Doing Business In Romania

  1. Romania ranks 72nd out of 185 economies in Doing Business 2013, with no change in its overall rank compared to last year.
  2. According to the latest Enterprise Survey (2009), the top 3 obstacles faced by firms in Romania are Tax Rates, an Inadequately Educated Workforce and Access to Finance. Only 42.3% of firms have a line of credit or loans from a financial institution, compared to the regional average of 43.7%.
  3. According to the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Report (2010), Romania is ranked between the 50th and 60th percentile for most of the indicators, including Government Effectiveness, Rule of Law, Control of Corruption, and the Political Stability indicators. For Regulatory Quality, Romania is above the 70th percentile.
  4. Romania’s economic freedom score is 64.4, making its economy the 62nd freest in the 2012 Index. Its score is 0.3 point worse than last year, reflecting deterioration in freedom from corruption, business freedom, and the management of government spending. Romania is ranked 28th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is higher than the world average.

Source: World Bank


Visa Information

In order to obtain a visa, you will need a passport that’s valid for at least six months beyond the date you enter the country.
Citizens of all EU countries, USA, Canada, Japan and many other countries may travel visa-free for 90 days in Romania. Australians and New Zealanders no longer need to arrange a visa in advance. As visa requirements change frequently, check at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( before departure.
Romania issues two types of visas to tourists: transit and single-entry. Transit visas (for those from countries other than the ones mentioned above) are for stays of no longer than three days, and cannot be bought at the border.
To apply for a visa you need a passport, one recent passport photograph and the completed visa application form accompanied by the appropriate fee. Citizens of some countries (mainly African) need a formal invitation from a person or company in order to apply for a visa; see for details.
Regular single-entry visas (US$25) are valid for 90 days from the day you arrive. Single-entry visas are usually issued within a week (depending on the consulate), but for an extra US$6 can be issued within 48 hours.
Transit visas can be either single-entry (US$15) – valid for three days and allowing you to enter Romania once – or double-entry (US$25), allowing you to enter the country twice and stay for three days each time.
In Romania, you can extend your tourist visa for another 60 days at any county police office, but it can be trickier than just leaving the country and coming back in. Technically it takes a couple of days and shouldn’t cost more than US$50. You may have to show you have US$100 per day for your stay. You must apply before your current visa expires. It’s easier if you get a travel agent to help.
Check your visa requirements for Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine if you plan to cross those borders. If you are taking the Bucharest–St Petersburg train you will need Ukrainian and Belarusian transit visas on top of the Russian visa.

Business Etiquette

. Romania is still governed by a great deal of bureaucracy. 
. Personal relationships are crucial if you want to cut through the red tape. 
. Much business involves overlapping local bureaucracies, which make conducting business a time consuming process that requires perseverance. 

Building Relationships

. Romanians prefer to do business with people who are down-to-earth and do not brag about their accomplishments or financial achievements. 
. They pride themselves on using proper etiquette in all situations and expect others to do the same. 
. When in doubt, start out in a formal style and allow your business colleagues to progress the relationship to a more personal level. 
. As long as you are considered an outsider (someone who is not family or a friend), you will be treated with utmost formality. 
. Once your Romanian colleagues get to know you, they will think of you as an insider, which lets them treat you more informally. 
. This is not a process that can be rushed. 
. Once a relationship has been developed, it is with you personally, not necessarily to the company you represent. Therefore, if you leave the company, your replacement will need to build their own relationship. If at all possible in this situation, introduce your replacement to those with whom you do business. 

Business Meeting Etiquette

. Appointments are necessary and should be scheduled 2 to 3 weeks in advance, preferably by letter. 

. It is often difficult to schedule meetings in July and August, which is a common vacation time. 
. Businesspeople are often unavailable during the two weeks before and after Christmas and the week before and after Easter. 
. Arrive on time and be prepared to wait. 
. Punctuality is common in entrepreneurial companies or those that frequently do business in the international arena. 
. When dealing with state-run companies, you will most likely be kept waiting. 
. Meetings are generally formal and follow old-world rules of courtesy. 
. Wait to be told where to sit. There is often a strict protocol to be followed. 
. Do not remove your suit jacket without permission or until the most senior ranking Romanian does. 
. Expect to spend time getting to know people before delving into the business purpose of your visit. 
. Presentations should be factual and easy to understand. 
. Include facts and figures to back up your conclusions. 
. Avoid hyperbole or making exaggerated claims. 


. Business is hierarchical. Decision-making power is held at the top of the company. 
. Most decisions require several layers of approval. At times it may appear that no one wants to accept responsibility for making the decision. 
. It may take several visits to accomplish a simple task. 
. Romanians can be tough negotiators. 
. Romanians are concerned about being taken advantage of by foreigners. 
. Hire your own interpreters for meetings and negotiations. 
. Base sales on confirmed, irrevocable letters of credit. Use local banks that are correspondents of western banks. 
. Romanians have a tendency to tell others what they think they want to hear. 
. Avoid confrontational behaviour or high-pressure sales tactics. 
. Decisions are easily reversed. 
. Use an indirect negotiating style. Being too direct is viewed as poor manners. 
. Contracts function as statements of intent. It is expected that if circumstances change, the contract will accommodate the revised conditions. 
. Do not change members of a negotiating team before a decision is reached or the relationship-building process will have to begin anew. 

Business Card Etiquette

. Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. 
. If your company has been in business for more than 50 years, include the founding date on your business card. Romanians are impressed by stability. 
. Include any advanced university degrees on your card. 
. Have one side of your business card translated into Romanian. 

General Business Hours

There is considerable variety throughout the two countries, but banks can be expected to open from 9am to 5pm, with many closing for an hour around noon; some are open on Saturday mornings. Most shops are open from 9am or 10am to 6pm or 7pm, some closing on Sundays; museums are usually open from 11am to 5pm, most closing on Monday. Post offices are open from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, until 4pm on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. Most restaurants and cafés open from 8am or 9am and close at 11pm or later. Theatrical performances and concerts usually begin at 7pm.


Some business change their hours for ‘summer’ (loosely June to September) and ‘winter’ (loosely October to May).