Understanding the Business Culture in Spain

Wondering what it’s like to carry on a business in Spain? It is slightly different than it is in the United States. Keep reading to learn more about what the business culture is like in Spain.

Business Mentality

When it comes to running a business in Spain, it is extremely important that you have personal contacts. In fact, personal contacts are essential to the success of a business. 

Spanish residents usually only conduct business with a person or company that they think has the right energy. They prefer those who are positive, modest, and dignified. Humor is even appreciated when it comes to meeting for business, but it is important to remember to not be offensive.


In a business setting, greetings are supposed to be formal. The most appropriate way to greet someone in a business setting is with a handshake. This is considered standard.

It is also considered to be polite to say basic courtesy titles when greeting people. For Mr., the courtesy title is Senor or Don. For Mrs., the courtesy title is Senora or Dona. Finally, for Miss, the courtesy title is Senorita. 

Meals and Meetings

Dress code is something that Spanish professionals pay close attention to when it comes to business meetings. They will look at your appearance as a tell of your personal professional status. It is best to be stylish while staying conservative.

It is also important to keep in mind that Spanish business professionals aren’t usually on time. However, it is expected that you still show up on time. You will just need to be prepared to wait.

As for your business cards, it is standard for the information to in English on one side and Spanish on the other. It is also respectful for you to give your business card to the recipient with the Spanish print side up.

In Spanish business culture, when a business negotiation is successful, gifts will be offered by you. You should make sure that the gift is an item that is high-quality and wrapped nicely. If the other party offers you a gift, it is expected that you open it right then.

Meals are a great way to establish a personal relationship with your potential business partners. While business is able to be conducted over a meal, the Spanish usually only eat as a sociable activity. This is why meals are a great opportunity to build relationships.


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.