All That You Need to Know About Business Etiquette in Singapore

Business Etiquette in Singapore

When it comes to business excellence, Singapore has pocketed numerous medals from all over the world. Investors from all over the world have confirmed that the state offers an excellent environment to conduct both local and international business. This has consequently attracted to the country many expats whose main agenda is to do business.

Whether you are running a Private Limited Company or any other, there is some business etiquette that you must adhere to when operating here. It is crucial to understand this business etiquette at all times so that your business can prosper. Below, we are going to outline commonly practiced examples of business etiquette.

Business Etiquette in Singapore

Planned Meetings
The people in Singapore are extremely organized. They work with diaries that are strictly scheduled. Busy business people and suppliers have a personal assistant to plan their diaries, schedule appointments, and other important meetings. If you want to have successful meetings regarding your business, it is crucial that you schedule them well in advance. This may include months or weeks prior.

No one is happy when their time is wasted by another. However, people in Singapore value time keeping too much. When you plan a meeting with investors, suppliers or potential customers, it is important that you keep the appointment time. Otherwise, the demand by other business people will put you at a great disadvantage.

Business Cards
A business card shows that you are professional and organized. People in Singapore respect business people who issue them with a business card. When you attend a business meeting, ensure that you bring enough business cards. One of the things that puts people off here is telling them that you only carried a few cards. Always have enough cards with you.

Business Etiquette in Singapore

Watch the Body Language
Singapore is an Asian nation where various body languages may mean different things from people who come from different parts of the world. While conversing with Singaporean locals or any other Asians about business, do not look them directly in the eyes. In the Western world, direct eye contact may signal paying attention, but here, it may show a lack of respect. It is important to understand many other body cues and body language to make sure that you have a successful business meeting.

This gesture matters a lot when discussing business matters in Singapore. However, not just any handshake shows respect. According to research in Singapore, the ideal handshake before or after a business meeting involves a gentle and warm shake. If you are from the West, make sure that you learn this because it will determine how well people will perceive you as a business partner, client or supplier.

The Conversation
Singaporeans are soft-spoken especially when you meet for the first time. During the first few minutes of the meeting, the conversation should be about getting to know each other rather than business matters. In the West, people are used to going directly to the point after greetings and introductions. Here, some patience may be necessary. However, Singaporeans also do not get along well with people who talk a lot. Be sure to balance your conversation well.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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