Dominican Republic

Doing Business In Dominican Republic

  1. The Dominican Republic is ranked 116th out of 185 economies in Doing Business 2013, recording a decrease of 3 points compared with last year. This decrease reflects lower scores for seven indicators.
  2. According to the most recent Enterprise Surveys (2010), the top obstacles to running a business are Electricity, Tax Rates, and Corruption. 49% of firms in Domincan Republic own generators to deal with the frequent power outages compared to 28.5% for the Latin America region 16.3% of firms reported having been solicited for at least one bribe in the past year, compared with only 9.6% of firms regionally.
  3. The Dominican Republic’s economic freedom score is 60.2, making its economy the 89th freest in the 2012 Index. Its overall score is 0.2 point higher than last year due to modest improvements in labor freedom and the control of government spending. The Dominican Republic is ranked 18th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its score is about average for the region.

Source: World Bank


Visa Information

Tourist cards, available upon arrival for US$10, are issued to foreign visitors from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa the UK and USA, among many others.

Business Etiquette

Relationships & Communication
  • Networking is important part of business since it broadens your base of contacts, and therefore, people who can smooth the way for you.
  • This is a country where knowing the right person is often more important than what you know.
  • Doing favours and collecting favours owed is a highly developed art form.
  • Name-dropping is commonplace and nepotism does not have the negative connotation it has in many other countries.
  • Trust is crucial to developing relationships.
  • It is important that you treat business colleagues with respect and not do anything to cause them loss of face.
  • Appearances matter. Dress conservatively but well.
  • Senior positions in business are predominately held by the upper class; therefore, it is important that you pay attention to the hierarchy and show appropriate deference and respect to those in positions of authority.
  • Dominicans can be direct communicators and are not afraid to say what they feel.
Business Meeting Etiquette
  • Business appointments are required and can often be scheduled on short notice; however, it is best to make them 2 to 3 weeks in advance by telephone, email or fax.
  • Arrive on time for meetings. Dominicans strive for punctuality, but they do not always achieve their goal.
  • The first meeting is often quite formal.
  • Small talk helps establish a rapport. Do not immediately begin discussing business.
  • Have all written material available in both English and Spanish.
  • Meetings are often interrupted and several people may speak at the same time.
  • Be careful with facial expression and bodily movements - gestures are context sensitive and do not always translate well between countries.
  • Patience is important.
Business Negotiation Etiquette
  • Expect small talk before getting down to business since Dominicans want to get to know people before doing business.
  • It will take several meetings to come to an agreement. Negotiation and time for consultation are important.
  • Relationships are viewed as more important than business documents.
  • Negotiations and decisions take a long time.
  • Hierarchy is important, although not always apparent. Defer to the person with the most authority, as they are most likely the decision maker.
  • There are often long bureaucratic delays in reaching decisions. Be patient. If you try to rush the process, you will be thought both rude and aggressive.
  • Avoid high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Dominicans are skilled negotiators and drive hard bargains.
 Dress Etiquette
  • Appropriate business attire is expected.
  • Men should wear good quality, conservative, dark coloured business suits.
  • Women should wear stylish suits or dresses. They should dress elegantly, including make-up and jewellery.
Business Cards
  • Business cards are exchanged during introductions without formal ritual.
  • Have one side of your business card translated into Spanish.
  • Present your business card with the Spanish side facing the recipient.
  • Treat business cards with respect. When you receive a card, place it in a business card case to show that you will treat the person with respect.

General Business Hours

The following hours are standard for the DR. Exceptions are noted in individual listings.
Banks 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday
Government offices 7:30am to 2:30pm Monday to Friday
Restaurants 9am to 10pm Monday to Saturday; most close between lunch and dinner
Shops 9am to 7:30pm Monday to Saturday
Supermarkets 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday
Tourist attractions 9am to 6pm; many museums and galleries close one day per week (usually Monday)
Liquor licensing laws, and hence bar opening and closing times, were in flux at the time of research.
However, expect bars, nightclubs and casinos to be open from 6pm to late.