Peruvian Culture

Business Culture

Primary Author
Chara Scroope,


  • Punctuality is respected and expected in a business setting. However, it is not uncommon for Peruvians to arrive late. Generally,  one has to wait longer depending on the seniority of the person they are meeting. 
  • In a business setting, the typical greeting is a firm handshake accompanied with eye contact.
  • Titles are very important, and it is best to address people by using their professional title, such as doctor, lawyer, etc. If they do not have professional titles, address them as "Señor” for men or “Señora” for women followed by their surname.
  • Generally, meetings in Peru do not adhere to a strict structure. There is typically no set agenda or chairperson, but points for discussion may be agreed upon by everyone present.
  • The primary language of business in Spanish. If assistance is needed, it is advisable to hire an interpreter to conduct the meeting.
  • Hard selling or confrontational approaches to negotiation are typically avoided as Peruvians are . However, some businesses influenced by the business practices of the English-speaking West may lean towards more approaches to negotiation.
  • Final decisions are usually made by the highest-ranking person, though they may not necessarily be present in the meeting.
  • It is not uncommon for Peruvians to agree during a meeting but postpone the signing of the contract. This is mainly due to Peruvians’ tendency to avoid conflict and preserve one's reputation.

Relationship Oriented

Peruvian culture tends to be relationship-driven, and this is reflected in Peruvian business culture. One of the guiding values in Peruvian business culture is the notion of ‘confianza’ (trust). Trust is usually developed by building a strong personal relationship and expected social behaviour depending on one’s hierarchical position based on economic status, authority and age. Becoming familiar with and developing a personal relationship with your business partner is essential before undertaking any significant business dealings. Beginning meetings with small talk or humour is common to help establish a base for the relationship. Social activities outside the work environment such as dinner or sporting activities are seen as a good way to build rapport with business partners.

Networking is not done idly in Peru since personal contacts can be crucial to success. Peruvians invest much time and effort into their relationships and getting to know those whom they work with. In Peru, networks involve reciprocity, and people are expected to utilise their contacts and relationships to help others when called upon for assistance. is somewhat common in Peru; it is not uncommon to see positions in a company occupied by relatives of important members of the company. Although the culture of is changing, family contacts can still be important in lower positions of an organisational .


  • The level of English proficiency varies widely throughout Peru. Some business executives may understand and read more fluently than they are willing or able to speak. Therefore, an interpreter may be useful.
  • Peruvians are generally formal and conservative in their work attire. 
  • In the workplace, colleagues of similar status may call each other by their first names.
  • Deadlines are not always rigidly defined. The term ‘mañana’ (‘tomorrow') can have a variety of meanings. Thus, precise dates and times are recommended.
  • Strikes and union movements are not uncommon in Peru.
  • There are no specific practices relating to giving and receiving business cards. Do be prepared to present business cards to everyone present in a meeting.
  • If possible, try and have one side of your business card translated into Spanish.
  • Since decisions may be passed through several levels of management, it is typical for answers and decisions to take time.
  • On the (2017), Peru ranks 96th out of 180 countries, receiving a score of 37 (on a scale from 0 to 100). This perception suggests that the country’s public sector is somewhat corrupt.

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