business-spanish

108 Business Spanish Vocabulary Examples in 10 Categories

One of the reasons why Spanish is gaining popularity as a second language is its usefulness and business potential.

Whether you work for a company that employs Spanish speaking staff,

or your production plant is in a South American country.

This is where you import from, knowing how to talk about business in Spanish is a huge advantage. 

It increases your professional career options, but it may also be a significant boost to your salary.

For all of you who have – or would like to have – work contact with the Spanish language, I have prepared a selection of examples.

1. Must-Know Business Spanish Vocabulary

You’ll learn words like:

  • 🇪🇸 un negocio – 🇬🇧 a business
  • 🇪🇸 un proveedor – 🇬🇧 a supplier
  • 🇪🇸 un fabricante – 🇬🇧 a manufacturer
  • 🇪🇸 un cliente – 🇬🇧 a client, a customer
  • 🇪🇸 una empresa – 🇬🇧 a company
  • 🇪🇸 el personal – 🇬🇧 the staff
  • 🇪🇸 un precio – 🇬🇧 a price
  • 🇪🇸 una factura – 🇬🇧 an invoice
  • 🇪🇸 un contrato – 🇬🇧 a contract
  • 🇪🇸 las ganancias – 🇬🇧 the profit
  • 🇪🇸 las pérdidas – 🇬🇧 losses
  • 🇪🇸 una marca – 🇬🇧 a brand
  • 🇪🇸 contratar – 🇬🇧 to hire
  • 🇪🇸 despedir – 🇬🇧 to lay off, to fire
  • 🇪🇸 un descuento – 🇬🇧 a discount

And many others!

2. Parties in a business deal – how to name them in Spanish?

Every business requires at least two parties: the buyer and the seller, right?

Often, this network is much broader. There are suppliers, distributors, or contractors involved. 

Check out the examples below to see how parties in a business deal are called in Spanish.

🇪🇸 Mi familia tiene un negocio de aguacates en el norte de Chile. 
🇬🇧 My family has an avocado business in the north of Chile. 

🇪🇸 Nuestro cliente principal es una cadena de supermercados japoneses. 
🇬🇧 Our main client is a Japanese supermarket chain. 

🇪🇸 Ellos tienen muchos proveedores en todo Sudamérica. 
🇬🇧 They have many suppliers in all of South America.

🇪🇸 Nuestra empresa está buscando nuevos socios comerciales. 
🇬🇧 Our company is looking for new business partners. 

🇪🇸 Estamos negociando con algunos fabricantes chinos. 
🇬🇧We’re negotiating with a few Chinese manufacturers. 

🇪🇸 Ellos tienen la mano de obra barata y ofrecen buenos precios. 
🇬🇧 They have a cheap labor force and offer good prices. 

🇪🇸 Concha y Toro es el vendedor de vinos más grande de Chile. 
🇬🇧 Concha y Toro is the biggest wine seller in Chile. 

🇪🇸 Tienen compradores y distribuidores en todo el mundo. 
🇬🇧 They have buyers and distributors all over the world. 

🇪🇸 Necesitamos más contratistas para la temporada alta. 
🇬🇧 We need more contractors for the high season. 

3. Parts of a company and different departments in Spanish 

Have you been asked to prepare a company presentation in Spanish? Or perhaps you are hosting foreign visitors, and you need to give them a tour?

Here is some useful vocabulary for you:

🇪🇸 Nuestra empresa fue fundada en 1995. 
🇬🇧 Our company was founded in 1995. 

🇪🇸 Su dueño mayoritario es un holding canadiense. 
🇬🇧 Its majority owner is a Canadian holding. 

🇪🇸 Somos los fabricantes de mariscos más grandes de Perú.
🇬🇧 We’re the biggest seafood producers in Peru. 

🇪🇸 Tenemos 3 fábricas totalmente automatizadas y 2 modernas bodegas. 
🇬🇧 We have 3 fully automated production plants and 2 modern warehouses. 

🇪🇸 Nuestra casa matriz se encuentra en Lima. 
🇬🇧 Our headquarters are in Lima. 

🇪🇸 Tenemos sucursales en varios países. 
🇬🇧 We have subsidiaries in various countries. 

Just like a successful business requires a series of different actions (i.e., planning, production, promotion, delivery, etc.), a company is divided into different areas – each of them responsible for a specific function.

Let’s see how these areas – or departments – are called in Spanish:

🇪🇸 ¿Me puede comunicar con el área de ventas, por favor? 
🇬🇧 Can you put me through with the sales department, please? 

🇪🇸 Nuestro departamento de marketing está desarrollando una campaña de publicidad importante. 
🇬🇧 Our marketing department is developing an important advertising campaign. 

🇪🇸 El área de finanzas está en el segundo piso. 
🇬🇧 The Finance Department is on the second floor.

🇪🇸 El equipo de recursos humanos está revisando las postulaciones recibidas. 
🇬🇧 The human resource team is checking the received applications. 

🇪🇸 Estamos llamando del departamento de cobranza.
🇬🇧 We’re calling from the collection department.

🇪🇸 Nuestra área de contabilidad tiene 10 empleados
🇬🇧 Our accounting department has 10 employees.

4. Positions in a company and related Spanish Business vocabulary

Companies, independently of their size, have their hierarchy. Sometimes it’s vertical and steep, and sometimes it is rather flat, with a faster communication flow. 

If you wonder how different positions in a company are called, take a look at the following selection of Spanish business vocabulary:

🇪🇸 El señor Diego Ramirez es nuestro nuevo gerente general. 
🇬🇧 Mr. Diego Gonzalez is our new CEO.

🇪🇸 Una reunión con el director de finanzas debe ser agendada a través de su asistente. 
🇬🇧 A meeting with the CFO must be scheduled through his assistant.

🇪🇸 La oficina del gerente de ventas queda al final del pasillo a la derecha.
🇬🇧 The Sales Manager’s office is at the end of the hall to the right. 

🇪🇸 El directorio se reúne cada 2 meses. 
🇬🇧 The board meets every 2 months. 

🇪🇸 Me preocupa la alta rotación del personal en esta empresa. 
🇬🇧 I’m worried about the high staff turnover in this company. 

🇪🇸 La sala de reuniones está reservada para el equipo de ventas mañana. 
🇬🇧 The meeting room is booked for the sales team tomorrow. 

🇪🇸 El cargo de gerente de operaciones está vacante.
🇬🇧 The COO’s position is vacant. 

🇪🇸 La próxima reunión del directorio se realizará el 8 de octubre.
🇬🇧 The next board meeting will be held on October the 8th.

🇪🇸 El jefe de este departamento se va de vacaciones. Lo va a reemplazar el señor Gomez.
🇬🇧 The head of this department is going on vacation. Mr. Gomez will replace him.

🇪🇸 El sindicato está amenazando con una huelga.
🇬🇧 The union is threatening with a strike.

🇪🇸 Todos los viernes salimos a comer con mis compañeros de trabajo.
🇬🇧 We go out to eat with my workmates every Friday.

Days of the week are a significant part of Spanish vocabulary in a business context! I strongly suggest you check them out!

5. Spanish vocabulary used in business documents 

Even though a gentlemen’s agreement is still honored between friends, most transnational business deals require parties to sign written contracts.

In the same way, every transaction requires a proof (a receipt or an invoice).

Whenever you hire a new worker – a set of corresponding legal documents needs to be drafted.

The reality of doing business in Spanish is no different, which is why I would like to show you what some key business documents are called in Spanish in this section of today’s post. 

🇪🇸 Nuestro abogado está revisando la propuesta del contrato. 
🇬🇧 Our lawyer is reviewing the contract proposal. 

🇪🇸 No estamos de acuerdo con la cláusula 7.
🇬🇧 We don’t agree with clause 7. 

🇪🇸 Cualquier cambio de condiciones debe ser agregado en un anexo. 
🇬🇧 Any change of conditions must be added in an addendum

🇪🇸 Me puede enviar una proforma, por favor?
🇬🇧🇬🇧 Can you send me a proforma invoice, please?

🇪🇸 Esta es la cotización que me ha enviado el nuevo proveedor.
🇬🇧 This is the price quote the new supplier has sent me. 

🇪🇸 Todas las facturas deben ser ingresadas antes del 15 de cada mes.
🇬🇧 All the invoices must be uploaded before the 15th of each month.

🇪🇸 La factura no. 87659 está vencida.
🇬🇧 Invoice no. 87659 is overdue. 

🇪🇸 Necesitamos que nos envíe una orden de compra.
🇬🇧 We need you to send us a purchase order.

🇪🇸 La factura no. 87659 está vencida.
🇬🇧 Invoice no. 87659 is overdue. 

🇪🇸 Esta es la cotización que me ha enviado el nuevo proveedor.
🇬🇧 This is the price quotation the new supplier has sent me. 

🇪🇸 Lamentablemente, no vamos a renovar su contrato de trabajo.
🇬🇧 Unfortunately, we won’t renew your work contract.

🇪🇸 El contador aún no me ha enviado la nómina de este mes.
🇬🇧 The book-keeper hasn’t sent me this month’s payroll yet.

🇪🇸 Hay un error en mi última liquidación de sueldo.
🇬🇧 There is a mistake in my last payslip. 

As a side note, “una liquidación de sueldo” is what we call a payslip in Chile. Yet, there are specific vocabulary differences among Spanish speaking countries, which sometimes call for confusion and funny situations. 

6. Negotiations and business contracts in Spanish  

This is probably the most challenging part of doing business, which definitely requires skills beyond the knowledge of the language. Friendliness and a good conversation starter to break the ice can take you a long way. 

Today, however, we are focusing on Business Spanish Vocabulary, so here’s a bunch of words you can’t go without when sitting at the negotiation table:

🇪🇸 No es fácil negociar con este cliente.
🇬🇧 It’s not easy to negotiate with this client.

🇪🇸 Esta es nuestra última oferta.
🇬🇧 It’s our last offer.

🇪🇸 ¿Cuál es su mejor precio?
🇬🇧 What’s your best price?

🇪🇸 Todo nuestro portafolio de productos está con un 5% de descuento.
🇬🇧 All our product portfolio has a 5% discount.

🇪🇸 Si compran más de 100 unidades, les podemos ofrecer los precios mayorista.
🇬🇧 If you buy over 100 units, we can offer you wholesale prices.

🇪🇸 3 clientes han cancelado su pedido.
🇬🇧 3 clients have cancelled their orders.

🇪🇸 El producto no cumple con nuestras expectativas.
🇬🇧 The product doesn’t meet our expectations. 

🇪🇸 Tenemos que acordar los términos de pago.
🇬🇧 We need to agree on the payment terms.

🇪🇸 Para los clientes nuevos solo permitimos el pago anticipado.
🇬🇧 For new clients, we only allow advance payment.

🇪🇸 Nuestro flujo de caja no permite pagos a 180 días.
🇬🇧 Our cash flow doesn’t allow for a 180-day payment.

🇪🇸 Nuestros productos cumplen con los más altos estándares de calidad.
🇬🇧 Our products meet the highest quality standards.

🇪🇸 Su contrato de exclusividad vence a finales del 2020.
🇬🇧 Your exclusive rights contract expires at the end of 2020.

🇪🇸 Es una violación de los términos de contrato muy grave.
🇬🇧 It is a very serious breach of the contract terms. 

🇪🇸 Vamos a posponer la firma del contrato hasta que ustedes mejoren sus condiciones.
🇬🇧 We are going to put off signing the contract until you improve your conditions. 

See how contrato and condiciones sound similar to English? These kinds of words are called cognates or friends, and they are one of the reasons why Spanish is an easy language to learn for native English speakers. 

7. Imports and exports related to vocabulary in Spanish

Have I told you that I majored in Foreign Trade back when I was living in Poland? I find the world of international business fascinating, and I love teaching my students this part of the Spanish vocabulary.

Here’s a handy selection of words and phrases you’ll need when importing from or exporting to a Spanish speaking country.

🇪🇸 Importamos nuestros productos de Europa del Este.
🇬🇧 We import our products from Eastern Europe.

🇪🇸 Nuestras exportaciones a Asia representan 80% de las ventas totales.
🇬🇧Our exports to Asia represent 80% of the total sales.

🇪🇸 El comprador cubre el costo del despacho.
The buyer pays for the shipping fee.

🇪🇸 El flete marítimo de China a los Estados Unidos se demora 30 días.
🇬🇧 The sea freight from China to the US takes 30 days.

🇪🇸 Nuestro agente de aduana preparará todos los documentos.
🇬🇧 Our freight agent will prepare all the documents.

🇪🇸 Nuestros precios incluyen costo, seguro y flete.
🇬🇧 Our prices include cost, insurance, and freight.

🇪🇸 Nuestro agente de aduana preparará todos los documentos.
🇬🇧 Our freight agent will prepare all the documents.

🇪🇸 La mercancía quedó detenida en la aduana.
🇬🇧 The merchandise has been detained by the customs. 

🇪🇸 ¿Pueden enviarnos algunas muestras por avión?
🇬🇧 Can you send us some samples by air?

🇪🇸 Si quieren promover sus productos en España, deberían participar en esta feria.
🇬🇧 If you want to promote your products in Spain, you should participate in this fair. 

🇪🇸 Todos los productos que nos enviaron vienen con fallas. Debemos retirarlos del
ercado.
🇬🇧 All the products you sent us have defects. We need to be recalled from the market.

🇪🇸 Deben indemnizarnos por las ventas perdidas.
🇬🇧 You must compensate us for lost sales. 

🇪🇸 En un contenedor de 40 pies caben 20 palets tamaño estándar.
🇬🇧 20 standard size pallets fit in a 40 ft. container.

Have you noticed how the word order is quite different in the Spanish and the English versions of the last sentence? Yes, things can’t always be translated literally. Word-by-word translation is one of the most common mistakes English speakers make in Spanish. 

8. Financial results and trends – useful Spanish words and expressions

Numbers can be tricky, even in your language. Yet, in a business context, we often need to explain how the company is financial. 

If sales meetings and end-of-the-year financial reports are what you dread, this section of my post will save your skin.

🇪🇸 Necesito el informe de ventas de 2020 lo antes posible.
🇬🇧 I need the 2020 sales report as soon as possible. 

🇪🇸 Tenemos que seguir de cerca las tendencias en el mercado para evitar pérdidas.
🇬🇧 In order to avoid losses, we need to follow market trends closely.

🇪🇸 Nuestras ganancias netas del año pasado fueron de 2 millones de dólares.
🇬🇧 Our net profit last year was 2 million dollars.

🇪🇸 El primer trimestre de 2020 facturamos un 20% menos que el año pasado.
🇬🇧 In the first quarter of 2020 our turnover was 20% lower than last year.

🇪🇸 El costo del transporte ha subido mucho últimamente. 
🇬🇧 The transportation cost has gone up a lot lately. 

🇪🇸 La demanda para estos productos ha bajado 50% debido a la crisis.
🇬🇧 The demand for these products has dropped by 50% due to the crisis.

🇪🇸 El precio de dolar se ha mantenido estable.
🇬🇧 The price of the dollar has remained stable.

🇪🇸 El año pasado registramos el mayor aumento de ventas desde el 2010.
🇬🇧 Last year we registered the highest increase in sales since 2010.

🇪🇸 Ha habido una fuerte baja en la demanda externa.
🇬🇧 There’s been a sharp drop in the external demand.

🇪🇸 El IVA va a subir de 18 a 20% para esta categoría de servicios.
🇬🇧 The VAT for this category of products will go up from 18 to 20%.

🇪🇸 Después de las acusaciones de dumping, nuestras ventas se hundieron. 
🇬🇧 After dumping accusations, our sales plummeted.

🇪🇸 Aún no nos hemos recuperado de la crisis. 
🇬🇧 We still haven’t recovered from the crisis.

🇪🇸 La tasa de interés subió de 2 a 3%.
🇬🇧 The interest rate rose from 2 to 3%.

🇪🇸 Esperamos que esta tendencia se mantenga hasta enero.
🇬🇧 We expect this trend to continue until January.

🇪🇸 ¿Cuál ha sido el mes de mayores ventas en 2020?
🇬🇧 What has been the month with the highest sales in 2020?

If you wonder why the last question uses “¿cuál?” instead of “¿qué?” check out my post on the key Spanish question words.

9. Speaking about marketing and promotion in Spanish

This is a fun topic, isn’t it? I love all the creativity and imagination it needs. A little bit like the language learning process. 

It is fascinating to see how marketing efforts need to be adapted to individual market requirements. 

A successful promotional campaign in Mexico can prove to be an utter failure in Peru, even though they speak the same language.

If you would like to improve your grasp of marketing words to enlarge your Spanish business vocabulary, ask no more:

🇪🇸 La próxima semana vamos a lanzar una nueva campaña publicitaria.
🇬🇧 Next week we are launching a new advertising campaign.

🇪🇸 Este eslogan publicitario no va a pegar en Argentina.
🇬🇧 This promotional slogan won’t hit in Argentina.

🇪🇸 Contratamos 20 promotores para el evento de esta semana.
🇬🇧 We’ve hired 20 promoters for this week’s event.

🇪🇸 Tenemos que ajustar nuestros materiales promocionales para este mercado.
🇬🇧 We have to adjust our promotional materials for this market.

🇪🇸 Estamos construyendo nuestra marca en Sudamérica.
🇬🇧 We’re building our brand in South America.

🇪🇸 Este aviso publicitario debe aparecer en el tiempo de máxima audiencia.
🇬🇧 This spot has to appear in primetime.

🇪🇸 Buscamos una agencia de publicidad para mejorar nuestra presencia en las redes sociales.
🇬🇧 We’re looking for an advertising agency to improve our social media presence. 

🇪🇸 El reconocimiento de nuestra marca ha mejorado significativamente.
🇬🇧 Our brand recognition has improved significantly.

🇪🇸 Nuestro programa de fidelización de clientes ha sido muy exitoso.
🇬🇧 Our customer loyalty program has been very successful.

🇪🇸 Este producto se encuentra en la última etapa de su ciclo de vida.
🇬🇧 This product is in the last stage of its life cycle.

🇪🇸 Necesitamos imprimir 1000 de estos folletos para distribuirlos durante la feria.
🇬🇧 We need to print 1000 of these leaflets to hand them out during the fair.

🇪🇸 Vamos realizar una encuesta de satisfacción a nuestros clientes.
🇬🇧 We are going to carry out a customer satisfaction survey. 

The way your customers feel about your product is crucial for your business. Do you know how to express feelings in Spanish?

10. Employment and recruitment related words and expressions in Spanish  

Spanish Business vocabulary can be extensive, especially if you want to impress your partner with fluidity and accuracy.

Luckily, we’re approaching the finish line! Congrats on your persistence and enthusiasm!

The last category I have chosen for our vocabulary list has to do with employment. 

Check out these neat examples: 

🇪🇸 Necesitamos contratar a un nuevo gerente de ventas. 
🇬🇧 We need to hire a new sales manager. 

🇪🇸 Deberías postular a este cargo.
🇬🇧 You should apply for this position.

🇪🇸 Por el momento no tenemos ninguna vacante.
🇬🇧 There are no job openings for the moment.

🇪🇸 Hemos recibido 200 currículums.
🇬🇧 We’ve received 200 resumés.

🇪🇸 Trabajamos con una agencia de reclutamiento local.
🇬🇧 We work with a local head hunting agency.

🇪🇸 Ofrecemos un sueldo competitivo junto con otros beneficios. 
🇬🇧 We offer a competitive salary along with other benefits.

🇪🇸 La entrevista de trabajo estuvo muy difícil.
🇬🇧 The job interview was very hard.

🇪🇸 Pedro fue despedido por su bajo rendimiento.
🇬🇧 Pedro was fired because of his low performance.

🇪🇸 El aviso de despido debe ser entregado por escrito.
🇬🇧 The notice must be handed in in writing. 

🇪🇸 Juan tuvo un accidente y ahora está con licencia.
🇬🇧 Juan had an accident, and he is on sick leave now. 

🇪🇸 Lamentablemente no vamos a renovar su contrato de trabajo.
🇬🇧 Unfortunately, we won’t renew your work contract.

🇪🇸 Llevo 10 años en esta empresa y aún no he recibido ningún aumento de sueldo.
🇬🇧 I’ve been working in this company for 10 years, and I have received no salary raise yet. 

🇪🇸 María fue ascendida a jefa del departamento.
🇬🇧 Maria was promoted to head of department. 

Good for her! I bet she deserved it!

This is all for today, my darling readers. Don’t worry if the amount of vocabulary I’ve shown you today is a little overwhelming. You can take it one category at a time and advance at your own pace. 

Before you know it, you’ll be a real expert in Spanish business vocabulary!

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Joanna Lupa

Joanna Lupa

Polish by birth, Chilean by the turns of life. Has spent 20 years in that beautiful South American country working as a language teacher and translator. Has taught Spanish and English to students of all proficiency levels. Passionate about languages, books, and traveling. A mother of 2 trilingual teenagers.