September 5, 2016:
Intending to conduct new business in Bulgaria? We offer the following business etiquette tips to help smooth the way:
a) Punctuality is highly valued in Bulgaria and certainly expected in business dealings. If there is any chance you will be late, make sure you call ahead to explain. It is advisable to check out the travel times to your location as although Bulgarian transport is becoming more reliable, there could be significant delays, particularly in big cities.
b) Bulgarians treat meetings in a very formal manner, and show respect for formal protocols and conservative standards of dress. Whilst Bulgarians can be reserved in business situations, expect them to be very direct, clear and explicit. Be prepared for long business meetings as it is common for them to run over the allotted time. Patience and good relationships are critical for successful business in Bulgaria!
c) If you are intending to give gifts to your business associates, this can be a very delicate matter as corruption is widespread in Bulgaria, so choose wisely. Branded office materials, a fine wine or luxury chocolates are amongst the safest choices. Avoid anything which could be deemed as too personal and choose the gift relative to the social status of the person.