Visiting the country is different from preparing to open a business in China. It is undoubtedly a country of discipline and protocols, and then expect foreigners to follow them, especially when planning to earn revenue here.
If you are planning to open your very first business in China or geographically expand your existing business, you have reached the right place. Keeping aside the business documentation and permission aspect, you must follow the basic etiquette common to Chinese culture.
This will help you make a good first impression and give you the credibility of a respectful and disciplined business person. The country’s culture is beautiful, and there is a lot to learn, and business meetings should be the first place to showcase that knowledge.
Opening Business In China
If opening a business in China is your motive, then here are businesses you should be looking forward to. These are the business formations for a foreigner when you are about to start in China.
- Sole Proprietorship.
- Representative offices (for entrepreneurs trying to expand existing businesses).
- Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise for starting a brand new business altogether.
- Private Enterprise.
- Joint Ventures Companies where you can collaborate with already existing companies in China. They can be your parent company, and you can open a branch with their help.
Etiquettes To Remember When Are Opening A Business In China
Here are the common Chinese etiquettes you should follow when meeting business people from conglomerates all over the country.
Needless to say, all these businesses will require ironclad documentation and permission. This could be a little intimidating to understand in a brand-new country. Therefore, getting help from agencies that know the local protocols are better. MBiA is one such company whose assistance will make the proceedings and launch much easier.
You might be in long meetings with them for investment pitches or other purposes. The key is to impress them with your business idea and your behavior. This is how you can achieve them both.
1. Always Have A Business Card
China, even when it comes to business, is a little traditional. Yes, you should have digital copies of everything related to your business. However, having a physical copy of your business card would be better.
It should be neat, minimalistic, and, most importantly, black & white. Different colors do have different meanings in the country, so you wouldn’t want to disobey any cultural belief without even knowing.
Provide the card to the Chinese delegate with both hands and the Chinese translation side up. When you receive a card, always receive it with two hands and place it in a cardholder. If you are placing it in a pocket or wallet, it is a sign of negligence.
2. Dressing Well Is Important
China is a country that judges business people based on their formal attire. No, it is not a go-all casual in your delegate meeting kind of country. When you, as a foreigner wishing to open a business in China, paying attention to your attire and dressing up immaculately shows them your interest and respect. Dresses have to be high quality and conservative.
3. Handshakes & Respect
Showing respect to senior delegates is an unwritten rule in China. If you are entering a conference room with other Chinese delegates, allowing them to walk in first is a sign of respect.
Handshakes don’t have to be firm; that is a thing in the west. In China, handshakes are gentle, and eye contacts are brief. The girl shakes, and excessive eye contact is often interpreted as challenging them, which surely you do not want as a budding entrepreneur.
4. Know The Right Gestures When Talking
This is especially important when you are giving a presentation. Every pointer presented should be printed on neat high-quality paper (in black and white) and placed in front of every delegate.
When actively presenting, try not to point in Chinese culture that is interpreted as rude. Rather show with your entire hand.
Organized Preparation Is The Key!
If you have the right agency by your side, documentation and permissions shouldn’t be a nuisance. However, making a good first impression, having a memorable mark on the delegates, and, most importantly, pitching them an excellent idea is important.
Do expect some language barrier as not everyone in the country is obliged to speak English. Be respectful, and arrange a translator beforehand if you are anticipating so.