Doing business in Australia differs from doing business in other countries. Because of these cultural differences, it is important for all businesses and travelers to consider everything from visas and hotels for appropriate business etiquette. If you are doing business in Australia, you want to make the best impression possible.
Follow some of these tips and it will help you close the deal you are looking for:
Visas: Traveling to Australia for a business trip requires obtaining an appropriate visa. Australia has two available business visas: the ETA short stay and the long stay visa. The short stay visa allows up to three months in the country for work. A long stay visa is best for those who may need work access for up to four years.
Customs: Entering Australia requires going through Customs, regardless of how you enter the country. Customs officials will require a passport with an appropriate business visa and the Incoming Passenger Card with data about the items you are carrying. The officials have specific rights that all passengers must remember before entering the country.
- Customs officials might x-ray your bags. This is a safety precaution to determine if you have undeclared or illegal items in the bags.
- Officials can prosecute or fine individuals who do not declare everything on the Incoming Passenger Card or who carry illegal items.
- Labradors and beagles work with customs to find illegal drugs, food, plants and animal materials.
Hotels: Regardless of the proposed business stay, many business travelers will need to find a hotel. Cheap hotels are available throughout the continent as long as you are willing to spend time on a hotel search.
If you want to find hotels at a reasonable price, look at special deals and discounts for booking the hotel and flight with the same company or booking the hotel in advance to get a lower rate. Cheap hotels are easier to find during the off-season in comparison with the tourist season.
Democratic Culture: Australian business culture is one that works as a whole unit and team rather than working as individuals. Any business traveler who is going to a meeting or planning to work in Australia must understand this culture to work with the company. The egalitarian approach to business and lifestyle results in a well-balanced team where every individual contributes. The result of gaining every individual’s input is that each individual strives to further the company’s goals.
Communication: Communication is the key to any successful business or meeting. In the Australian business culture, discussions are blunt and to the point. Those who do not directly communicate their ideas are often frowned upon and might even be considered a hypocrite. Furthermore, the communication is often flavored with humor, even among the senior management and higher job positions.
Punctuality: Though punctuality is considered a necessity in the Australian professional setting, most meetings will start with small talk before getting to the business at hand. Any business traveler going to Australia should note this particular key because it is part of the culture.
Overall, the friendly and equal view that permeates society in Australia allows for more casual business practices when compared to other countries.
Consultative Management: A manager who acts in a superior manner will end up poorly received in the egalitarian culture of Australia. The best approach to management in the country is consultative management. This style requires the manager to ask the opinions of those who work under them before making a decision.
By taking a consultative approach, the manager will show equality while also ensuring the cooperation of those working under him or her.
Incorporating Options: Any business that has plans to expand or become established in Australia must consider whether they will incorporate the company or will register the company. Both options have benefits and downfalls to consider.
- Incorporating is a higher initial cost.
- Incorporating the company is more attractive to investors. An investor does not want to end up responsible for repaying debts if the company fails. Incorporating will make the risk much lower.
- Tax breaks are more readily available for an incorporated business.
- A registered business is taxed like an individual. This might result in higher taxation than incorporating the company.
- The registered business is less costly initially.
- It is less paperwork to register the business than incorporating it.
Dress Code: The appropriate dress code in Australia is standard business formal. A dark suit and tie is appropriate for men. Women are expected to wear a skirt or trouser suit. Jewelry is inappropriate for the business setting.
Overall, the business culture and traditions of Australia are friendly, team-oriented and promote equality. Refer back to this article when you need more detailed information for your next business meeting in Australia.
This guest post was written by freelance writer and consultant for Expedia. Erica Gustafson works with a few freelance writing companies and is an avid traveler to Australia for both business and pleasure.