Top 4 European Union Business Etiquette Tips

Adjusting your behavior to your surroundings makes it easier to interact and build relationships with other people. This is an important skill for any businessperson, and while each state in the European Union has its own cultural customs and habits, there are some concepts that are some widespread etiquette guidelines that you should follow across all of the EU. Respecting the values of the area you’re visiting shows the people you’re working with that you respect their culture and way of life. Even if you’re not meeting in person, there are some etiquette tips that are helpful to know even if you’re going to have a video-chat meeting with someone from the EU.

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Countries Have Different Views of Punctuality

Certain regions in the EU take different approaches toward business meetings. Typically, northern states in the EU treat meetings with a formal, businesslike tone, while countries in the Mediterranean area have a more laidback, informal approach toward meetings. For example, a businessperson from Spain may not care if a meeting starts slightly late, whereas, someone from Germany would expect a meeting to start right on time. Keep in mind, if a country you’re visiting takes a relaxed approach toward meeting times, this doesn’t mean you should be late. It means that you should adjust the expectations that you have of your host and not be concerned if your Italian or Spanish business partner shows up to the meeting a few minutes past the start time.

Address People Appropriately

In almost every country, it’s polite to address people you’re dealing with by their titles. You should continue using someone’s title until the person tells you it’s OK to address him or her in another manner.

Generally, it’s expected that you’ll shake hands when greeting people. In the EU, handshakes are usually more formal than in the United States. A fast grip and release is the norm in Europe, and you should let women and all higher-ranking individuals extend their hands to you first.

Dinner Meeting are Important

The approach toward entertaining and dining varies all across Europe, however, it’s a general rule of thumb is that dining is taken seriously. Your host may be offended if you turn down dining offers without a good reason. In most countries you visit, offering your dinner host a small gift is a nice gesture, especially if you’re invited into their homes.

Dress Appropriately

Business attire is formal throughout Europe. This means that people expect you to wear lace-up shoes, dark-colored suits and subtle ties. These rules hold true for both men and women.

One final thing to remember is that while most business people in Europe speak English, people appreciate it when you take the time to learn the important words in the language of the country you’re visiting. If possible, changing your business card to have English on one side and your host’s language on the other is a polite gesture.

When you hand out your business card or people discover your business via the internet, your domain name is often the first thing people see about your company, and when you choose from available .eu domain names, you’re sending a message to potential customers that you’re familiar with them. Don’t forget to go through the European Union domain registration process with a reputable business, such as Marcaria, to secure your company’s domain name today.