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Business Etiquettes in Haiti

Business Meeting

Business hours in Haiti are from 8 am to 4 pm; business meetings should be made ahead of time in all cases. Punctuality is appreciated. Should you be late for any reason, acceptable etiquette requires contacting the receptionist of the office to reschedule a meeting time.

Titles are very important and it is best to address people directly by using their professional title or 'Mr', 'Mrs', or 'Miss', followed by the surname.

It is best to anticipate that a considerable amount of time will be spent in small talk before the meeting officially begins. Talking to professionals about their families is acceptable, but avoid discussing politics until forming a relationship.

Business Negotiation

When it comes to negotiating, most Haitians love the drama and show of negotiating. They may pretend to be horribly offended by your offer, but this is usually just a ploy to up the ante. In most cases, the individual who attracts the most attention in the negotiation process wins.

Businesspeople in Haiti are also not direct in their speech; they will commonly speak in parables to make a point, so international colleagues should exercise patience and refrain from harsh or abrasive language in negotiations.

It is common for Haitian professionals to treat their international visitors to a business lunch or dinner. Maintaining small talk, as well as answering any business-related questions, is expected during the meal. Haitian professionals also expect to have this favour returned, so businesspeople from other countries should make arrangements to have a meal at the hotel they are staying in or a nearby restaurant before leaving Haiti.

Business Dressing

Business attire is usually more casual in rural areas than in urban parts of Haiti. However, shorts are not permitted in any business setting. Men are expected to wear a shirt and tie and slacks; a suit is not required. Women can wear a pants suit to business meetings, or a blazer and skirt. Haitian professionals value a clean and polished appearance, so being well-groomed is a must.

Business Cards

It is advisable, although not required, to have one side of your business card translated into French. There is no specific ritual surrounding the giving of business cards although it is advisable to treat the card with respect.





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