Doing business

Current business situation

Spain is a member of the European (EU) and is subject to EU trade regulatory requirements. Relations between Australia and Spain are steadily expanding. Spain offers significant potential as a partner, both in business and in international relations. 

Spanish infrastructure companies are increasingly significant players in the Australian infrastructure, water and renewable energies sectors.

Business culture

Dress is generally more formal in Spain than in Australia. Business suit and tie is normal professional attire for men and business suit or smart clothing is recommended for women.

Working lunches are common, beginning at 2.00pm and continuing for two or three hours.

Spaniards use both their maternal and paternal names, however, you should always address someone by their paternal name only. For example, 'Señor John Smith Wilson' (Smith being the father's name and Wilson the mother's name) would be addressed as 'Señor Smith'. It is best to avoid using a person's first name unless the contact indicates otherwise.

The standard greeting on an initial meeting is a handshake.

Most Spanish business people have limited English language skills.

Setting up in Market

Invest in Spain has information for those considering setting up a business.

Banking and finance

Madrid is a major centre for international business and commerce. The three largest commercial banks with offices across Spain are:

The banking and financial system is regulated by the Bank of Spain - Banco de España.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

ICEX Exportaciones e inversiones
Invest in Spain
The Ministry of the Finance and Public Administrations

News and media

Cinco Días 
El País
El Mundo

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.