Business lunches and dinners are quite common occurrences in Poland and form an important part of the relationship building cycle.

Business breakfasts, on the other hand, are virtually unknown and it is not advisable to suggest this as a meeting forum.

It is difficult to give hard and fast advice around whether a business should or should not be discussed over the meal. It is best to be led by your Polish counterpart on this and wait until they raise business matters before launching into a detailed debate on specific contract issues.

Any business entertaining is likely to be done in a restaurant, rather than at people’s homes and whoever invites usually pays. If you invite, ask for local advice for a suitable restaurant as quality is somewhat variable. (It is usual to tip around 10% at a restaurant.)

Poles like to entertain and be entertained, so be prepared for the possibility of a long evening with quite a lot of drinking. Beer and wine are being consumed in larger quantities but vodka remains a popular choice. Be careful if you have serious negotiations the following day!

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

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 Poland. 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 Poland 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