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Guide to Doing Business in Finland

Chinese lantern

Finland represents an attractive option when looking for new markets, or when choosing which of your markets you should retain. Below are some of the issue you should keep in mind when doing business in and with Finland to help you fit into and be conscious of the Finnish culture. It is important to consider that if you were to accidentally stray from any of these cultural guidelines it is not likely to have a major impact on your business relationship, but in difficult markets where minor detail will make the difference, the more you can stick to these guidelines the better.

Confirm Meetings in Advance - It is standard etiquette in Finland to confirm any meetings which have been organised in writing in advance.

Appearance - You should make an effort to get the balance right between being smart and being overdressed. Similarly, do not cross your arms and definitely do not talk with your hands in your pocket.

Shaking Hands - When you meet or greet people you should make an effort to shake the hands of any women present first, whilst maintaining a firm grip regardless of the sex. It is also common to address one by their title and surname unless prompted otherwise.

Preparation - As with all countries, good preparation is essential. People in Finland will expect your presentations and communications to be fluent and well oiled. Failure in this department could be disastrous for your credibility.

True Finnish Culture - Going into a sauna and also drinking a lot are two traits that are common in Finland. Sauna is a word from the Finnish language and more than 50% of Finnish homes have a sauna. If invited into a sauna after a business meeting and offered the chance to socialise, it is worth accepting. Learn more about Finnish culture.


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