Corporate Management

Exchanging Business Cards : Basic Business Manner

One of the most important aspects when doing business and working with Japanese companies, especially if you have the opportunity to work with Japanese people who are known for their unique work culture and etiquette, is the exchange of business cards. Today, let’s learn about the proper way to exchange business cards.

1. Presenting a Business Card

   – If you are younger or in a lower position, you should present your business card first. Introduce yourself with your company name, department, and full name (typically, Japanese companies mention the company name first, followed by the person’s name).

   – Stand while presenting the business card. Do not present it while seated or across a table.

   – Offer the business card with both hands at chest level, ensuring that it does not cover the company name or logo.

   – Position the card so that the recipient can read it immediately.

   – Present your card at a slightly lower level than the recipient’s as a sign of respect.


   In cases where multiple people are exchanging business cards, start with the most senior person and then proceed accordingly.

   If exchanging business cards simultaneously, present your card with your right hand and receive the other person’s card with your left hand.

2. Receiving a Business Card

   – If exchanging cards simultaneously, receive the other person’s card with your left hand, being careful not to cover the company logo and name with your fingers.

   – After receiving the card, do not put it away immediately. Study the name and information carefully. If you cannot read the name, politely ask for clarification.

   – Place the received card on your card case. If exchanging cards with multiple people, place the highest-ranking person’s card on the case or card holder and lay the remaining cards on the table.

   – Do not write any notes on the card in front of the person who gave it to you. Writing on the card is acceptable only after you have parted ways.

3. Dos and Don'ts

   – Always carry business cards with you, neatly stored in a card holder, and keep at least 10 cards on hand.

   – Do not use a card that is wrinkled or dirty.

   – Do not take notes on the business card (in front of the owner).

   – Do not forget or leave behind the received business card.

   – If you forget to bring your business card, apologize and provide your full name, company, and department. When you return to the office, it is advisable to send an email with a brief self-introduction and another apology.

Although exchanging business cards might seem like a minor detail that many people might overlook, it is very important in business interactions or dealings. Therefore, if you work in a Japanese company or plan to do business with Japanese people, remembering these etiquette tips is a crucial first step in building business credibility.  We hope this information will be helpful for those who have the opportunity to work or do business with Japanese & other companies.


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