International Etiquette for Professional Business Cards


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With an increasingly global economy, international outsourcing and more and more companies opening foreign offices, the odds are good that you’ll be doing business outside the U. your lifetime.

It’s important to remember that different countries have different customs when it comes to exchanging professional business cards. While everyone appreciates quality business cards, there are specific rules one must follow for different parts of the world.

If you’re doing business in a country where English isn’t a primary language, one side of your business card should be translated into the local language, and in general you should always carry the best business cards you possibly can.

Exchanging Business Cards in China

  • Your business card should include your title. If your company is the oldest or largest in your country, that fact should be highlighted on your card.

  • Hold the card in both hands when offering it.

  • Never write on someone's card unless so directed.

    When Doing Business in India

  • If you have a university degree or any honor, put it on your business card.

  • Always use the right hand to give and receive business cards.

    Business Card Exchange in Japan

  • Business cards are exchanged with great ceremony.

  • Invest in quality business cards. Having the best business cards possible is a direct reflection of your self image.

  • Always keep your business cards in pristine condition.

  • Treat the business card you receive as you would the person, as they are seen as a representation of that person’s honor.

  • Make sure your business card includes your title. The Japanese place emphasis on status and hierarchy.

  • Business cards are always received with two hands but can be given with only one.

  • When the meeting is over, put the business cards in a business card case or a portfolio.

    By following these tips, you’re sure to make the most of every international meeting and business opportunity.

    Jonathan Bowalsky handles news and information for Jontal Printing. For more information on business cards or custom postcards, visit .

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