Business Practices in Sweden

Overview by
The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
The internal organization of Swedish companies tends to be less hierarchical than in many other countries. Thus the CEO of a company is closer to his staff. Equality in the workplace and job security are leading priorities. The Swedish people believe firmly in the virtues of compromise and consensus when making decisions or looking for solutions. A business decision is never made at a first meeting, which is essentially just a first contact.
First Contact
Take your appointment at least two weeks ahead of time. Avoid scheduling meetings over the Christmas period, and during June, July and August, as these are holiday periods.
Shake hands quickly and firmly. If you are wearing gloves, take them off. You can adress someone by their first name.
How to Present Yourself
Punctuality is essential, especially in business. If you are going to be late, phone and tell them. Swedish people are direct and open, be like them! Avoid putting your hands in your pockets, it is not the done thing.
Business Relations
Swedish people like to build up informal work relations. Give your contacts time to prepare for a meeting or a mission. Be smiling and attentive.
In business, exchanging gifts does not usually take place.
Business Communication
Although English is commonly used in the Swedish business world, it is good to know as much Swedish as possible. Do not interrupt people. The "fika", coffee break, is a time to relax, a time to have a chat.
Dress Code
Suit and tie for men, suits for women. Avoid wearing colours which are too gaudy..
Visiting Cards
Just translate into English as the Swedish speak English. Carry several visiting cards with you because they are often exchanged.
For Further Information
Official portal, very useful for knowing how to do business in Sweden.
Advice for business relations

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