Registering distance selling companies in Spain

In recent years, distance selling has increased significantly in the market. However, what is considered online sale?

Distance selling is executed without the simultaneous physical presence of a buyer and a seller. An offer and acceptance of a purchase is made exclusively through a distance communication and contracting system organized by the seller.

The most common methods of completing this type of sale are catalogue sales, contracts by phone, internet, radio, television (teleshopping) and press advertising with order forms.

Generally, these contracts proceed in three phases:

  • The consumer receives a product or service offer,
  • The consumer places an order,
  • The consumer receives the requested product

Many distance selling businesses are obligated to register in the Distance Selling Companies Registry. Others are not obligated to register, but they do so in order to provide confidence to clients and reinforce their brand image.

What is the Distance Selling Companies registry?

The Distance Selling Companies Registry is a public administrative registry, which aims to publicize and report on distance selling companies.

Who is under the obligation to register?

If a company completes distance sales only through a website, the company is not obliged to register. In this case, registration is optional, even though many companies do register and highlight their registration in their brochures and websites to improve their image to their clients. However, if a company, in addition to selling though its website, uses other distance selling methods (catalogue, mail, phone or fax), then it is obligated to register.

Nonetheless, there are some exceptions to the registration requirement for:

  • Companies that develop their commercial activity in a fixed establishment and which, sporadically, make distance sales.
  • Information services companies
  • Companies that provide financial services, whether it be in the field of stock market, collective investment institutions or in the banking or insurance sector.
  • Companies that sell medicines in agreement with the Law on the Guarantees and Rational Use of Medicines and Medical Products.

This article is not considered as legal advice  

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