by Matt Alderton | June 29, 2016
"Work" typically is done in the office. "Business," however, is often done outside the office -- on the golf course, for instance, at trade shows and, of course, over lunch. In the latter case, one of the most vexing business-etiquette questions is: Who picks up the check?

The answer could have real consequences for your business relationships, according to contributor Steve Tobak. "You may think it's silly or unprofessional to make a big deal out of something as trivial as a few bucks," he says. "I couldn't agree more. But people do. Some even keep track of who buys and who doesn't."

If you want to avoid looking cheap in front of your colleagues and clients, Tobak recommends following a few simple rules: One, the boss always pays. Two, so does the vendor. Three, if someone offers to pay, let them. And finally, if someone's doing you a favor, the check is all yours.

"It doesn't matter if you're actually talking business, whose idea it was to go out, if you're also sort of friends, who can expense it, or who ate or drank more," Tobak says. "That's just splitting hairs."

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