Business customs

The Dutch take punctuality for business meetings seriously and expect others will do likewise; it is wise to call with an explanation if you are delayed for more than five minutes. Commitments are taken seriously. Do not promise anything that cannot be delivered. A spoken agreement with others has the same worth as a signed contract even from a legal viewpoint. This also applies in reverse. If the Dutch express uncertainty about their ability to deliver something, this is usually not a negotiation trick or a polite attempt at refusal, but an honest warning.


The Dutch do not appreciate the ‘I call the shots’ mentality, instead they keep talking until all parties agree. Once decisions are made, implementation is fast and efficient.


For more information on doing business in Enschede see Business & Entrepreneurship.