Iceland Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Culture of business dealings

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public Holidays

Introduction

Icelanders belong to a Nordic group in their mentality, whose behavior is shaped by the fact that it is a small society where everyone knows everyone. The official language is Icelandic, which belongs to the group of Scandinavian languages. Knowledge of English is common, and in the older generation also Danish.

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Addressing

It is advisable to arrange business meetings in advance by email or by phone. Icelanders do not usually use “Mr./Ms.” when addressing themselves and are used to addressing each other by their first name, or at the very first contact by name in full. By default, Icelandic male surnames end in “-son” and female surnames end in “-dóttir”.

Business meeting

A business meeting can be arranged by email, telephone or in person. It is not necessary to limit yourself to office premises, and your partner/s can also be invited out for a working lunch or dinner. The course of business negotiations is not subject to any specific customary rules. Meetings are often informal and relaxed, but for business meetings it is advisable to choose more formal clothing (business/smart casual style). Business cards are handed out during personal introductions, but they are not a necessary part of the meeting. If your partner invites you to his home, it is advisable to bring a small gift or attention (ideally from the Czech Republic). Punctuality is appreciated and if there should be even a minor delay, it is advisable to warn the partner in advance. Although many meetings begin with a short informal conversation, they often quickly get down to business and the vast majority of meeting time is spent discussing a pre-agreed topic.

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Communication

The vast majority of Icelanders understand and speak English very well. English is also the standard language of business negotiations with foreign partners. Interpretation is not customary, and if it occurs, then only in cases where complex and technical details are being discussed. On the other hand, contracts are often translated. You can easily communicate with Icelandic partners by email, phone or video conference. Visit Aparentingblog for more information about Iceland culture and traditions.

Recommendation

Iceland is a country with a relatively small population, most of whom live in the agglomeration of the capital, Reykjavík. With a certain degree of exaggeration, one could say that in Iceland everyone knows everyone, which should be taken into account when planning and preparing business meetings. If the Icelandic client is satisfied with the foreign partner, it can be assumed that they will recommend the partner further and the foreign entity will thereby increase its chance of establishing itself permanently in the local market. The same is true vice versa. In order to establish the first contacts in the country, positive references from other Nordic countries or the USA are very useful. Considering Iceland’s geographical location in the North Atlantic Ocean between Europe and America, the options and costs for transporting goods must always be carefully considered. It is also advisable to be aware of restrictions on the import of agricultural or marine products. Despite being part of the EU internal market through the EEA Agreement, Iceland is not part of the customs union. Therefore, even imported goods from the Czech Republic go through the customs procedure at the border.

Public Holidays

– New Year (January 1)

– Easter (moving holidays – non-working days Thursday, Friday, Monday)

– First day of summer (first Thursday after 18.4.)

– Labor Day (May 1)

– Ascension (movable feast – 40 days after Easter)

– Whit Monday (movable holiday – 51 days after Easter)

– Independence Day (June 17)

– Trade Day (moving holiday – first Monday in August)

– Christmas (December 24-26)

Office hours are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., some institutions change them in the summer months to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shops are open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2-4 p.m. Supermarkets and larger shopping centers are open daily except for holidays, usually from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the metropolitan area, selected grocery stores are open 24/7. Banks are open on working days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Contacts

Subchapters:

  • Contacts to Czech embassies in the territory
  • Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firefighters, information lines, etc.)
  • Important Internet links and contacts

Contacts at the embassies of the Czech Republic in the territory

The Embassy of the Czech Republic with diplomatic and consular competence for Iceland is located in Oslo:

Embassy of the Czech Republic, Fritzners gate 14, 0244 Oslo, Norway; tel.: (+47) 2212 1031, consular emergency tel.: (+47) 9261 1283, e-mail: [email protected]

Working hours on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., the current office hours of the consular department can be found on the website of the office.

An honorary consulate of the Czech Republic has been established in Iceland , which is a contact point both for citizens of the Czech Republic who have long-term residence in Iceland, and for visitors from the Czech Republic who find themselves in need during their trip.

Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Reykjavík Ingólfsstræti 5, 101 Reykjavík; tel.: (+354) 511 7011, consular emergency tel.: (+354) 893 3977, e-mail: [email protected] The date of a personal visit to the honorary consulate must be agreed in advance.

None of the Czech institutions is directly represented in Iceland.

Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)

Iceland’s international dialing code: +354

  • Emergency number: 112 (police, fire brigade and rescue service)
  • Medical emergency in Reykjavík: 543 1000, 543 2000
  • Dental emergency in Reykjavík: 426 8000, 575 0505
  • Rescue and search service: 570 5900
  • Information on telephone numbers: 118
  • Icelandic Red Cross: 570 4000, 846 6750

Important web links and contacts

– Portal of the government and ministries, laws and legal regulations

– Parliament (Alþingi)

– Central Bank

– Statistical Office

– Tax Office

– Customs Office

– Aliens and Immigration Office

– Office for the Protection of Intellectual Property

– Guide to doing business in Iceland

– Union of Icelandic Industry

– Icelandic Chamber of Commerce

– Public procurement portal

– Investment and export support

– Portal of the labor market and employment opportunities

– Overview of domestic news in English

– Information on the passability of roads

– Notification of emergency services

Iceland Culture of Business