Business Practices in Canada

Overview by
The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
Punctuality. Telephone if you are going to be late. A delay of more than 20 minutes may lead to postponement. Prepare an agenda and stick to it. If the meeting lasts more than two hours, a drink and a snack will be offered. If the meeting takes place over a meal time, you will often be offered more substantial food or go to a restaurant to finish up.
In business situations, men and women are treated in the same way.
First Contact
It is better to make an appointment for a first meeting. You can make an appointment by telephone or by e-mail. If the person is really interested, they will set up a meeting very quickly.
A frank, honest and courteous handshake, with eye contact, and especially not pretentious, is the key to the start of good relations.
How to Present Yourself
You should hold out your hand, introduce yourself, introduce your company and make sure that the person you are talking to is indeed the right person if they do not give their name. Thank them for the meeting.
Business Relations
Be smiling, confident and go straight to the point of the meeting.
Gifts are exchanged especially at holiday times.
You might give small business gifts when an agreement is reached or at the end of a commercial mission or an official visit. Gifts from your country are particularly enjoyed.
Note: it is unacceptable in Canada, in business practice, to give a gift to obtain favorable treatment. It is considered as an act of corruption which could lead to legal consequences. The Canadian government and certain companies have decided to adopt a code of conduct which prohibits accepting gifts in certain circumstances.
Business Communication
When there is real interest, the answer comes very quickly. You must be ready to respond to an order. Agreements are often only sealed by a handshake and a written order. You should confirm the order by letter setting out the terms and conditions you discussed. A contract in due form is always welcome.
Dress Code
The right way to dress can vary considerably from one organization to another. For example, suits are worn in most government offices and many company offices. More informal clothes are common in high technology sectors and in a growing number of companies.
Women wear suits, dresses, classic trousers, with the appropriate accessories.
Canadians do not wear perfume in a business environment.
Visiting Cards
In Canada, they are "Cartes d'affaires" "Business Cards". They are often bilingual front/back. They are generally offered and exchanged at the beginning of a meeting.
For Further Information
Services for Business, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Any Comments About This Content? Report It to Us.

Read more See less

No content has been posted to this folder yet.
Be the first to feature your expertise related to Business Practices in Canada!

  • Post any content you may have that features your expertise, such as a text article with business tips, presentation, market report, etc
  • By sharing your knowledge you gain more visibility for your profile not only on but across the web

Post your content now by simply clicking on the button below.

Check these folders already populated with content posted by other users:

Click here to find out more about key benefits and instructions for contributing to the site.


Post any content you may have that features your expertise and offers valuable information to the international trade community.

The more informative content you post the more visible your will be, as your valuable content will link directly to your profile.

Check these sample pages for illustration: