Crisis in CataloniaAre you up-to-date with the critical situation in Catalonia, Spain? After the attempt of an independence referendum last October 1st, the positions are very radicalized and the chances to open a dialog are now too remote. Spanish Goverment is going to take control of Catalan Generalitat and Carles Puigdemont, president of Catalonia, will be removed.

In consequence, during this crisis, hundreds of Catalan companies, banks, and many traditional enterprises have changed their domicilio social (registered office) from Barcelona to other cities in Spain.

However, students have some troubles when they face these terms: is domicilio social and domicilio fiscal the same? What is the difference between sede, domicilio, sucursal or filial?

Domicilio social vs domicilio fiscal

When a company is started, a public address is registered in el Registro Mercantil (Commercial Registry). This is el domicilio social, which is public and it should be located where the company’s activity is developed and its administrative center works.

However, el domicilio fiscal (tax residence) is the one, set by the company, for its relationship with la Agencia Tributaria (Internal Revenue). It should be located where the administration and management is centralized.

Domicilio social vs sede social

Sede is, officially, the term referring to the place where asociaciones culturales (cultural associations), clubes deportivos (sports clubs), órganos administrativos (administrative bodies), and other organizations, such as embajadas (embassies) are managed.

On the other hand, domicilio is required for a commercial society. In consequence, sede is a subclass of domicilio for specific associations.

Sucursal vs filial

Una sucursal is a secundary branch, which is accountable to casa matriz (headquarters). This dependence is legal (it doesn’t have personalidad jurídica propia) and economical (it doesn’t earn its own capital).

On the contrary, una filial is legally independent of la casa matriz (it has its own legal status and capital) but it’s not economical self-reliant because la casa madre (parent company) has enough acciones (shares) in order to dictate its resolutions.

In conclusión, many similar words that only cause confusion, not only among our students on, but also the native speakers. If you want to improve your technical vocabulary about business, this is your chance: try our Spanish for Business Course. Do you want to have a preview of our system and teaching method? Don’t worry, try a free trial lesson via Skype, first. With us, confusion is over.