Italian Business Culture on Italy


If you are going to open a company abroad, you should be aware that learning culture, etiquette and protocol is a must for the success of your business.

If Italy is the country where you want to settle down, the best thing to do is to understand the Italian market, how it works, how to relate with customers and so on.

Italians generally prefer doing business with someone they know or have been introduced to. Italy is a law-trust society and Italians are suspicious of people we don’t know, especially in the business arena. Word of mouth and a friend’s recommendation are very important. You can use your existing contacts and networks as an introduction before attempting to set up a meeting.

Remember not to try to schedule meeting on August. This is a kind of sacred month for Italian people, since it is dedicated to holiday and relax and everything concerned to work has to be postponed to September.
Once you managed to schedule a business meeting remember that Italians so mind the image and the appearance. Trust widely depends on your image and attitude. So, dress to impress, choose tasteful and stylish clothing. For example Italian men use to wear dark suit, sophisticate ties and expensive watches. Italian women chose elegant outfits and sober accessorizes.

Keep in mind that the right image and formality are key elements in the Italian business culture.
In Italian business culture, relationships matters. You will get use on shaking hands upon arriving and departing. On the other hand you should avoid moving away or keeping your distance because it can be perceived as unfriendly. Since Italians are often guided by their emotions, establishing a business relationship based on trust is essential for the success of your Italian business.

Another aspect you should consider if you are going to set up a business in Italy is the time keeping. Italians are lively and sociable people and we think that finishing a conversation with a colleague is much more important than breaking it off to be punctual for a business meeting. But if for Italians to be late it’s the normality, they expect foreign business people to be on time. By arriving promptly you show your consideration and courtesy, that we have seen is very important for Italian people.

Before opening a company in Italy is therefore important to understand the cultural differences and the customs of this country in addition to its law and the legal requirements necessary to set up a business in Italy. You can fine lots of useful information a tips on Italy Law Blog, an independent blog run by a pro bono association called T & Partners, which goal is to provide free information about Italy regarding economical, strategical and legal topics.

Find all the information you need about Italian business culture at

Article Author: Daniela F.

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Suit or No Suit – What is the body language saying for men?


When a man wears a suit in a business meeting what message does it convey? … and is it appropriate and in what type of situation should he wear one?

If it is a formal meeting for a special purpose (such as presenting a business proposal to a board of decision makers) and there is an underlying expectation that everyone should be dressed in a suit, the answer is most likely yes. It often also signifies power and authority, especially a dark suit and a white shirt with a strong coloured tie such as red. The subtle aspects of covering of the body such as the tie (covering the lower neck) and long sleeves (covering the lower arms) provides a non-verbal message of ‘hiding something’ or ‘masking’, possibly linking in to the concept of ‘not putting all cards on the table’.

What about another type of business meeting where the relationships between the people are more established, relaxed and connected? Is it appropriate to be wearing suits? What if men had no jacket, no tie and a soft coloured shirt? This would convey a more relaxed approach, and if sleeves were rolled up slightly this would indicate a more open and honest approach (not hiding anything) and ready for action towards being useful and productive.

Ultimately, it comes down to what the purpose, values and culture are for the meeting. Is it a matter of power and persuasion or is it more about openness, honesty and helping others? It could be one or the other … or maybe somewhere in between.

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