important aspect of doing business in the country.

In Spain, it is common to spend time building rapport and getting to know business partners before discussing business matters. This can involve informal social activities such as meals or drinks, and it is important to be patient and allow time for these relationships to develop. In terms of business communication, it is important to be aware that the Spanish business culture places a strong emphasis on politeness and formality. It is common to use formal titles and greetings, and to maintain a respectful tone in business interactions. In addition, non-verbal communication, such as gestures and body language, can be an important aspect of communication in Spain.

When it comes to business meetings, it is important to be punctual and well-prepared. Meetings in Spain tend to be structured and formal, and it is important to adhere to the agenda and follow the established protocol. It is also common for meetings to involve a lot of discussion and debate, as the Spanish business culture values open communication and the exchange of ideas.


In closing, doing business in Spain requires a good understanding of the country's business environment and culture. By building strong relationships, being aware of cultural differences in communication and business practices, and adapting to local business norms, companies can succeed in the Spanish market.

I hope this post is helpful and provides a useful overview of doing business in Spain, including some of the cultural considerations that businesses need to be aware of.

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