Sales Representative in Spain

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
The importers-cum-distributors play the main role. They usually have a national coverage (including the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands) and they depend on the regional wholesalers in areas where they do not have their own delegation. Each is specialized in a particular line of business.
  • Main Actors
Spanish association of wood importers (SAWI)
Conxemar, Spanish association of wholesalers, importers and exporters of fishing products
Association of importers and distributors of steel for construction (ASIDAC)
Spanish Association of importers and distributors of hotel equipment
  • Type of Organization
They usually have only a regional coverage, or even local, but they often group together sector-wise and/or geographic location-wise. They are sometimes importers.
  • Main Actors
Asomafrut, association of fruits and vegetables wholesalers of Madrid
Buscomayotista, directory of wholesalers

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
It is evidently the least expensive form to afford and to open the market.
Where to Be Vigilant
The inherent disadvantages:
- its legal status being different from that of the Sales Representative ( see the model contract)
- the difficulty in finding an agent. The 50,000 agents in business are categorized into 68 regional « colleges » (orders) which accredits them to practice the profession. These « colleges » are members of the CGAC (General Council of Sales Agents Colleges of Spain).
Elements of Motivation
The remuneration amount is an important element of motivation. Checking and close contacts will be necessary for tracking the agent's activity efficiently.
The Average Amount of Commission
The agent remuneration can be a fixed amount, a commission or a combination of the two.
Breach of Contract
The agency contract can be for a fixed period or an open-ended contract. The notice period for an open contract is a month for every year the contract is in force with a maximum of 6 months.
Finding a Commercial Agent
CGAC, General Council of Commercial Agents' Colleges of Spain
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Spain on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
It is the best way to track the monitor closely and to get a « Spanish » image, which is reassuring for customers.
Where to Be Vigilant
It is necessary to carry out beforehand a detailed market study to make sure that the potential turnover and margins can allow the structure to be taken on. The time for return on investment is around 3 years. Apart from the director, it is preferrable to recruit Spanish employees who will know the specific requirements of the market.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office

This is not an effective form.

  • A Branch Office
The Spanish legislation does not facilitate the establishment of this type of structure.
  • A Company
This is the best option which enables the foreign company to become assimilated and put it on an equal footing with its Spanish or foreign competitors who have chosen this system.
Two forms are possible:
- la S.L., Sociedad Limitada (equivalent to a limited liability company) whose minimum capital must be 3,005.06 EUR immediately payable. This is the best way to start up.
- the S.A, Sociedad Anonima for which the minimum capital must be 60,101.21 EUR divided into shares. It must be fully subscribed when the company is formed and payable up to at least 25%.


Evolution of the Sector
This is a recent (started in the 90s) but dynamic sector. Its turnover has doubled over the last 5 years.. It presents a guarantee for the small retailer and it is being consolidated. The growth rate of the franchise sector was 31% from 2005 to 2006 for a billing of 23.5 billion EUR. The number of brand names is higher than 800 of which more than 80% is from Spanish origin. By end of 2006, among more than 56,000 establishments, 79% are pure franchises, the remaining being owned by the brand name. Franchising exists in 21 sectors and the majority of franchises are found, in decreasing order, in the sectors of fashion, hotel trade, services. The sector is governed by European and Spanish regulations and those of the 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain.
Some Big Franchises
Grupo Lizarran, restaurant business
Mc Donald's, fast food
MRW, transport express
Juegos y sueños, child welfare, toys…
Mango, fashion
Lists of franchises per sector
For Further Information
Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce
SAF, Spanish Association of Franchisers

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
Intercom Trading S.L
List of International Trade companies
Recommended Resource
Find more on about Selling to Spain.

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  • Establishing An Office In Spain

    U.S. companies interested in investing in Spain must first decide whether to incorporate a subsidiary (i.e. as a separate corporation) or establish a branch. Both have full legal status and their profits are taxable in Spain.

    U.S. Commercial Service Poland on 24 Feb 2010 related to Sales Representative in Spain

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