Academic Master

Business and Finance

the Ethical Business Code of France and Germany

Business etiquette is an essential part of a company to manage. It is also referred to as the code of ethics in any organization. The study is to guide business consulting professionals about the business etiquette of two countries, to help them understand the nation’s cultural diversity better.

The countries chosen for the study will help the consulting professional with the ethical business code of that country. France and Germany are selected for this study.

France, having a population of about 58M, is the most significant Western European country. Their official religion is not known, but the majority population is roman catholic. There are almost 4.5M foreigners in the country, from different European countries. For the French government, education is an essential factor; that’s why their education (from primary school to PhD) is free for French nationals.

Germany has a gross population of 81M and is almost the size of Montana. The religion of Germany is split between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Germany has the third largest economy in the world and the highest in Europe. Compared to the US, Germany is much slower in decision-making.



  1. French people dress conventionally and wear well-tailored suits. The US consultants can also wear such uniforms to give a sense of liking to the professionals.
  2. French are conscious of their clothes and appearance. This practice is great when meeting with professionals, which gives an image of professionalism.
  3. French business environment, practice dark colours and avoid bright colours. US consultants need to keep that in mind; a judgment can be made on this behaviour accordingly.


  1. Like France, Germany is also conservative in their dressing.
  2. Businessmen and women observe dark colours and plain white shirts. This also tells about the way their business community dresses.
  3. Chewing gum while talking to someone is considered rude. They take it offensively if someone is chewing gum and talking to them. Is needs to be considered by the consultants if they want to meet the business professionals.



  1. French people are casual in punctuality. US consultants need to examine this, as it can be vital if they are on time for a meeting and the individual is not there on time. It is normal for them.
  2. French handshake is short, followed by an eye contact. Shaking hands and contacting the eye can help give a good perception of yourself upon them.
  3. Most of their gifts are books or music records, as they believe it to be moderate. This behaviour is crucial if a consultant is offering flowers to them. They would find it offensive.


  1. Punctuality is an important part of a business meeting for Germans. US consultants need to form a sense of punctuality in order to accomplish business goals.
  2. Germans’ handshake is like he has met you for the first time. They shake hands warmly every morning. Unlike France, US consultants need to welcome them warmly in a business environment.
  3. Germans don’t like surprises. US consultants need to go empty-handed if a meeting is formal or informal.



  1. If you do not speak French, it is found offensive. In order to make a business deal successful, such consultants should be sent who have knowledge of speaking French.
  2. Interruption in conversation is normal, as they found it to be entertaining. Consultants should be informed, not to get offended by such type of conversation.
  3. The art of conversation is appreciated by the French. Putting practical incidents and funny conversations should be done by the consultants to get the French involved.


  1. Same as the French, germans are also offended by the lack of a German dialect.
  2. Business professionals find it weird when you call them during non-business hours. Urgent things should be done on the other day by the US professionals.
  3. Germans love it when you call them by their full name. Names should be known by the US executives.

Business Meetings:


  1. As in the US, business meetings are mostly done during business hours casually, calling upon individuals for the meeting. But, in France, it is thought to be bad ethics. They organize it before time.
  2. Most of the meetings are done over a video conference in the US. The same can be organized in France if necessary.
  3. The business hours meetings should not be considered in France, which is unlike the US.


  1. Germany also does the business meeting with proposed appointments. Executives should keep this culture in mind.
  2. Video conferencing is not considered a medium by Germans.
  3. Germans are flexible in making after business hours meetings. This can be helpful to give details about the matter. 



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