Business Card Ethics

You never leave home without your business cards and you give them out every chance you get. But you may be missing out on some important business card ethics. Starting with a blank business card template and designing a card isn’t enough. Your cards need to serve several purposes to benefit both you and your business contacts. The way you hand out cards and receive them is important as well.

Some Ethics To Observe


One of the biggest factors of business card ethics has to do with referrals. Handing out your business card means that it may get passed along to others to refer your services or products. When business cards lead to referrals, you multiply the reach of your business Maximize the reach of your business card with a few easy tricks of the trade.

You want to ask the person you’re speaking with for referrals without putting them on the spot. Simply say something like, “If you know anyone who could use my services, please pass my name along.” You’ll plant the seed without demanding names on the spot.

On the other hand, always mention that you’ll refer the person you’re talking with to someone you know. You don’t want to seem as though you’re only interested in bettering your own business.

Receiving Business Cards

Part of business card ethics has to do with how you act when you get a business card. When someone hands you a business card, don’t stick it in your pocket right away. Instead, look at it and even make a nice and pleasant comment on the tagline, business name or card design.

Ask the person who gave you the card if their information is updated. Sometimes, people will have an old business card with an out-of-use phone number or email address. Write down any notes on the back of the business card, such as new contact information or something that was mentioned during your conversation that you want to remember.

Handing Out Cards

Hand out cards to whoever you meet. Some professionals even suggest sending your business card enclosed in any piece of mail you send out, including bills. Business card ethics doesn’t dictate if this is appropriate or not, but if you feel that it would benefit your business, then why not?

Always ask for a business card in return when you hand out your card. You don’t want to overlook important contacts and you may have use for their card in the future.