How to practice proper business etiquette around the world

Practising good business etiquette is key to building strong relationships, as it not only reflects confidence, it also promotes a positive working atmosphere.

What many professionals visiting other countries for business may not realise is that customs and etiquette can vary depending on where you visit, which any of the major business travel companies will be able to tell you. We’ve put together a few top tips to guide you through the unspoken rules of business etiquette around the world.


Some of the most popular business destinations like Brussels, Paris and London are located in Europe, so it’s likely you’ll find yourself visiting one of these hubs sometime soon.

In Europe, first impressions are everything – so dress to impress and greet partners or clients with a firm handshake, good eye contact and an impressive business card upon meeting.


Showing good etiquette in Asia is crucial, as it not only influences how business is done, but can make or break a deal.

In order to build successful relationships in Asia, you need to research the country where you plan to operate and be well versed in the local negotiation practices. Doing this will not only demonstrate respect for the country, it will also go a long way to inspire trust and establish a lasting rapport with other parties.


The US is home to one of the largest and most distinguished markets in the world, so when visiting, you’ll want to make a good impression.

Compared to other countries, Americans are well known for being laid-back and having an informal approach to business. Establishing common ground is the norm when doing business, but don’t be mistaken by their relaxed demeanour. In America, time is money and running late or cancelling meetings may come across as disorganised.


African business partnerships thrive off personal trust, so face-to-face meetings are a must and getting to know the other party will form a good basis for any further negotiations.

When doing business, gift giving is a common custom in African countries and seen as a token of appreciation. So, when you’re invited to a meeting, choosing the right present may just work in your favour.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to navigating business etiquette in different countries. To make dealings run smoothly, we recommend doing some initial research prior to your first meeting, so you can understand the best way to conduct yourself professionally.

To find out more about international business travel, you can contact our team on 01625 446 277 or visit our enquiry page.

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