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How to Follow Proper Business Etiquette in Germany

Doing business in Germany means more than learning a few German phrases. Follow these proper business etiquette techniques for a successful deal.


  • Step 1: Use titles Be polite and use titles when addressing, introducing, or writing to a businessperson. This includes calling men "herr" and women "frau" before saying their title and last name.
  • TIP: Print any degrees you have above a bachelor's on your business card. Academic degrees are highly touted in German culture.
  • Step 2: Watch the clock Watch the clock when you are scheduled for a business meeting with German colleagues. Punctuality is very important. Being too early could be considered just as rude as being late.
  • Step 3: Dress conservatively Dress conservatively for meetings with German businesspeople. If you are a man, do not remove your jacket unless your German counterparts do so.
  • Step 4: Knock on doors Knock on a person's office door before entering, always. German companies generally have a closed-door policy. This is to maintain privacy.
  • Step 5: Put everything in writing Put everything in writing. Germany businesspeople rarely do things through verbal requests.
  • FACT: The German car company Volkswagen began selling the Beetle in the United States in 1955.

You Will Need

  • Politeness
  • Punctuality
  • Conservative dress
  • Written requests
  • Translator

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