Bertrand de Solere Blog

How to start a business in Brazil?

Looking to understand how to start a business in Brazil? Basically, there are three different ways to settle, live and do business in Brazil: 1) either your employer sends you there; 2) or you find an employer there with whom you sign an employment contract; 3) Finally, you can invest in a local company (whose head office is located in Brazil).

Traditionally Brazil maintains its balanced balance of payments thanks to foreign direct investment – FDI. For this reason, one of Brazil’s traditional economic policies is to favor the entry of foreign capital by proceeding in three ways: (i) curbing imports; (ii) facilitate capital flows between Brazil and abroad; and (iii) treat foreign capital equally with domestic capital.

Conditions of incorporation of commercial companies and need to obtain a visa in Brazil

Foreign direct investment is materialized by the contribution of capital in a company having its head office in the territory of Brazil. It can be an already existing company, in which one becomes a shareholder either by buying shares, or by subscribing to a capital increase. It can also be the constitution by the foreign entrepreneur of a new company. Lastly, it is not necessary to have a Brazilian partner to set up a commercial company in Brazil.  You can even be its sole partner.

However, foreign investors must appoint a resident representative in Brazil to receive court summonses. The director(s) (managers) of the company must also be residents of Brazil. It is therefore necessary to obtain a residence visa in Brazil to directly manage your company.

The capital invested must be registered with the Central Bank of Brazil. This registration makes it possible to transfer dividends abroad, as well as equity during the liquidation of the company.

Subject to certain cases, the law does not require a minimum capital to set up a company in Brazil. However, to obtain a residency visa in Brazil allowing a foreign natural person to run the company, the foreign legal person investor must invest in foreign currency a minimum of, i.e. R$ 150,000.00 (one hundred and fifty thousand reais) with a plan to hire 10 (ten) Brazilians in 02 (two) years; or R$ 600,000.00 (six hundred thousand reais). If the foreign investor is a natural person, he must make a minimum investment of R$ 500,000.00 (one hundred and fifty thousand reais) in foreign currency, plus present a detailed business plan.

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