Foreign investors and citizens starting a business, respectively to work for a Swiss company could face difficulties because they do not know the country’s business culture. Here are a few tips about business culture in Switzerland. Our Swiss lawyers also offer assistance in setting up companies in the country.
The Swiss business culture is similar to the Northern European countries which is why being introduced by a third party will make the first contact easier. The standard greeting a business meeting in Switzerland is the handshake.
When doing business with a Swiss partner it is very important to address them by their professional title followed by their last name. Considering Switzerland has four official languages, of which German, French and Italian it would be best to get acquainted with the appropriate courtesy titles.
For Swiss businessmen punctuality is very important. When deciding to open a company in Switzerland, have in mind that punctuality is of key importance.
Swiss businessmen attitude towards dressing for a meeting have changed in the last years which is why a casual outfit is accepted. Also, many Swiss companies allow their employees to have a “casual Friday” dress code.
The Swiss business culture accepts gifts. However, it is best to wait until the end of the meeting in order hand over a gift.
Exchanging visiting cards is very common in the Swiss business culture. Nowadays, titles or professional qualifications no longer need to appear on the business card. Corporate hierarchy, however, should be written on a business card.
Corporate hierarchy is very important in the Swiss business culture. You must keep in mind the role of every participant in the discussion as Swiss companies’ representatives pay a lot of attention to information as such.
Swiss companies tend to be decentralized meaning each department has a high degree of independence. When going into business with a large Swiss company you should very who the head of the department you will be dealing is.
Swiss businessmen appreciate sincerity and modesty which why communication should be done a very professional manner to order to ensure a successful collaboration.
In the Swiss business culture making the difference between business and pleasure is very important. Representatives of Swiss companies will usually make a little “small talk” before going down to business but that is about it.
If you are interested in opening a company or need legal advice you can contact our law firm in Switzerland.
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