Doing business in Italy

Fountain at the Piazza Navona in Rome

Italy is an important trading partner for the UK. And although the country is not on the other side of the world, the business culture might as well be. By learning more about that culture, you can make things easier for yourself and ensure that doing business is more successful. We provide you with a few tips.

Getting to know each other

In Italy, people wanting to do business generally get to know each other on a personal level first. People don’t just start talking about business after a telephone call or a few emails. Italian companies are also often quite hierarchical. That means that it can take some time before you get to talk to the decision-makers. It is also always important to treat the people you talk to with equal respect. It generally takes Italians a long time to drop the formal ‘you’ (cf. the French vous/tu) so take your lead from your conversational partner.

Social occasions

Colosseum in Rome by night

Eating, and lunch in particular, is very important for Italians. The dinner table is therefore the place to establish a good rapport. Italian people attach a lot of importance to personal contact between business partners. A lot of time is spent on mealtimes, and cooking and dining can be elaborate. You won’t be expected to bring a gift, but don’t forget to be effusive with your compliments about the meal.

The language

Italians will appreciate it if you can give them a business card or brochure in Italian. We will be happy to help you with your translations into, or out of, Italian. We only work with professional translators who are native Italian speakers. You can be assured of a result which you can use immediately. We also employ the right specialist for every sort of document, whether it’s commercial, medical, technical, or legal. And, of course, we will also be happy to help you with the translation of your daily correspondence or with interpreting services in the UK or elsewhere. If you would like to know more, get in touch with one of our project managers who will be happy to help you further.

2016-09-28T10:40:34.6542871Z

Frederique Blom
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