Guide to Gift Giving in Business: Etiquette, Ideas & More

Gift giving in business can be a tricky endeavor. You want to make sure your clients feel special and appreciated, but you don’t want it to come off as too much or inappropriate. Luckily, there are a handful of gifts you can give that share your appreciation without crossing a line.

We’ll help you navigate this difficult decision by providing some gift giving etiquette tips for businesses, along with some creative gift ideas that your clients will love! Read on to learn more about gift giving etiquette in business and to get some thoughtful client gift ideas.

Gift Giving Etiquette in Business

One of the biggest difficulties in gift giving is knowing what to give and when. Some people offer gifts too often, while others almost never offer gifts to their clients because they don’t know where to start! This selection of tips will help you find the perfect gift while adhering to gift giving business etiquette across all situations.

Stay Practical

Stay practical! You want to make sure that the gift you give isn’t too extravagant or expensive, but it should also be thoughtful and well-researched. If your client has children, for example, a nice teddy bear might be an option worth exploring — particularly if they are in town on business!

Avoid Holiday Themes

Another tip for gift giving etiquette in business is to avoid holiday themes. Some companies will go all out in their gifting during the holidays, but this can be a mistake. Gifts should never remind clients of debt or obligation — and none of them should make it seem like you expect anything back in return!

This also means that gifts with Christmas trees on them should be avoided. Not everyone celebrates every holiday, so try to avoid holiday-themed gifts that may not work for every client.

Include Personalization

A thoughtful gift with personalization is always a good idea. If you’re giving something to an individual client, it might be nice to include their name on the gift — or add in another detail that makes them feel special.

For example, people love receiving a handwritten note with a gift card. If writing handwritten notes to hundreds of people during the holidays sounds taxing, consider Handwrytten’s gift card packages.

personalized thank you letter from car dealership

Understand International Customs

If you’re giving a gift to an international client, make sure you understand that culture’s gift giving etiquette in business to avoid any issues. Giving a gift that is considered taboo in another country could be offensive, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

In France, it’s considered rude to give a gift at dinner. In Japan, gifts should only be given after the relationship has been established and once you know whether or not the gift will be well-received. Make sure you research proper gift giving etiquette before you pull out that present.

Thoughtful Client Gift Ideas

Now that you’ve got some gift giving etiquette ideas, it’s time to consider the perfect gift for your clients. The following list of examples should provide you with some inspiration for gifts that will make your clients feel special.

Handwritten Thank You Cards

The simplest gift is a handwritten thank you card. Handwritten notes are still the best way to communicate gratitude, and they will always be appreciated by clients. This doesn’t mean that you need to write an entire novel, but try writing a heartfelt note thanking your clients for their business and wishing them a happy holiday season.

If you need help with your thank you cards, consider ordering them from Handwrytten — the world’s leading provider of handwritten notes for business. We offer plenty of features that can assist you in creating beautiful and personalized handwritten notes.

Tumblers or Mugs

Another gift that is both thoughtful and practical is a tumbler or mug. These can be branded or just a high-quality mug or tumbler for your client to use.

Since most people drink coffee or tea by the end of the day, this gift will be useful and appreciated. This can also include a personalized message with a gift card to a place like Starbucks.

Coffee Beans or Tea Bags

Coffee beans or tea bags are another go-to gift giving idea in business. These can be branded with your company logo or paired with a fashionable mug.  Keep in mind that many people like to drink traditional black coffee or tea without any additives — so unless you know they like flavored varieties, it’s best not to get them flavors like pumpkin spice!

Snack Basket

Snack baskets are a great way to show appreciation for your clients. Include snacks they like and make it clear that you want them to take this home to share with family or loved ones if their schedule doesn’t allow time for munching during the workday.

If possible, personalize the snacks to each individual client with some of their favorite treats.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are another simple, thoughtful gift that can be enjoyed by everyone. Make sure you give a gift card to an establishment your client likes, such as their favorite restaurant, store, or brand.

Combine the gift card with a handwritten note from Handwrytten. We will write the note, add a gift card to your client’s favorite brand, and ship directly to a mailing address.

Add inserts to your personalized greeting card at Handwrytten!

Notebook and Pen Set

Another great gift idea is a notebook and pen set. This gives your clients the chance to take notes during meetings or jot down ideas whenever inspiration strikes.

Personalize this with either their name, initials, company logo — but make sure you know if they like using pens or pencils!

Portable Chargers

A portable charger is a practical gift that will be used over and over again.

This can also include an extended battery pack for their mobile phone to help them stay charged throughout busy workdays or long nights on the town.

Make sure you know which device your client uses before purchasing this, as most people now use iPhones and won’t need a charger for Android devices.

Wine Basket

Wine baskets are a classy gift that can be enjoyed during a festive holiday season. Depending on your client’s preferences, you may want to offer a basket with either red or white wine — some people even enjoy having both!

Personalize the label of the wine if possible, but don’t worry about labels for other beverages in this basket unless they are relevant.

Travel Accessories

Airports and airplanes can be stressful experiences, but your client will appreciate having items like noise-canceling headphones to make the trip more enjoyable or comfortable. This can also include a neck pillow for resting on long flights, along with some other comfort snacks they enjoy.

Consider adding in an eye mask and socks if they don’t already carry these on flights.

Outdoor Gear

Sports enthusiasts will love receiving an item for their favorite activity. This can include items like a new golf club or tennis racket, along with balls and gloves they may need to play these sports in the future.

Be sure you know which season your client is most active before purchasing this gift basket!


Succulents are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that will add some color to your client’s home or office. Be sure you know if they have a green thumb before gifting this type of plant!

If so, include gardening tools in the basket for an extra surprise. If not, consider adding other gifts around their favorite hobbies or interests.

Give the Perfect Gift with Handwrytten

Promoting your brand through gift giving is a great way to make an impact on current and potential clients.

Gift baskets can be created around their company’s needs, interests or hobbies — just remember that the best gifts are ones that are personalized, so clients feel appreciated!

Handwritten notes and gift cards are some of our most popular gift giving items in the holiday season and year-round. Regardless of what client gift idea you choose, complimenting your gift with a Handwrytten thank you card will save you time and provide the best experience to your client.

Contact Handwrytten or sign up to start creating thoughtfully crafted handwritten letters.

Choose from our cards design or your own.

Over 100 designs to choose from or design your own. Our online card customizer makes it simple.

Check Out Our Cards!

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