Traders are members of the community and therefore play an active role in promoting public-spiritedness and harmonious co-existence.

Opening times
(L'horari d'obertura)

The days and times when establishments open must be in line with current regulations.

Commercial establishments whose main line of business is selling goods to the public may generally open for 72 hours a week, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. They must remain closed on Sundays and on public holidays, unless they are specifically authorised to open on those days.

There are no restrictions on the opening times of establishments whose main line of business is the provision of services (hairdressing salons, beauty parlours, laundries, public call centres, etc.).

All commercial establishments must display their chosen opening times in a position that is visible to the public from outside their premises.

Complaint forms
(Els fulls de reclamacions)

Commercial establishments are required to have complaint forms (fulls de reclamacions). Complaint forms are official documents, consisting of three sheets with identical content, which customers can use to complain to establishments about poor service. Of the three sheets that make up a form, the original is for the municipal consumer information bureau (Oficina Municipal d'Informació al Consumidor or OMIC) or the local office of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Catalan government, which will evaluate the case, while the pink copy is for the establishment involved and the green copy for the person making the complaint. Establishments must put up a sign that publicly states that complaint forms are available and are obliged to provide them to customers who request them.

Special sales
(Les vendes especials)

Traders must respect the established periods for seasonal sales (rebaixes) and the rules corresponding to sales of seconds or obsolete stock (saldos), stock liquidations (liquidacions) and promotions (promocions).

The following advice is intended to help you to avoid disagreements and misunderstandings during seasonal sale periods:

  • The original price of products must always be shown alongside their reduced price. The percentage (%) of the discount applied may also be indicated.

  • Product quality levels and guarantees have to be the same as they were before the start of the seasonal sales; the products offered at reduced prices may not be faulty or obsolete. Customers should ask for a receipt, as it serves as their guarantee (garantia) where exchanges are concerned.

  • Customers should ask about each establishment's refund and exchange policy. If a product is faulty, the establishment must exchange it or refund the customer's money.

  • Upon being asked for a refund, some establishments issue a purchase voucher (val de compra) rather than returning the customer's money. It is perfectly legal for them to do so, and the customer can exchange the voucher for another product. Customers should make sure they know how long such vouchers are valid for. Establishments might not accept vouchers during seasonal sales.

Establishments have to exchange faulty products. If a product is under guarantee, a repair proves to be unsatisfactory and it cannot be used for its intended purpose, the establishment from which it was bought must refund the customer's money.

  • Establishments that usually accept credit cards must continue to do so during seasonal sales.

In the event of a disagreement, the first thing to do is to try to find a solution by talking to the establishment. If it is not possible to resolve the problem in that way, you can ask for a complaint form and seek advice from the OMIC.

Establishment signs
(La retolació dels comerços)

Establishment signs must meet the requisites of current regulations (article 32 of Law 1/1998 of 17 January on language policy). In Catalonia, permanent signs and notices giving general information in establishments open to the public must be written at least in Catalan.

The Consortium for Language Normalisation (Consorci per a la Normalització Lingüística in Catalan) offers advice on and help with equipping establishments with signs written in Catalan.

Trade and the environment
(El comerç i el medi ambient)

As a trader, you have to help to maintain and look after the public spaces you use. For example, it is a good idea to clean the area of the street in front of your establishment.

It is also important to follow the regulations on dealing with waste (packing, rubbish, etc.) and to use the containers provided for specific types of waste. You should try to ensure that your waste does not take up space on the street.

Establishments must also respect health and safety regulations (smoke vents, extinguishers, etc.) in order to prevent potential accidents and public health risks.

Traders' associations
(Les associacions de comerciants)

It is important that you, as a trader, contact the residents' association of your building to find out about your rights and duties, as well as the internal regulations you must follow. It is also a good idea to participate in your local traders' association (associació de comerciants).

For further information, see