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Starting A Business In Brazil

Starting a Business in Brazil

Brazil is a market on the rise and may be the ideal destination to grow or expand your business. If you don’t mind days full of sunshine that is. As Brazil advances towards becoming a new world superpower, business and foreign direct investment is budding. An innovative business model can successfully penetrate Brazil’s emerging market.

Moving to a new country and starting a new business are both major and exciting endeavors. Where to begin? This page intends to inform you of the necessary steps and considerations of starting a business in Brazil as a foreigner.

Reasons to Start a Business in Brazil

Key factors attributing to Brazil’s economic ascent are its strong manufacturing base, young economic workforce and wealth of raw materials and natural resources - ideal conditions for advancement. Investors are buoyed by long-term projections. With the second largest economy in the Western Hemisphere and ninth-largest in the world, Brazil offers exciting possibilities to companies seeking to expand their business or new start-ups looking for up-and-coming territories.

As Brazil rapidly expands, Foreign Direct Investment substantially increases. In 2019 the United National Conference on Trade and Development ranked Brazil the fourth-largest country in the world for Foreign Direct Investment recipient flows. The top single-country investors of Brazil are the Netherlands and the United States. The Brazilian government welcomes foreign investment and is prioritizing economic reforms to further incentivize foreign business.

Brazilian consumer confidence has soared in recent years, thanks to an emerging economy that has lifted 40 million citizens out of poverty since 2010. Economic rise led to a large expansion of the middle class with greater purchasing power. While the COVID-19 pandemic set the Brazilian economy back a few paces, sectors like e-commerce managed to flourish with revenues increasing by 47% as nearly 7.7 million Brazilians began shopping online for the first time, rounding out the number of e-commerce customers to 41 million people.

The most common business types in Brazil are Corporations (S.A.) and Limited Liability Companies (LLC).

Limited Liability Company (Limitada/Ltda.). This Limited Liability Company holds each shareholder responsible to the amount of their assigned capital. All shareholders are liable for initial corporate capital payment.

  • No minimum or maximum capital is required (except in the case of hiring foreign managers or directors)
  • LLC is incorporated through an Article of Association and needs to be registered before the Board of Trade
  • Two shareholders are needed, foreign or local
  • Nonresidents must be represented by an individual resident in the country

Corporation (Sociedade Anônima/ S.A.). This business model is similar to a U.S. subchapter C corps. Voting and non-voting shares can be issued. Shareholders are limited to liability of payment only for shares to which they have subscribed. S.A. is ideal for larger companies.

  • Requires two shareholders minimum
  • Needs a Board of Directors and an Administrative Council
  • Shares can be publicly traded or closed
  • Majority shareholder has control
  • 10% of capital must be deposited in a bank to finalize incorporation
  • 5% of annual net income must be set aside in a legal reserve until it reaches 20%
  • In some cases financial statements must be published

Other business types include: Silent Partnership (SCP), Consortium, Single Holder Limited Liability Entity (Empresa Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada/ EIRELI), and Branch Office of Foreign Corporation. These types are geared more towards investors, with the exception of a branch of a foreign corporation.

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Opening a Bank Account in Brazil

It will be important to open a bank account in Brazil. The Brazilian banking sector is modern. Banks at all levels - state-owned banks, private banks, investment banks and other financial institutions, both domestic and international, compete in the retail banking industry.

To open a business account, businesses need to fill out certain forms and provide legal documents, such as:

  • A valid identity document. If you are a foreign national lawfully resident in Brazil, this means your identity card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro - CIE), which contains the Registro National De Estrangeiro (RNE)
  • Individual taxpayer number (Cadastro de Pessoa Física - CPF, also referred to as Cadastro Individual de Contribuintes - CIC)
  • Proof of domicile (such as a utility bill in your name)

Get Business Help From Trusted Advisors

Starting a business in Brazil offers limitless potential. As the economic powerhouse of Latin America, there are opportunities for local investments as well as globally minded business models. There is also a considerable amount of red-tape to get started, and this can be tricky for locals and foreigners alike. Not to mention se voce nao fala portugues it will add another layer of tangible complexity.

Dig-deeper into relevant topics relating to starting a business in Brazil. If you're thinking about moving to Brazil, connect with qualified, bilingual Advisors and get tailored advice based on your relocation needs.

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