Within Spain's productive economy, the retail sector constitutes the most important one after tourism. Trade continues to constitute, despite the economic crisis, one of the essential motors of our economy, both due to its macroeconomic weight as well as the vast number of companies that operate in this sector (approximately 25% of the total number of companies).

The legal needs of those who do business in the retail sector are projected over five major plans.

1.- Structuring of their business model, their network and in turn their internal organization: It is crucial to select the adequate business model, whether in the form of distribution, agency, selective distribution, franchising or other hybrid forms of business collaboration.

2.- Real estate, urban planning and environmental aspects for the opening of retail outlets to the public.

3.- Relationship with suppliers: In this area, it is indispensable to have adequate advice on the subject of supply agreements, financing, insurance, transport, logistics, risks of operation, with respect to the rules of competition, situations of economic dependence, situations generated in case of termination or expiration of contracts (return of stocks, indemnification for clientele or investments made, pending payment instruments, etc.).

4.- Relationship with consumers: Where obligatory regulations enter into play, the compliance with which is essential for companies and citizens: warranties, defective products liability, misleading advertising and, in general, consumer protection and defence laws, both at the central level as well as at the level of the Autonomous Communities.

5.- Specific regulations applicable to retail trading: From the entry into force of Law 7/1996 on Retail Trade, a series of regulations have occurred at the European, central and autonomous level having a major impact on retail trade. Lastly, the Services Directive and Spanish laws that transposes its principles has entailed a radical change in this legal program in order to form a liberalizing framework which should benefit the economy as a whole. Nevertheless, this new context is not exempt from matters pending clarification and problems of legal interpretation.

We enjoy an expertise very much developed in all areas of legal advice concerned, affecting the creation of networks, installation and advice on retail outlets, from all points of view: employment, tax, commercial contracting, urban planning, specific retail trading regulations, consumer protection, disputes related to retail trading, trademark protection, distinctive marks, industrial and intellectual property, unfair competition, etc. Our experience has allowed us to design a specific tool to audit competition aspects specifically related to retail trading, highly specialized and focused on companies that do business in this sector.