Etiquette tips in international business

When doing business internationally, you shouldn’t just focus on selling your products and services. To be successful, you must cultivate relationships with the people you are working with. To help you, here are some of the areas you should pay attention to when interacting with people internationally:

Gender roles

You will be interacting with people from different sectors who have different beliefs. To avoid awkward situations, take your time to understand the proper gender tag. In most cases, gender roles have to do with personal limits and physical contact with men and women.

If you do business in Arab countries, you should be aware that Arab women cannot shake hands with men. If you are a woman and you travel to these countries, be careful with this, as it can be uncomfortable when you reach out and men do not shake your hand.


While time is of the essence globally, different countries have different levels of tolerance. In China and Japan, punctuality is crucial, and if you are even a minute late, the people you are meeting with will leave. In India, your colleagues won’t be too offended if you’re a little late, but you shouldn’t push him.

If you do business in England, business professionals will ask you to show up on time or even a little earlier. In France, punctuality is of little importance and the professionals will consider you “punctual” even if you are ten minutes late.

dress code

This is crucial as it determines how people see you. Like the weather, the business attracts preference varies from place to place. In China and Japan, business attraction is formal. You must wear a suit and tie at all professional meetings. In the United States, the business environment is less formal; therefore, you can wear smart casual clothing and be considered acceptable. In France, you have to be formal, well-adjusted, and fashionable. It is France you are in.

Personal space

The personal space varies from one gender to another and also from how well they know each other. In China, the formal way to do this is to shake hands. You shouldn’t please someone with a hug or kiss. In France, men sometimes greet women with a kiss, but many women reach out if they prefer a handshake. In England, personal touches like hugs and kisses are reserved for close friends and family; therefore, allow a certain amount of personal space.

Business gifts

The distribution of gifts varies from culture to culture. In most Asian countries, gifts are highly tolerated and recommended. In fact, business partners will expect you to bring a gift. When you present the gift, always wrap it. Remember that the value of the gift is less important than the thoughts you put into it.

While gifts are encouraged in Asian countries, the culture is widely transmitted in Western countries. Most of these countries consider a gift as a bribe.


Here are the international business etiquette tips to keep in mind when doing business internationally. Always check them before visiting a country with which you are not familiar.

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