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Spain - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette

Just locate the U. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U. You can also contact us directly at the US Embassy in Madrid. If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site. Services for U. Events and Trade Missions Webinars. All properties are taken on either 6 or 11 months contracts. We can normally find accommodation close to your business.

We usually suggest a bank account at Banco Popular, mainly because these banks are specially designed for foreign residents. We will introduce you to the manager who will open an account for you. Staff in the bank speak perfect English and will always be keen to help you. We suggest that if you have a UK bank account, you maintain the account for when you visit the UK or return home in years to come. Banks are usually open 9. Post boxes are yellow with a post horn symbol. Postage stamps can be purchased from post offices or tobacconists.

In areas where there is a large English community, there are Royal Mail services. This means that your mail is flown to the UK the next day then posted through the Royal Mail. It is slightly more expensive than the Spanish service but quicker and more secure. The leather in Spain is especially cheap as are ceramic goods. You will find all the designer shops in most resorts and no shortage of bargain shops.

Most shops will understand English but you will soon become acquainted with the Spanish names for shops. Some shops on the coast even accept Sterling as well as euros! There are many stores in Spain that now stock a range of English products, so there is very little that you should miss about your home country. Good old favorites that used to be hard to find such as marmite, breakfast cereals, English biscuits etc are now commonplace.

Iceland the big frozen food chain now has stores all over Spain where you can buy lots of English goods. Generally, life is slower in Spain than in the UK. Everything is done tomorrow. The Spanish work hard but also play hard.

How to enter the Spanish market – Doing Business in Spain

They enjoy life to the full and every moment of leisure is spent wisely. You too must fit into this lifestyle. Life in Spain, especially if you are going to be working, is not an extended holiday. There will be times when you will suffer with the intense heat. Your diet will change for the better. On most days you can rise and guarantee the weather is going to be fine. Rain is rare but when it rains, it rains! Because of the language and culture differences, things do take longer in Spain and official procedures are more complex.

Crime is very low apart from the obvious opportunists that target the holiday makers and the police have a great respect for foreigners, providing you give them the same. One thing you will not be short of when you come to live in Spain is visitors. Your home will be constantly inundated with friends and relatives looking for a cheap holiday.

Try not to let this interfere with your business. Telephone calls are cheap as is internet connection for emails. Flights back are also bargain priced if you know where to look. For the purpose of this guide, we are going to assume that you know nothing of the Costa del Sol. It stretches from Nerja in the north to Gibraltar in the south and encompasses some of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. The coastline is varied and has beaches of fine sand and coarse shingle.

Not far inland you can still find tiny Andalucian villages that have been untouched by tourism. You will also find several major cities such as Malaga, Granada, Seville and Cordoba.

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The climate is mild and the Costa del Sol has days of sunshine each year. The winters are warmer than anywhere else in Europe. This makes the Costa del Sol an all year round holiday destination and a popular haunt for the long-stay pensioners in the winter. If you arrive by air you will probably arrive at Malaga International Airport. This is the busiest airport in Spain, handling over 11 million people every year.

The airport has gone been through a major refurbishment opening its airwaves up to other countries worldwide.

Business Mentality

You could also find yourself landing at Gibraltar airport which is at the most southern tip of the coast about one hours drive from Malaga. This airport now has the name of Gibraltar International Airport and has also recently been through a major refurbishment and extension. From Malaga airport you can catch the coastal train. This runs as far as Fuengirola, is cheap and runs every minutes each way. The train carries instructions, destinations and current stations in English as well as Spanish and German.

You can also pick up a taxi. Taxis are government owned so in perfect condition, reliable and generally honest. It always pays you to ask for a fixed price to your destination or make sure the meter is running. Taxis are white and when free, have a green light illuminated on the roof. There is also an efficient and cheap bus service.

Cars can also be hired from the airport as well as all the major holiday resorts. Spain has many national holidays and every region has its own fiestas. Andalucia is no exception and when it comes to fiestas, the local people know how to enjoy themselves. Your diary will be full of fiestas and celebrations and to get the best from life in Spain, enjoy as many as you can. Spanish people in Andalucia are friendly and will make you welcome, providing you respect their traditions and their lifestyle.

On the Costa del Sol, you will find every nationality possible, most on holiday but many of them living here on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. Although you must learn a little Spanish, it is not essential. English is accepted on the Costa del Sol as the second language.

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Doing business in Spain

There is little you will not be able to do in English. There are however plenty of places where you can learn Spanish at very little cost — and you will enjoy it. This is due to the number of celebrities that visit or live in the resort.

The resort also encompasses the famous marina of Puerto Banus. The old town of Marbella is a delightful place to visit and has a wide selection of shops, most of which sell high quality designer wear and jewellery. The beaches of Marbella are of a high standard. Property prices in Marbella are of the highest on the coast. Fuengirola This has to be one of the friendliest family resorts on the coast. The tourism industry has had a firm hold on the town for many years and a perfect infrastructure has been established.

There is a massive foreign resident community in the area and a host of business opportunities. The beaches are long, wide and clean. All the beaches also boast the award of the Blue Flag. There are ample hotels and restaurants of all styles and qualities. Fuengirola is linked to Malaga by rail and the N highway runs slightly off the coast. It takes just minutes to drive to the airport.

Gibraltar is less than an hour away. Fuengirola port is popular and offers water sports, sailing and boat trips. It is still a popular destination for the package tour industry. The beaches are of a high quality and there are ample bars, restaurants and hotels.