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Business Card Etiquette for the New Entrepreneur


Just like dinner etiquette is important for having meals, business card etiquette is also important when establishing business contacts. Anyone who has dealt with business cards for many years will be aware that handling business cards is not as simple as it may seem. To display professional competence, it is extremely important to know the right way of handling not only your own business card, but those of others as well.

Presenting your business card to someone is more than just handing it out to them. There are certain requirements that your business card must meet if you are planning on effectively promoting your business.

Flawless Appearance

Always give out business cards with the right information on it. Avoid scratching out details and re-writing them with a pen. It is also important that the business card you give out is a fresh, clean one. Presenting wrinkled, torn and stained cards can leave an unfavorable impression.

Wait to be Asked

One of the most important things to remember when giving out business cards is to allow the other person to ask for your card. Abruptly presenting your card to someone is not a great way to make an impression. You should also wait for a higher rank individual to ask for your card, rather than you giving it out at the first opportunity.

Besides this, here are some important do's and dont's that will help you to network with business cards properly.


  • Keep a handful of your business cards with you at all times so that you can present them to business associates or clients whenever required.
  • Hand out business cards even on informal occasions. No one said that only business conventions and meetings are places to hand out business cards. If someone is having a casual conversation with you and is interested in your business, it is alright to hand out your card.
  • Ensure that business card exchanges are smooth. It's fine to ask someone for their business card the first time you meet them. However, if they are in a high position than yourself, wait until they offer you their card.  


  • Don't give out two or three cards to a new contact. Doing so will leave them thinking you want them to establish contacts for you. For this reason, make sure you hand out only one business card to each new contact.
  • Don't put a business card that you have received in your wallet, pocket or bag, as it can portray disrespect and even lack of organization. It is best to put a business card that someone has given you in a card case or planner.
  • You also should avoid enclosing business cards in personal cards, like get well soon cards, congratulation cards and condolence cards.

Once you have a business card, it is important that you follow up with that person, as it would seem like you have led the person on by asking for their card. These tips will help you successfully network with your business card.

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