Business Etiquette of Russian Market: Learn the Foreign Market Business Culture Before Starting a Business

Starting a business in a foreign market involves many factors that may influence its success. Russian Business Etiquette is one of them if the target country is Russia.

With over 140 million customers, Russia is one of the top largest and vast export markets in the world. Starting a business in this country, of course, requires learning the rules of its business etiquette.

The official language of Russian business is Russian. Though English is popular in the country, it is not widely spoken.

Starting a Business in the Russian Market

The U.S. Commercial Service recommends conducting a thorough foreign market research before attempting to start a business in Russia. Business partners are to be chosen very carefully. Travel to the country and regular communication are of a great importance for establishing and maintaining successful business relations.

It is very beneficial to establish positive relations with national, regional, or local authorities.

Advertising, market promotion and regular visits should be an integral part of the Russian market entry strategy.

Doing Business in Russia

A company must be officially registered in Russia in order to legally conduct business.

A reasonable combination of price and quality is welcomed by the Russian customers. A foreign exporter should be ready to adequately compete with inexpensive Russian, European and third-country goods. Strong advertising and promotion campaigns can be of assistance.

Success in the Russian market demands after-sales service, customer support and training. Establishing personal relationship with business partners is crucially important for conducting business in Russia.

The largest business centers of the country are Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Business Etiquette of the Russian Market

  • Clothing is usually formal – both men and women wear business suites for official occasions. Dresses and skirts for women, as well as high-hilled shoes, are very common. Russian businessmen pay much attention to clothing as it is considered to be a reflection of one’s success and prosperity.
  • Business meetings should be appointed beforehand. They are usually accompanied by refreshments like tea, coffee, and water.
  • Business cards are common and important. The best option would be a two-language card (English/Russian).
  • Promotional materials should be in Russian. Make sure the translation is accurate and high-quality.
  • Gifts are accepted, but not required or expected. However, they are a good way to establish positive personal relations with business partners.

General Information

  • A visa received at a Russian Embassy or Consulate is required to enter the country.
  • The official currency of the Russian market is ruble.
  • Credit cards are accepted by most hotels and shops in the large cities, but it’s better to always have cash, especially if visiting a small city.
  • There are 11 time zones across the country, and business hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM.
  • Shopping can be done from 10 AM to 8 PM. Many large stores are open 24/7.

Business Etiquette of Spanish Market: Business Culture and Recommended Foreign Market Entry Strategies

The high income Spanish market is one of the most promising and rapidly developing markets of the European Union.

Its business etiquette is a vital issue to study before attempting the foreign market entry.

The major language used in Spanish business circles is Spanish. Though many businessmen speak English, the country’s business culture prescribes using Spanish in correspondence and at personal meetings.

Foreign Market Entry

Government incentives for foreign investors are a favorable feature of the Spanish market.

Madrid and Barcelona are the largest business centers of the Spanish market. Therefore, the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service recommends foreign market entry to be conducted by means of an agent or distributor, or via establishing a local office in one of the two major cities.

Both price and quality are equally important for Spanish business. Other significant issues are customer service, credit terms, and marketing assistance in promoting the goods or services of a foreign exporter.

Highly popular in Spanish business is using a credit for purchasing goods, and banks compete for offering the coverage.

Doing Business in Spain

Though Spanish government welcomes foreign investors, the bureaucracy accompanying the foreign market entry is significant. Since usually Spaniards cannot be found in a hurry, it may take some time and effort to get certain results by the deadline.

Respect to the country’s language, history and traditions is highly valued by the hospitable citizens. As for communication, it is normal for Spaniards to speak fast and interrupt each other.

Business Etiquette

The business culture of the Spanish market is more formal than that of the US. However, there is nothing better for entering the market than a personal meeting. Phone calls, e-mails or other correspondence will not provide such a good effect as personal face-to-face contact. Personal relations is what Spanish business values most of all.

  • Formal clothing is preferred by Spanish businessmen. Usually it is a business suite for women and a suite with a tie for men. In Spain dressing is to reflect business and social status.
  • Business cards are very common, and are expected at personal meetings. They should be either in Spanish, or in two languages – English and Spanish.
  • A handshake is always appropriate at the beginning and at the end of a meeting along with basic courtesy titles: Senor for a man, Senora or Senorita for a woman.
  • Appointments are recommended.
  • Business lunch usually starts at 2 PM, and may last up to 2 hours.
  • Dinner starts at 9:30 PM, and may last till midnight.

General Information

  • Usual business hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM.
  • Banks are open on weekdays, from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and sometimes on Saturday mornings.
  • Shopping can be done in department stores from 10 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Saturday. Smaller stores and offices are usually closed between 2 and 4 PM.The official currency is Euro.
  • Visa is not needed for the US citizens to be in Spain for 90 days.