Doing Business In Canada

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Business Etiquette, Languages and Culture


In Canada the official languages spoken are English and French. Most native French speakers in Canada live in the province of Quebec and interpretation may be required for business meetings. All laws of the federal government are enacted in both English and French and that federal government services must be available in both languages.The National Centre for Languages can assist with language training, interpreting and translation services.

Meetings, Negotiations and Presentations

It is important to be on time and appropriately dressed for the venue you are holding the meeting. Face to face meetings are important and this will be the opportunity to build up a rapport immediately which will help with negotiations and discussions. For presentations be well prepared, clear and be thorough in your knowledge.

Hours of Business

Working hours vary throughout the country. Some small businesses close completely in July and August and government departments may work variable hours during the summer months. Fewer UK business visitors come to Canada during the winter months of December-March.

  • Government and Business: 08.30 - 17.00, Monday to Friday.

  • Banking: 10.00-17:00 Monday to Thursday, 10.00-18.00 Friday. Some banks in large centres operate much longer hours including evenings, and Saturdays.

  • Shops: There is a five-day working week, but most retails stores in cities open on Saturday and often on Sunday as well. Late shopping (to 21.00) on Thursday or Friday is common in large cities; in suburban shopping centres, supermarkets often stay open until 21.00 or 22.00 (Monday to Friday). Some convenience stores and supermarkets remain open 24 hours a day, especially in heavily populated areas.

  • Lunch and dinner meetings: Canadians do conduct business over meals but tend to eat early, 12.00 for lunches and 6.30pm-7.00pm for dinners.

Source - UK Trade & Investment


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