Slovakia Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Subchapters:

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

Introduction

Slovakia is the Czech Republic’s closest foreign partner for business negotiations. Czech businessmen can make arrangements in Slovakia without any problems. The only exception is foreign managers working in Slovak companies. Czechs and Slovaks have a very close culture and numerous family ties from the era of the common state. After the disintegration of Czechoslovakia on 31 December 1992, the mixing of the two nations continues. A large number of Slovaks are studying in the Czech Republic, who to a large extent stay to work in our country after completing their studies and start marriages with our citizens.

Addressing

Slovakia is the first choice for export for most Czech companies and entrepreneurs. It is due to geographical, linguistic, cultural and political proximity. Czech companies can meet their future business partners at a fair, business forum, company presentation or other opportunities in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Approaching a potential business partner takes place verbally and directly. Initially, both parties usually exchange basic information about their business intentions. Subsequent personal meetings or written contact between business partners already specify business intentions.

A number of companies can find contact for their future business partner in Slovakia on the Internet. The initial phone call to the secretariat of such a company requires a subsequent written call with a request for a business meeting in the form “Dear Sir/Dear Madam”. The first name is not used in addressing. Business partners usually have fun. After a certain amount of time and mutual affection, business partners can get along.

  • Programingplease: Yearbook 2010 of nation Slovakia, including population, politics, and abbreviations.

Based on the specific requirements of Czech companies, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Slovakia provides working contacts to potential business partners, chambers of commerce, professional associations or representatives of state authorities in Slovakia.

In Slovakia, Czech companies can come to an agreement without any problems. The only exception are foreign managers in Slovak companies who speak English and do not understand Czech. We therefore recommend that you know in advance the list of persons for negotiations on behalf of the Slovak side and their possible lack of knowledge of the Czech language.

Business meeting

We recommend arranging a business meeting by phone or e-mail about a week in advance. The person requesting the meeting states his position in the company, suggests the date and place of the meeting, as well as the topics to be discussed. It is necessary to wait for written confirmation of the meeting from the Slovak side. In the case of negotiations with representatives of state authorities, meetings are held exclusively at these authorities. The Slovak side is thoroughly prepared. The number of participants from the Czech and Slovak sides is negotiated in advance. In the case of meetings with representatives of private companies, meetings are held in an office or restaurant. A business meeting in the company usually takes place between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and in a restaurant during lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Evening business meetings in restaurants are not usual. The exception is long-term business partners. Their work meeting takes place in the restaurant in the evening between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. During the first business meeting, the partners exchange business cards. Discussion topics are usually agreed upon in writing in advance. Giving gifts is not common in Slovakia.

Business meetings take place throughout the year. However, it is not recommended to plan meetings during Christian holidays (Three Kings, Easter, Cyril and Methodius, Christmas, Our Lady of Sorrows – 15 September) and also during other public holidays in Slovakia (1 January, 1 May, 8 May, 1 September, 17.11.). During the summer holidays, the working regime in the state administration is more relaxed.

While in the Czech Republic a certain social distance is typical when establishing social and business contacts, for Slovaks it is more characteristic of preferring informal and familial relationships.

In Slovakia, almost everyone gets to know everyone in business. This is probably the reason why Slovaks are not used to coming to meetings with a foreign partner with pre-prepared proposals and rely on the additional sending of an agreement, etc. In business negotiations, Slovaks often avoid precision and discipline and often prefer intuition, momentary inspiration and healthy rural sense. Slovaks are mostly convinced that every problem has a solution, even at the cost of a minor change in the given goal. They often look for a third way.

Compared to the Czech Republic, there are no great cultural, religious, or ethnic differences in Slovakia. Slovaks, however, usually avoid specifics, are informal, do not get straight to the point and are reluctant to call a spade a spade. Their communication is full of certain allusions, hints, references, broader contexts. As a joke, Slovaks often like to point out that they are not less experienced or less clever than their “older Czech brothers”.

In Slovakia, you cannot always rely on excessive punctuality. During business negotiations, Slovaks are often in a hurry, they want to get it over with quickly and rather have fun informally. A business meeting usually lasts 1 hour, but it can be longer.

Slovaks are generally more emotional than Czechs. It also depends on the current social and political climate. However, this feature is not very prominent.

In Slovakia, there is a certain competition between the West and the East. Due to the fact that many people from eastern Slovakia are moving to Bratislava and the west of Slovakia for work and business, these certain differences are being erased from the outside. At the same time, however, there are noticeable differences in dealing with the “harder” Bratislavans and with the so-called immigrants from the east of Slovakia.

Previously, hard alcohol was offered during business negotiations in Slovakia. Currently, it is more of an exception. The host can offer a beer or a glass of wine during the working lunch. In the case of negotiations with business partners in eastern Slovakia, home-made hard alcohol (most often pine) may appear on the menu.

Clothing for a business meeting is normally the same as in the Czech Republic. A men’s suit and a women’s costume are expected.

In most cases, the participants of the business meeting are agreed upon by both parties by telephone or e-mail at the beginning during the preparation of the meeting. The composition and number of team members depends on the scope of the agenda. The age and gender composition of the team does not play a role. Business negotiations are usually conducted by the director of the company or the director of the department of the state office. For individual topics, they have experts in the given field during the meeting.

In Slovakia, it is not customary to invite a business partner home. In the case of a long-term business partner, this can happen. Offices and restaurants are the main places for business meetings.

Communication

You can make arrangements in Slovakia without any problems. The only exception are foreign managers in Slovak companies who speak English and do not understand Czech. We therefore recommend that you know in advance the list of persons for negotiations on behalf of the Slovak side and their possible lack of knowledge of the Czech language. Visit Aparentingblog for more information about Slovakia culture and traditions.

Politics is generally said to be taboo. However, almost no meeting is complete without mentioning the current political situation. Slovaks often say that we are not politically better off in the Czech Republic either. A certain taboo is religion and the related issue of abortion. Other communication taboos include LGBT, the gender agenda, the Slovak state during World War II and salary issues.

In the beginning, it is best to communicate by phone and email. When solving more complex problems and sensitive questions, we recommend personal negotiations.

Recommendation

We recommend that Czech entrepreneurs and companies do a thorough research of the Slovak market for their product or service before deciding to enter the Slovak market. It is certainly beneficial to visit the relevant trade fair in Bratislava or Nitra, which will provide basic information about the current situation and competition on the Slovak market. Czech businessmen and companies are also advised to make arrangements with a local firm for legal advice in the field of doing business in Slovakia. At the same time, Czech companies and entrepreneurs can contact relevant industry associations or unions and chambers of commerce in individual regions of Slovakia.

The business and economic section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Bratislava is ready to assist Czech companies and entrepreneurs in obtaining contacts for potential business partners in Slovakia. The embassy takes a significant part in various company presentations within the framework of PROPED economic diplomacy projects and organizes business forums with the aim of more closely connecting Czech and Slovak companies in various fields. Due to Slovakia’s geographical proximity, Czech companies often present themselves at trade fairs in Bratislava and Nitra. The embassy tries to support Czech companies by personally participating at the trade fair stand.

Public Holidays

List of public holidays in Slovakia:

– Day of the establishment of the Slovak Republic
– Epiphany/Three Kings and Christmas holiday of Orthodox Christians
Good Friday – moving date, in 2023 it is Good Friday 7.4.2023
Easter Monday – moving date, in 2023 it is Easter Monday 10.4.2023
– Labor Day
8.5. – Day of Victory over Fascism
– Feast of St. Cyril and St. Methodius
29.8. – Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising
– Day of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic
1– Our Lady of Sorrows
30.10. – Anniversary declaration of the Slovak nation
1.11. – All Saints Day
17.11. – Day of struggle for freedom and democracy
24.12. – Christmas Day
25.12. – The first Christmas holiday
26.12. – Boxing Day of Christmas

In Slovakia, it is a tradition to worship, above all, the Slovak National Uprising, when wreaths are laid in various places throughout the country.

Slovakia Culture of Business