BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN SPAIN
Spain is ranked #7 in the WORLD regarding “The Best Country to Start a Business”
Doing Business in Spain
Spain, with a GDP of USD 1.2 trillion and a population of 46.4 million people, is the fourth-largest economy in the Eurozone. Its economy grew 3.2 percent in 2015, the second annual positive growth rate since 2007. Forecasts for the next several years suggest growth around 2.7 percent.
Record tourism and export levels, coupled with a revived domestic consumption, helped drive the recovery. 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 emerged in the third quarter of 2013.
Responding to the crisis, the Popular Party (PP) government undertook major initiatives in 2012 to reduce the deficit and reform labor laws, public services, and the financial sector. These reforms have made Spain much more competitive in comparison to costs in other European countries.
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Spain is not only a country suitable for retirement, but it also offers many business opportunities for foreign investors interested in opening a business or extending their existing business in the Spanish market. After the long years of economic crisis that strongly affected the business environment and the local workforce, Spain has become again a top business destination, as numerous economic sectors have recovered; and, the investors regained their trust to invest in specific business activities carried out here.
Spain is the 14th largest economy in the world and one of the main economies in the European Union (ranked #4). More importantly, Spain offers a wide range of business incentives which are available for numerous economic sectors. Through these incentives, the local authorities develop the local employment market and can help businesses operating in research and development. Our team of lawyers in Spain can offer legal assistance on the procedures for obtaining a grant for a specific business activity.
Also, we have partnered with TRENTLANDS, Ltd., an International Investment Group that have over 60 years of experience within the European Continent, specializes in Business Consultation.
This country is chosen by many entrepreneurs who are attracted by the good climate, nice landscapes, culture, the relatively low cost of life and the possibility to start a business on a long-term basis in a country where they may retire.
We at “LO MEJOR DE AMBOS MUNDOS” is very experienced with business in Spain (over 20 years of experience in Spain). CONTACT US for more information.
HELPFUL INFORMATION / BUSINESS MENTALITY:
The official name of Spain is the “Kingdom of Spain”.
The official language is Spanish, with other recognized regional languages (many).
The capital and largest city is Madrid. Other major cities are Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga and Bilbao.
The population of Spain is approximately 47 million.
Personal contacts are vital for all business success in Spain, so building a friendly relationship and meeting people face to face are the key to success.
Spanish people will do business with you if there is the right chemistry, so try to present yourself in the best positive light – try to be dignified and modest. Moreover, if you are a funny person, feel free to share jokes. Humor will be appreciated, even during business meetings, but be careful not to be offensive.
Bring sufficient literature about your company, samples of your products or demonstrations of your services. It is also helpful to provide a printout of the summary of your presentation in Spanish.
The agenda serves more as a guideline than a rigid timetable. You may find yourself discussing several issues at the same time.
Remember that in Spain arguments must first be reached orally and then in writing. The decision is made at the top of the company.
Business hours are Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30/2:00 p.m. (morning hours) and from 4:30/5:00 p.m. until about 8:00 p.m. (afternoon).
Some areas of the country do not follow the Spanish “Siesta” custom (Cataluña, for example).
Banks and government offices open at 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and may not reopen at all in the afternoon (recommend to be able to perform banking business online).
While the “siesta” custom is still a distinctive feature of the Spanish way of life, Spain no longer “shut down” completely for the afternoon.
The appropriate greeting in business is the usual handshake.
It is always polite to use the basic titles of courtesy: Señor/Don (Mr.), Señora/Doña (Mrs.), Señorita (Miss) followed by the surname.
Regarding the “Art of Conversation”
Although Spanish culture values personal pride, try not to brag too much about your business accomplishments.
Do not get into personal details until you know your Spanish counterpart better. It is best to let them begin that type of conversation.
Good topics of conversation are aspects of your own home country, Spanish football, flamenco, etc.
Honor and pride are important in Spanish culture, so avoid insulting the Spanish ego at all costs.
Avoid politically charged topics (Gibraltar, Basque Separatist, Franco, Cataluña Independence, etc.) or issues demonstrating differences between your culture and the Spanish culture or values.
Meetings and Meals: Spaniards are very conscious about dress code and will perceive your appearance as an indication of your professional status. Be stylish yet conservatives. Spanish people are not known for being punctual, so you might have to wait 15-30 minutes for your counterpart. However, it is expected of you to be on time.
Business cards should be printed in English on one side and in Spanish overleaf. You should hand your card with the Spanish side facing the recipient.
In the Spanish business cultures, gifts are usually offered only at the conclusion of successful negotiations. You should ensure that it is a high-quality item and that it is finely wrapped. If you are offered a gift, you should open it immediately in front of the giver.
Meals in Spain (for coffee, lunch, tapas, dinner) are the perfect occasion for establishing personal relationship and rapport with your business partners.
Business can be conducted over meals but be aware that the Spanish regard eating mainly as a sociable activity.
If you fancy a draught beer, you should ask for a “caña” (small) or “tubo” (300 ml.). Simply asking for beer (“cerveza”) will bring you a much more expensive bottle. If you are up to drinking spirits, you should know that Spanish measures are usually extremely generous.
A tip of 5% in restaurants and 10% in taxis will be appreciated.
Regarding Body Language:
Spanish people can be described as cheerful and outgoing people and they will use expansive body language to express that.
In conversation, the Spanish aren’t likely to stand uncomfortably close, but they may still pat your arm or shoulder.
Yawning or stretching in public is considered vulgar.
Other fun facts
Spain is famous for its bar culture.
Spain has over 8,000 km. of beaches.
Spain has some of the largest gold deposits in Europe. It is also one of the world biggest producers of granite and marble.
Spain legalized same sex marriage in 2005.