How to Do Business in Luxembourg
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Luxembourgers cherish their independence and separate identity
in Europe. Modesty, friendship and strong national pride
are valued. They enjoy a slower pace of life than most of
northern Europe. Family is very important. Parents influence
every aspect of their children’s lives; however, this
is weakening as more young people leave the country to study/work
Meeting and Greeting
- Shake hands with everyone present—men,
women and children—at a business or social meeting.
Shake hands again when leaving.
- Good friends kiss cheeks, one on each
- Luxembourgers are friendly but reserved.
- Do not put your hands in your pockets.
- Luxembourgers take punctuality for business
meetings very seriously and expect that you will do likewise;
call with an explanation if you will be delayed.
- Meetings are brief. Luxembourgers usually
get right down to business.
- People are reserved in both their business
and private lives. Business/private lives are kept clearly
- Traditionally, older, more established
companies have had a strict hierarchy, but union representation
on the board has become more common and a consensus-oriented
decision style has been implemented.
Dining and Entertainment
- Luxembourgers insist on punctuality
for most social occasions. For evening dinners, arrive
15 minutes later than what is stated on the invitation.
- Dinner is usually a social occasion
and a time to enjoy good food, wine and discussion.
- When finished eating, place your knife
and fork side by side on the plate at the 5:25 position.
To quietly signify that you are not finished or that you
would like more food, cross your knife and fork in the
middle of your plate. Leaving food on your plate is impolite.
- Cleanliness and neatness are very important.
- For business, men should wear suits
and ties, sometimes hats, or just a sports coat/blazer
and dress pants.
- Women should wear dresses or suits.
- Always bring a gift to the hostess when
invited to someone’s home. It will probably not
be unwrapped immediately (unless no other guests are present
- Give: bouquets of flowers (but not chrysanthemums),
bottles of liqueur (but not cheap ones, ask the retailer
to recommend one), chocolates.
- Small business gifts may be exchanged,
but usually not at the first meeting.
- It is acceptable, but not expected,
to give a Christmas gift to a Luxembourger colleague,
but never send it to a Luxembourger’s home.
- Give: books, music, good quality liquor.
- Recognize Luxembourg’s uniqueness
and its nationality. Do not lump the Luxembourgers together
with the French or Belgians, and especially not with the
- Expect the pace of life to be less hurried
than most of Europe.
- Don’t chew gum in public.
Especially for Women
- Foreign women will have no problem How to Do Business in Luxembourg.
- A foreign woman does not have to think
twice about inviting a Luxembourger man to dinner.
- Make arrangements in advance with the
waiter to pay for business dinners.
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