About Your Guide

Your guide to Netherlands:

Jacob Vossestein


Web site:

[Jacob Vossestein Interculturalist]


About your guide:

This text on Dutch business culture was written by KIT trainer Jacob Vossestein who also wrote the book ‘Dealing with the Dutch’, a more extensive description of Dutch work culture and its backgrounds. It sold over 35,000 copies in three editions. He also published on other cross-cultural subjects. More information on this book and its author at the Web site listed above.

KIT (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen) Intercultural Communication (Web site:, otherwise known as the Royal Tropical Institute, is based in the Netherlands. KIT Intercultural Communication provides training and advice to individuals, companies and organizations to help them work effectively in an international or multicultural environment. Tailor-made training courses take place at the KIT Training Centre in Amsterdam, or on location. The integration of language and culture training is unique.
Netherlands: Appointment Alert!
Making appointments

Netherlands: Business Dress
Guidelines for business dress

Netherlands: Conversation
Welcome topics of conversation

Netherlands: First Name or Title?
Addressing others with respect

Netherlands: Gift Giving
Selecting and presenting an appropriate business gift

Netherlands: Let’s Make a Deal! – Part 1
What you should know before negotiating

Netherlands: Let’s Make a Deal! – Part 2
What you should know before negotiating

Netherlands: Prosperous Entertaining – Part 1
Entertaining for business success

Netherlands: Prosperous Entertaining – Part 2
Entertaining for business success

Netherlands: Public Behaviour – Part 1
Acceptable public conduct

Netherlands: Public Behaviour – Part 2
More on acceptable public conduct

Netherlands: Public Behaviour – Part 3
Final tips

Useful Web Sites for the Netherlands

Consular Information Sheet

Wikipedia: The Netherlands

CIA World Factbook: The Netherlands

Lonely Planet: The Netherlands The Netherlands for Visitors

Economist Country Briefings: The Netherlands

BBC Country Profiles: The Netherlands

World Health Organization: The Netherlands

Privacy Policy


Netherlands Business Etiquette and Culture

This guide to Netherlands business etiquette and culture covers many aspects of doing business in Netherlands. It is our goal to provide practical, accurate, and up-to-date tips on Netherlands business culture and etiquette, written by experts in business consulting in Netherlands. We encourage visitors to leave questions or comments on on our discussion boards, moderated by experts in intercultural training and business. Your contributions help us make Executive Planetâ„¢ the most comprehensive resource on Jacob Vossestein business etiquette and culture on the Internet.

This guide contains the following articles:

Let’s Make a Deal – negotiating tactics, the value of connections, recommended business card style and content, business card protocol, sitting and presenting yourself in meetings, language for brochures and promotional material, pace of business, preferred presentation styles, final agreements, thinking styles, adherance to company policy, and more on Netherlands business culture . . .
Prosperous Entertaining – typical mealtimes throughout the day, best venues for business entertaining, punctuality for social events, dinner table seating etiquette, mealtime etiquette, importance of alcohol, toasting, guidelines for hosting a banquet/social event, what foods should be served/avoided, accepting and declining invitations, and more on Netherlands business etiquette. . .
Appointment Alert! – typical vacation times, recommended apppointment times, length of the lunch hour, signals that indicate beginning or end of an appointment, best arrival time (early, late, right on time), and more on Netherlands business culture. . .
Gift Giving – recommended gifts, gifts to avoid, good and bad colours for wrapping paper, how to present a gift to individuals and groups, guidelines for receiving gifts, and more on Netherlands business culture. . .
First Name or Title? – using titles such as ‘Doctor’, naming conventions to avoid, when to use first names, and more. . .
Public Behaviour – how to greet strangers and introduce yourself, the rules for men shaking hands with women, acceptable demeanor, rules for eye contact, gestures/sayings to avoid, and more on Netherlands business culture. . .
Business Dress – is dress modest, conservative, etc., specific dress requirements for men and women, what visitors should wear to social functions, and more on Netherlands business culture. .
Conversation – welcome and unwelcome topics of conversation, the role of compliments, the tone of voice to be used, whether your hosts are physical or more reserved, and more on Netherlands business etiquette. .. . .