Boston Business Tips

(Boston, Massachusetts - MA, USA)

Photograph of the Boston cityscapeBoston's economy has been growing steadily and strongly since the downturn of the early 1990s and unemployment has remained low. There has been a big investment in private development and construction projects(USD 1.3 million), together with several major public infrastructure investments, such as the 'Big Dig' which is rebuilding tunnels and major roads under the city.

Another positive sign of the city's confidence is the Seaport Public Realm Plan, which is developing 1,000 acres / 400 hectares of sea-front land around the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

The capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the finance, professional and business hub of New England, Boston's key economic areas are technology, financial services and tourism. The city attracts large numbers of young professionals from its prestigious educational institutions, namely Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), situated in the nearby town of Cambridge. An impressive mix of old and new businesses are currently flourishing in this popular business city.

Image of Boston Harbor

Hours of Business and General Etiquette

In both dress and manners, Americans can be less formal than Europeans, although normal business courtesies should still be observed. The degree of formality necessary depends upon the actual nature of the business, with financial and legal professions being more formal than computer and media organizations. Although both men and women may still wear suits, short sleeve shirts are acceptable in the summer.

Business hours usually range from 08:00 to 17:30, although working late and at the weekend is not unusual. Banks are normally open between 09:00 to 15:00, Monday to Friday, and some of the larger banks also open on Saturday mornings. Working lunches are a popular way to do business in Boston and Americans are quick to use first-name terms. Some exclusive restaurants have a strict dress code, although a more informal, yet presentable dress code is acceptable. Drinks or dinner is a popular way to end the hard working week.

Greeting Someone

A brief and friendly handshake is usually the customary greeting in this business community. New acquaintances are often addressed on first name terms.


A smoking ban throughout Massachusetts has been effective from 2004. Previously in Boston, many restaurants had a strict 'no smoking' policy, although some tended to cater for smokers in different areas. Now all city offices, restaurants, clubs and bars are strictly non-smoking.