The etiquette of business cards

Aug 9, 2013 | Translation

Business cardMost professionals have business cards nowadays, from your local builder to the CEO of a major international company. And time, and money, is spent to make sure they are correct, nicely designed and say the right thing about the owner.

The etiquette around business cards in the UK is, on the whole, pretty informal. We are used to handing them out and receiving them, perhaps with a handwritten note on the back or even a slight revision to the content, if the new ones are still at the printers! But in some countries, particularly in the Far East, the protocol surrounding business cards is hugely important and business visitors should take time to do their research before they travel.

Get your business cards translated, with the host language on one side and the English on the other. For countries speaking Chinese find out which language they speak – Mandarin (Simplified) or Cantonese (Traditional) – and use a reputable translator and typesetter. Make sure you include your title on the card and keep them clean and neat. Take lots!

Business cards should be exchanged one by one, individual to individual and preferably standing up. Offer your card in both hands and ensure the host language is face up. Likewise, when you receive a card, use both hands and take the time to read it before laying it on the table in front of you. Don’t be tempted to scribble notes on it or shove it in a trouser or jacket pocket. The card is seen as representative of the owner so should be treated with respect.

To get your business cards translated, please contact us at


Image credit: <a href=’’>thawats / 123RF Stock Photo</a>