Doing business in Gibraltar

Thanks to its generous tax policies, EU membership and economic stability, Gibraltar is in many ways an ideal place to start a new business or expand an existing business. This is especially true for those with an interest in one of Gibraltar's major industries such as financial services, tourism, shipping or online gaming.

Just as the contrasting Spanish and British influences are very evident in everyday living in Gibraltar, so they have affected the business culture in different ways too. While the social life of Gibraltar is very casual, most business is conducted in a formal British manner.


Fast facts

Business hours 

9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.

Business language

English is the official language of business in Gibraltar. Spanish may be used in dealing with companies from that country that operate in Gibraltar. 

Dress

Businessmen and women are expected to dress smartly in Gibraltar, with most men wearing suits to the office. In summer, short-sleeved shirts and lightweight slacks are commonly preferred. 

Greetings

A firm handshake is recommended when expats greet locals. Despite the friendliness of local businesspeople, do not presume to be on a first-name basis from the initial meeting – rather take the lead from local counterparts.

Gender equality

There are women in management positions in Gibraltar and many work in the thriving service sector, but they’re still underrepresented in politics. 


Business culture in Gibraltar

Communication

Businesspeople in Gibraltar tend to be direct and to-the-point. Expats are advised to take the same approach. In addition, it's important to remain calm even under pressure. Emotional displays such as raising one's voice are regarded negatively and are sure to have an adverse effect on business outcomes.

Business meetings

Appointments must be made in advance and expats should never to arrive without one – even the most informal meetings are prearranged. Going into business meetings, expats should be well-prepared and ready to answer any questions.

Time

Punctuality is very important – it's better to be early than late, as lateness is regarded as a sign of disrespect. If something has come up and it's impossible to arrive on time, expats should let associates know immediately.


Dos and don'ts of doing business in Gibraltar

  • Don't dress sloppily, even on hot days

  • Do be well-prepared for meetings

  • Do arrive on time

  • Don't interrupt other speakers during meetings, especially more senior associates

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