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 evident in everyday-living in Gibraltar, so have they affected the business culture in different ways too. While the social life of Gibraltar is casual, most business is conducted in a formal British manner.
9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.
English is the official language of business in Gibraltar. Spanish may be used in dealing with companies from Spain that operate in Gibraltar.
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.
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.
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
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.
Appointments must be made in advance, and expats should never 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.
Punctuality is essential – 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 those who are more senior
►See Working in Gibraltar for information about finding a job
Are you an expat living in Gibraltar?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Gibraltar. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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