Cultural Etiquette: Doing Business In Dominican Republic - Answers & Video

Cultural Etiquette: Doing Business In Dominican Republic

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Cultural Etiquette: Doing Business in Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic, located in the Caribbean, is known for its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and rich history. When doing business in the Dominican Republic, it is essential to understand and respect the local cultural etiquette. This article will guide you through various aspects of Dominican business culture, including greetings, communication styles, business attire, and more.

Greetings and Communication

When meeting someone in a business setting, it is customary to greet them with a firm handshake. Dominicans appreciate direct eye contact and a warm smile during greetings. It is common to address people using their titles and last names, such as “Señor” or “Señora,” followed by their surname. Building personal relationships is crucial in Dominican business culture, so take the time to engage in small talk and show genuine interest in the person you are meeting with.

  • Personal Space: Dominicans tend to stand close to each other during conversations, and touching during interactions is common. However, it is important to respect personal boundaries and be aware of the other person’s comfort level.
  • Verbal Communication: Dominicans are generally expressive and passionate in their speech. It is common for conversations to be lively and animated, with interruptions and overlapping voices. Be patient and listen attentively, allowing others to finish speaking before responding.
  • Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and gestures, play a significant role in Dominican communication. Maintain an open and friendly demeanor, nodding and using hand gestures when appropriate to show understanding and agreement.
  • Language: The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. While many business professionals speak English, it is advisable to learn some basic Spanish phrases to show respect and facilitate communication.

Business Attire

Professional attire is important when doing business in the Dominican Republic. The dress code is typically formal and conservative, especially in corporate settings. Men should wear suits or tailored pants with a dress shirt and tie. Women should opt for formal business attire, such as suits, dresses, or skirts paired with blouses. It is recommended to avoid overly casual or revealing clothing, as it may be perceived as disrespectful.

  • Accessories: Dominicans appreciate well-groomed appearances. Men should wear minimal accessories, while women can accessorize with tasteful jewelry and accessories that complement their outfit.
  • Footwear: Closed-toe shoes are more appropriate for formal business settings. Women should opt for low-heeled shoes or flats for comfort.
  • Colors: While there are no strict color restrictions, it is advisable to wear neutral or conservative colors for business meetings. Bright or flashy colors may be perceived as unprofessional.

Business Meetings and Negotiations

In Dominican business culture, building personal relationships is crucial before discussing business matters. Business meetings often start with small talk and getting to know each other on a personal level. It is important to be patient and invest time in establishing trust and rapport.

  • Punctuality: While Dominicans have a more relaxed approach to time, it is advisable to arrive on time for business meetings. However, it is not uncommon for meetings to start a bit later than scheduled.
  • Agenda: Having a clear agenda for the meeting is important, but be prepared for discussions to deviate from the planned topics. Dominicans value flexibility and may veer into unrelated conversations before getting back on track.
  • Hierarchy and Respect: Dominican business culture has a hierarchical structure, and respect for authority is crucial. It is important to address senior executives and decision-makers with deference and show respect for their opinions.
  • Negotiations: Negotiations in the Dominican Republic can be indirect and lengthy. Patience is key, as the process may involve multiple meetings and building relationships over time. Avoid aggressive or confrontational negotiation tactics, as they may harm business relationships.

Business Meals and Entertainment

In the Dominican Republic, business relationships are often strengthened through shared meals and entertainment. Inviting clients or business partners for a meal is a common practice to build rapport and trust.

  • Meals: When hosting a business meal, it is customary to cover all expenses. Dominicans appreciate good food and hospitality, so choose a reputable restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere. Be prepared for meals to be lengthy, as conversation and relationship-building take precedence over efficiency.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is often served during business meals, but it is not obligatory to drink. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation and respectfully decline if you prefer not to consume alcohol.
  • Entertainment: Dominicans enjoy socializing and may invite business partners to cultural events or outings. Accepting these invitations can further strengthen relationships and show interest in the local culture.
  • Gift Giving: While not mandatory, small gifts are appreciated in the Dominican business culture. It is advisable to choose gifts that reflect your business relationship and show thoughtfulness. Avoid extravagant or overly personal gifts.


Understanding and respecting Dominican cultural etiquette is essential for successful business interactions in the Dominican Republic. By familiarizing yourself with the local customs regarding greetings, communication, business attire, meetings, and entertainment, you can establish strong relationships and navigate the business landscape with confidence.


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