Short glossary of business related words in Spanish

If you’re using Spanish in your workspace, or if you’re learning for business-related purposes, we’re sure it’s only a matter of time until you need these words - that is, if you haven’t already! Keep this business Spanish glossary at hand and surprise everyone at the office.

Bolsa.

“Bolsa” means stock exchange, e.g. “La bolsa de Nueva York sufrió un gran crash en 1929” (New York’s stock exchange suffered a great crash in 1929).

spanish for companies

Compañía.

In some cases, “compañía” can be used interchangeably with “empresa”. Both mean company. “Compañía” sometimes refers to a discographic company, e.g. “La compañía de los Beatles quiso que grabaran más CDs” (The Beatles’ record label wanted them to record more CDs), or “compañía aérea” (airline) or “compañía marítima” (shipping company).

Compra.

“Compra” means purchase. In daily life, “hacer la compra” means going to the supermarket.

Despacho.

See oficina.

Director/Directora.

This one is easy! “Director” means “director” or, in some contexts, “manager”. Director is the masculine form and directora is the feminine.

Empresa.

“Empresa” means company/ enterprise. By the way, an “empresa pública” is a public company and an “empresa privada” is a private company.

Contrato

“Contrato” is a contract. Also:

  • Contrato laboral.

“Contrato laboral” specifically refers to contracts of employment, e.g. “Según mi contrato laboral, tengo derecho a 20 días de vacaciones” (According to my contract, I have the right to 20 days off).

  • Contrato fijo/ indefinido.

It is used to refer to a permanent work contract; a contract for which the end date is unknown.

  • Contrato temporal.

Short-term (temporary, seasonal) work contract.

Fabricante.

“Fabricante” is a manufacturer, e.g. “Nuestro fabricante es de Valencia” (Our manufacturer is from Valencia).

Jefe.

Jefe” means boss/ person in charge. It can be used both for the person responsible for the whole company (“the” boss) or for someone responsible for a given section, e.g., “el jefe del departamento de marketing” (the boss of the marketing department). However, we don’t advise you to call your boss as “jefe/jefa” - call them by their name and title (if applicable) instead.

Mercado.

“Mercado” means market, e.g. “las leyes del mercado” (the laws of the market”. It’s also used to name traditional markets (the same as in English), e.g. “El mercado de la Boquería in Barcelona” (the Boquería Market in Barcelona), although we doubt you’ll need that in a company context.

Negocio/Negocios.

“Negocio” is a business deal. When used in the singular form, it can mean simply “business”, e.g. “modelo de negocio” (business model) or “tengo un negocio” (I have a business/ a company). “Negocios” in the plural form almost always means “business deals”, e.g. “Tengo negocios en Latinoamerica” (I have business deals in Latin America), although it can be used in expressions such as “el mundo de los negocios” (the business world”.

Oficina.

“Oficina” means office. In some parts of Latin America, “despacho” may be more widely used. If you’re a Portuguese learner, beware! This is a false friend. If you’re learning Spanish thinking that you’ll understand Portuguese as well, keep in mind that the correct Portuguese world would be “escritório”.  

Reunión.

“Reunión” means “meeting.” It’s a very useful word, and you can use it for anything - whether you need a meeting with your co-workers or with partners. In some companies, the English word “meeting” is also used.