Macedonia: Etiquette when Doing Business

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Macedonia on the face of it is still a fairly formal society. This reflects in the rather proper and reserved nature of initial meetings. Within the business context a firm handshake, direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting for the time of day suffices. The hierarchical nature of Macedonians results in an emphasis on rank and position. As a result if people have official, educational or work titles ensure you use them. If you are unsure then simply use Mr or Mrs followed by the surname. Only friends and family address each other with first names. One should always wait for their Macedonian counterparts to determine when it is appropriate to become this informal.

Some useful phrases to make a good initial impression include:

* Good morning. dobro utro
* Good day. dobar den
* Good evening. dobra vecher
* Hello. zdravo
* How are you? kako si?
* I’m fine, thank you. dobro sum, blagodaram

Business cards are exchanged on initial meetings but there is little protocol to follow in their exchange. As a basic courtesy do not write on the card or treat it nonchalantly. If your company/firm has been established a long time (25-50 years) it is a good idea to include the founding date on the card as this gives credibility. Also add any academic qualifications to the card. Translating cards may not always be a necessity but it would certainly impress recipients.

Read more > Doing Business in Macedonia 

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