Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


2. Defining regulatory principles


2.1. Civil and Commercial Legislation

2.1.1. Civil and Commercial Codes

Electronic contracts are fully subject to the rules established by the Spanish Civil Code on obligations and contracts and by the Commercial Code.

Electronic contracts are also subject to EC Regulation 593/2008, of June 17, 2008, on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I) which will apply to contractual obligations in the civil and commercial area in situations involving a conflict of laws.

2.1.2. Distance sales

Equally applicable to electronic sales is the chapter on distance sales contained in the Retail Trade Law 7/1996. This Law defines "distance sales" as sales concluded without the simultaneous physical presence of the buyer and the seller, where the seller's offer and the buyer's acceptance are conveyed exclusively by a means of distance communication of any nature and within a distance contract system organized by the seller.

This Law establishes that distance sale offers must contain at least the following:

  • The seller's identity.
  • The special features of the product, the price, and the shipping expenses and, if applicable, the cost of using the distance communication technique if it is calculated on a basis other than the basic rate basis.
  • The payment method, and form of delivery or types of fulfillment of orders.
  • The period for which the offer remains valid and, if applicable, the minimum term of the contract.
  • The existence of a right to withdraw or terminate the contract and, if applicable, the circumstances and conditions in which the seller could supply a product of equivalent price and quality.
  • The out-of-court dispute resolution procedure, if applicable, in which the seller participates.

In sales of this type, consumers are also afforded a number of rights, such as:

  • The need for their express consent to the distance transaction, so that the failure to reply cannot be construed as acceptance of the offer.
  • Prohibition on unsolicited shipments, where such shipments include a request for payment.

Guide to business in Spain

Legal framework and tax implications of e-commerce in Spain


ICEX - Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Economía y competitividad
Elaborado por Garrigues - Abogados y Asesores Tributarios
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