There is no great tradition for business entertaining in Australia and it certainly shouldn’t be viewed as the quick way to cement relationships with a new client or contact.

In fact, you are more likely to be asked out for lunch or dinner once a firm relationship has been established – in this way the meal can in no way be seen to have influenced a business decision.

People will very often ‘go Dutch’ over a meal – this means that the bill is split equally amongst those present at the meal. If you wish to pay, make sure you make this clear before the meal to avoid any embarrassing debates when the bill is presented.

If invited to a pub or bar for a drink, it is very important to make sure you ‘pay your shout’ – that means that everybody is expected to pay for a round of drinks. It is unadvisable to develop a reputation as someone who does not pay for his or her fair share of the drinks!

Tipping is not always necessary but is usually expected at the better restaurants. (If in doubt ask your Australian counterpart what the etiquette is.) Tips are usually for about 10% of the total bill.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Australia

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Australia. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Australia and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips