Contract law and negotiation tactics in Spain

What do you need to know about Spanish business culture?

The business culture in Spain is generally relaxed. Spaniards value trusting relationships. While they may greet one another by kissing on the cheeks, you do not need to do so in business meetings. A handshake is more recommendable. Being great conversationalists, they will ask you about your background and personal life. Your honesty will gain trust and be a foundation for your business relationships. It is advisable to stay humble and non-confrontational.

What are negotiation tactics in Spain?

  • Do not be surprised if meetings do not follow the agenda.
  • If you want to discuss your business over a meal, you need to inform your counterparts in advance. Do take notes that in Spain, meal time is meant to relax and not to close deals. The one who invites will be the one to pay the bill.
  • Presentations can go at length.
  • The way you dress while doing business is important.
  • Personal networks are essential in this country. It will be beneficial if you have a local representative with an extended network.
  • Negotiations should only begin after you have already established the relationships.
  • Final decisions depend on people with senior positions in the company.

How much is the contract worth in Spain?

Because Spanish people highly value their relationships, sometimes they do not require a written agreement. However, your company should prepare a formal document to confirm all details.

What are pricing policy, pressure and restraints in Spain?

As energy is a significant part in Spain’s economy, the rise or fall of oil price can put a lot of pressure on its pricing policy. More specifically, most Spanish businessmen are open to bargaining over price. Prices can be altered by 40% or more from the phase of initial offer till the final agreement. This should be taken into consideration during the negotiation process to keep room for any possible future discounts.

What is the Spanish legal system?

The Spanish legal system is based on civil law traditions. Its principles include the right to an impartial judge, equal treatment of all parties and the right to defense in a fair hearing.

What is the arbitration and litigation in Spain?


  • The arbitration terms are agreed to and signed by both parties.
  • The number of arbitrators needs to be odd.
  • If you wish to appeal, you have to send in your appeal application within two months.


  • It is a very time-consuming process.
  • The losing party has to reimburse all necessary fees for the winning party.
  • Foreign lawyers need to be admitted by the bar before they can work professionally.

Understanding the culture and legal system will help you when you do business in Spain. However, it is better to have a local partner to help guide you during initial phases.

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