Belgian business culture – tips for business travelers

Belgian business culture is quite formal, and meetings are well structured and purposeful. You must prepare thoroughly, make an appointment at least a week in advance and distribute the agenda, if you are the organizer. Business practices with & # 39 is less formal and hierarchical among Flemish speakers in comparison with francophone.

Punctuality is highly valued, so come on time. To connect with your contacts, use Mr., Mrs. or Miss in Flemish or German-speaking regions, as well as Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle for native French. Unusual to use the names in the business. Often, English is used for meetings, if it contains a variety of languages. Business cards are exchanged during the initial meeting.

Business clothes quite formal: costumes with good quality & # 39 are the norm for men and women. The Belgians have good clothes and sometimes people judge the quality of their clothes.

Sometimes negotiations are conducted only after the initial meeting, which primarily is to establish a working relationship. Some initial conversations are often used to help establish credibility. Do not overestimate the achievements and experience, as there is not the importance of love.

Business meetings are often held at lunch or dinner, but at the end of the meal, after a more general conversations. If you dine with Belgian business contacts, wait until someone drink a toast before you start drinking.

Belgians accept new ideas, but the decision-making process can be hard and slow process, and may need to consult with a number of parties, including trade unions. At the same time, your contacts are waiting for a quick response to any request, and the time perceived sur & # 39; ozna.

Gifts are usually not given in Belgium but a small, high-quality gift is appropriate, if you are invited into someone's home.