One word for one world
One word for one world

Doing business in the Netherlands Antilles

Dutch is often spoken on the Antilles but Papiamento and English are sometimes used in business. Regulations can be confusing given that some islands are autonomous countries while others are special municipalities of the Netherlands. It is therefore a good idea to do your research before you start doing business on any of the islands. Our experts have therefore compiled some tips for you.

Tip 1: Regulations

As mentioned earlier, the Antilles are a part of the kingdom of the Netherlands, but some of the islands are autonomous countries within that kingdom with their own legislation and rules. This applies since 2010 to Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten. It is therefore important that you do your homework before you start a business or start trading in the Caribbean. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba have been special municipalities of the Netherlands since 2010, which means that Dutch legislation and regulations apply.

Tip 2: Smartly dressed

Although the temperature is tropical for almost the entire year, Antilleans are generally smartly dressed. You won’t often be confronted by someone wearing short trousers and a t-shirt. Antillean men will at least wear long linen trousers and a light shirt but they will generally wear a suit for business meetings.

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We can also provide you with translations into Papiamento.

Tip 3: Reserved but friendly and sincere

Antilleans can be somewhat reserved and won’t immediately talk about matters which they consider too personal. On the other hand, they are friendly and will genuinely be interested in the person to whom they happen to be talking. An initial business meeting will generally begin by talking about children and family. Humour is also very important; you can certainly have a laugh at a meeting.

Tip 4: Dutch, English or Papiamento?

There are three official languages in the Antilles: Dutch, English, and Papiamento. When you first get to know potential business partners in the Netherlands Antilles, it is very much appreciated if you know a couple of words or sentences in Papiamento.
You have come to the right place for professional translations of your documents into Papiamento or Dutch. We work with dedicated translators of Papiamento, people who have a great deal of experience in various fields of expertise. We will be happy to help you with the translation of business documents or daily correspondence. Feel free to get in touch with one of our project managers for more information.

Mariana Mellor
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