If invited to a business meal in Canada, it is most likely to be for a lunch or possibly a breakfast meeting. Although it is not unknown to be invited out for dinner, it is less common than in some other countries.

It is not really considered impolite to discuss business issues over the meal. It is relatively unusual for alcohol to be served with a meal at lunchtime.

When eating, the fork is held in the right hand and is used for eating. The knife tends to be used to cut items or spread things onto a food item. When using your knife, the fork is switched to the left hand or is laid down on the plate. When you wish to continue eating, switch your fork back to the right hand. (You can, of course, use the European style of dining, in which the knife and fork are never switched if that is what you are more comfortable with.)

Restaurants charge a Goods and Services Tax [GST] but gratuities are not included in the bill. It is expected that you leave a tip of around 15% for good service.

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

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

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 Canada. 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 Canada 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