Traveling to Argentina? Want to make sure that you do not offend anybody? Want to impress the people you are meeting there? Establishing relationships is a vital part of doing business. View our guidelines about Argentina business and cultural etiquettes recommended for foreigners visiting the country.
Argentina Business Etiquette Guidelines
- Greet with handshakes for both men and women.
- Once you establish a more personal rapport, you can greet with hugs and cheek kisses. You should expect that people will stand close and may even touch you. Do not back away.
- Use formal title and surname to address someone.
- Be on time for all meetings. However do not be surprised if an Argentine is up to 30 minutes late.
- Business attire is formal and smart. There is an exception for the startup community. The business attire is casual, like much of the rest of the world. Nonetheless, you have to be to dress appropriately when meeting with investors.
- Argentina has a hierarchical business culture. You should try to meet with management as soon as possible for a decision to be made faster. This does not mean business will complete soon but it will be finalized more quickly.
- Dining with Argentinians is a social experience rather than a business one. Try to refrain from the subject of business unless the host opens up a debate on it.
- Show up at least 30 minutes late and bring a gift when you are invited to someone’s home for dinner or a party. Small gifts such as liquor, chocolates, wine, and flowers are acceptable gifts. If you receive one, open it straight away and express your gratitude immediately.
- People do not eat on public transportation or in public.
- Avoid subjects such as politics even if Argentinians are discussing it. Do not compare Argentina to Brazil or the US. Do not bring up Great Britain.
You May Also Be Interested In: Doing Business in Argentina: 6 Things You Should Know
Tipping is customary in Argentina. The following is a general guide to tipping in Argentina:
- Hotel Maids – 2 pesos per day. Note: Tip daily for better service during your stay rather than to wait until the end.
- Hotel Porters – 1 peso per bag.
- Free Tours – 100 pesos to the guide for a 3-hour tour. A bit more for longer tours.
- Paid Tours – 10% to 20% of the cost of the service to the guide.
- Restaurants – 10%, but if the service is horrible you can pay less. Bring cash for tipping as many credit card bills will not have a section for tipping.
- Spas – 15% to 20% of the cost of the service.
- Taxis – Tipping is not necessary but rounding up to the nearest peso is appreciated. If the driver is helpful with tips or bags, a few pesos is a kind gesture.
- Taxis in Argentina are well-regulated and metered.
- The official registered taxis in Buenos Aires are radio taxis.
- In larger cities, you will find non-registered taxis
- You can hail a taxi from the street or phone for a ride. Providing cross streets rather than a specific address is more helpful in Buenos Aires.
- You should wear your safety belts as traffic in this capital city can be a bit of an adventure.
- You should always use reputable companies just to be safe.
- Be aware that just because taxis are safer does not mean a driver will not try to scam you.
- Only pay once you reach your desired destination as you would in any city anywhere in the world.
- It is also advisable to carry small bills to pay
- There is a well-known taxi scam in Buenos Aires. When you hand over a large note, they swap it and hand you back a counterfeit bill saying that they do not have change. Small notes are essential with taxis. If they do not have change and you do not have a smaller bill, they will take you to the nearest shop to make change.
- Keep in mind that coin change in Argentina is scarce. A shop will often round up or down for the price of any item rather than to give you back coins.
- Extra scams include the tourist route or a speed meter. Bring a map or check your apps to check if you take the good path.
- Also, have a look if the meter is not rigged. It is if it increases more than every 200 meters, or rather every 40 seconds. In this case, you should get out and find another taxi.
- Keep in mind that taxi rates are more expensive at night. Do not be alarmed if the same route costs more at night than during the day.
- The best advice about money is to bring US dollars and pay for everything in cash. Argentinians are desperate for US dollars. You are likely to get the best rates on the black market. This means to exchange US dollars at unofficial ”cambios” on Calle Florida. This is technically illegal, but most people use them and rates are even published in the local newspapers. Many restaurants and shops will give you a favorable discount for paying cash. ATM exchange rates and using credit cards are also a decent solution.
- Most places in all Argentina will not accept travelers checks.
- Nonetheless, most places, even in small tourist villages, will accept credit cards. Keep in mind that in some small villages, you cannot use credit cards on the weekends or on holidays. Better always have spare cash to get you through in case of an emergency.