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Tobaksgården 3
8700, Horsens, Denmark
+45 2947 1278
33A Lychakivska Street
Lviv, 79008, Ukraine
+38 032 2970597
Tobaksgården 3
8700, Horsens, Denmark
+45 2947 1278
33A Lychakivska Street
Lviv, 79008, Ukraine
+38 032 2970597

Tips when doing business in UA

  • Doing business in Ukraine is different from doing business in other countries. Foreigners in Ukraine find that being late is the norm for Ukrainians. In Ukraine, meetings are frequently rescheduled and cancelled, often at the last minute. Therefore, it is always a good idea to confirm meetings;
  •  Government agencies play an important role in doing business in Ukraine. All businesses deal with government agencies on a regular basis, from the process of incorporating with the Ukraine company register onwards. Foreigners setting up a business in Ukraine should exercise restraint and be patient as much as possible as authorities will always have the final say in any matter;
  •  Ukrainians prefer arranging meetings in person to discuss business and make joint decisions. Ukrainians believe that only in person can one adequately judge others’ intentions and trustworthiness and resolve concerns. Ukrainians pay more attention to emotional aspects of communication rather than excluding them from business;
  • When you are staring a new business in Ukraine it is important to find out which registration process and licenses apply to your firm. Ukraine company registration can be a complex area, as different branches of the government will handle registration and licensing for various aspects of your business.
  • It can be quite tricky to schedule a meeting in the morning. Ukrainians tend to start work a little later and work a little later in the evenings than they do in the west. This varies from industry to industry, but in general it is better to schedule discussions for after lunch, and leave a little window of time between appointments: Don’t be surprised if a partner can’t meet right away or is late.
  • If you need to engage officialdom, be prepared for the bureaucracy. Most of what you heard is true, although understanding the system and being prepared will help you. You will often have to track the right contact person down and send faxes and wait. This takes patience and persistence. However, explain very clearly to all involved if there is a strict deadline that it is not flexible.
  • Connections are very important. Even if you feel extremely qualified as a foreigner trying to start a new company in Ukraine, your ability to do that is often contingent on connections. This applies to business deals as well: Personality and relationships are paramount.
  • People want to get to know whom they’re doing business with. Expats generally agree that as compared to the West, people invest more time getting to know people before they do business with them. This can make the business process seem a bit slow, but Ukrainian partners just see it as being cautious. One long-time expat stated that it is necessary to invest your time in people. When you can develop good personal relationships with your Ukrainian staff you may be amazed by their flexibility, appreciation and dedication.
  • Remember holidays and birthdays. For example, if you don’t properly celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), you may come to regret the friction you feel from your female colleagues in the months afterwards. Gifts, gifts, gifts! Many more occasions than you may be used to at home require gifts or would be enhanced with presents. In Ukraine if you’re not sure whether to bring a gift, it’s probably a good idea to bring one.
  • Mobile phones for relationships. It would seem that a nation that values their family and free time would be very hard to reach. Instead, people will answer their phones in a meeting, while teaching a class, at the cinema, nearly anywhere. Remember that relationships are important and only privileged people are given cell phone numbers and they want to keep these relationships going. They will answer their phones and they will expect you to do the same.
  • Evaluate and train your employees. You can be quite direct with Ukrainians and give your feedback. Ukrainians appreciate this, especially when you explain that your comments are not personal, but are meant for the improvement of the company’s performance or the employee’s skills. Create an open atmosphere where giving feedback to each other is able to flourish. Always be direct: Do not hint at something and assume that others understood what you meant.
  • Finally, doing business in Ukraine requires flexibility. Successful businesses in Ukraine adapt quickly to changing circumstances. You may encounter resistance to planning, but your ability to plan and improvise will ensure that you have a backup plan and often be one step ahead of the competition.