Business Etiquette

Doing business in Belgium

Business people in Belgium are open to speaking about their businesses. Most initial appointments are seen as an opportunity to meet the other person.

To book an appointment in Belgium, always phone or write with at least one week in advance. Expect Belgians to give you a time and date, rather than let you suggest one (usually mid morning or mid afternoon). Avoid scheduling meetings during July and August, the week before Easter, and the week between Christmas and New Year.

Always be punctual, as lateness is considered rude. Address people by their title, or use Sir (Monsieur/Meneer) or Madam (Madame/Mevrouw). Be polite and well mannered. 

Take your time to get to know the people you are meeting with, but if they prefer to go straight to the point don't keep the small talk going on for long. Belgians like focused and well structured meetings, try not to interrupt your conversation with phone calls or coffee breaks.

Always dress conservative and formal: dark business suits with white shirts and silk ties for men, business suits or conservative dresses for women. Belgians take pride in the way they dress as it shows professional status.

It is recommended to translate business cards into French and/or Dutch.


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