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European Etiquette: Specifics Of Holding Business Meetings In Europe

Clear Channel Adshel European
Read time: 3 min.

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When establishing business contacts with foreign partners during business trips abroad it’s necessary to familiarize in advance with the customs and manners of these countries. The concept of business etiquette plays a key role. This way, business etiquette means compliance with the rules of behavior during negotiations, according to the traditions of the country of the business partner. The rules of social and business communication are directly connected with their way of life, for this reason, whatever traditions and rules of etiquette there may be, they must be followed in order to achieve success. We are going to give you some details about the specifics of European etiquette in 5 European countries.

Let’s look at some of the traits that people in different countries have that make a big difference in how you will be greeted in a country and whether your negotiations are going to be successful

Great Britain

In Great Britain there is a certain distance between a manager and his subordinates, that is never should be violated. During business meetings with representatives of Great Britain, it’s very important that subordination is observed. Appearance also has a great influence, thus, for example, the main detail in the clothes for the British is a tie. According to it the social status and welfare of the entrepreneur is usually determined. The British are quite reserved and respectful of time, therefore try to talk on the topic, and discuss all other informal issues at the business lunch.


The first thing Portuguese businessmen pay attention to is your appearance and demeanor. Once in Portugal, don’t be surprised that business meetings often take place in the late hours when the heat is off. The main trait almost all Portuguese business people appreciate is punctuality. They don’t like it if the invitees are late for a meeting in which case it’s advisable to arrange for transportation beforehand and take a bus charter in Portugal. Thanks to coach hire Portugal you can not only always be punctual, but also impress your colleagues with great care towards details.


In Germany, it’s best to avoid surprises in business practice during negotiations or business meetings. There it is customary to plan everything in advance, so you can never make a meeting without a prearranged agenda. Business relations in Germany are very discreet, so it might be a bit difficult to make personal contacts at first. As for appearance, if you show up at a German businessman’s office without a jacket, it can be considered as an inexcusable violation of etiquette. Similar to the English, Germans used to discuss business affairs before lunch


This is probably the only country where tardiness is acceptable. However, when it comes to business relations, everything is quite strict. Be aware that negotiations in Italy should be conducted between people of the same working status. Observance of eye contact during a business meeting plays an important role, so Italians determine your sincerity and honesty. After business meetings, be ready to visit excursions as Italians appreciate their culture and always strive to show the best to their business partners.


The first thing to remember when holding a meeting in France is humor, which is typical of their character. In contrast to the Germans, the French prefer to eat first, and then conduct business discussions. Therefore, the best solution would be to first invite your French colleagues for lunch, and only afterwards start talking about business affairs. However, you should note that in France people don’t sit down at the table without shaking hands with all the people at the table.

It should also be remembered that the above information is only general data. This doesn’t mean that representatives of these cultures will behave exactly the way described. Be polite and open-minded, it will help to avoid mistakes in the process of communication and present yourself favorably in front of foreign partners.

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