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Conducting business in German speaking countries

Conducting business in German speaking countries

Germany, Austria And Switzerland

When picturing international business, most entrepreneurs are thinking about faraway countries. However any cross-border business counts as international business. Therefore this also applies to doing business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Three countries with striking similarities and yet also some differences.

Generally European regulations apply to the countries within the European Union (EU). Consider for example regulations for the import of cultural goods, common customs tariffs, product safety (CE marking), product liability and competition law. Aside from European regulations there is also national jurisdiction specific to each country. This especially applies to Switzerland because it is not a member of the EU. More information on doing business in Switzerland can be found on this page.

Apart from the difference in jurisdiction there are also differences in business conduct and expectancies of the parties involved.

Where a Dutch person prefers a more casual approach and might crack some jokes during a negotiation, a German party will consider this highly inappropriate and view this as a lack of respect.

It is therefore that preparation is of the utmost importance when you plan to conduct a transaction with a business partner from a German speaking country. Generally the initial expectations for a contract are the same throughout the European countries yet the trouble hides in the fine detail. These details make the difference. The sooner the legal counselling takes place, the more sure you can be of the proper settlement of your transaction or procedure. Do not underestimate the cultural differences between countries and inform yourself in time.

What can ACG International mean for you?

The specialists at ACG International both support Dutch, German, Austrian and Swiss entrepreneurs that want to do business abroad. Apart from big national and international companies ACG International also helps SMEs who wish to venture into the German, Austrian or Swiss markets. We will point out all the perils, pitfalls and possibilities to you from the start.

The support we give to our clients includes the following:

advice on issues relating to labour law, legal and corporate law;
establishment of branches in another country;
execution of assignments in another country;
distribution and agency agreements;
reviewing and drafting agreements and (general) terms.
Not only do our experts have over 15 years experience with transactions between Dutch, German, Austrian and Swiss companies, at ACG International our experts have strong networks in each of these countries that can answer your more specific questions. Edith Nordmann, our Managing Partner at ACG International, is a German ‘native speaker’ and therefore knows the important differences at first hand.

Apart from that ACG International can handle your entire correspondence in German, both verbally and in writing. Even though most people in business speak English, communication in the native tongue is still highly appreciated and therefore a huge benefit in the German speaking countries. As a result the other party / partner will become more open right from the start.



Do you have a question? Please feel free to contact us. You can email to