BlogGeneral ArticlesMaking Brazil your goal for business in 2016

Making Brazil your goal for business in 2016

Making Brazil your goal for business in 2016

With all eyes turned to Brazil for the 2016 Olympics, it’s potentially a good time for companies to think about this gateway to Latin America as a possible export market.

The 6th largest country in the world, with a population of 200 million people, Brazil offers a strong industrial, business and consumer base with sustained economic growth against a background of stability and democracy.

A European-oriented culture and business practices mean there’s a relatively familiar environment, although working with a local partner often proves to be the best way to gain entry into the market.

Here are a few tips to consider when doing business in Brazil, courtesy of

Doing business: etiquette in Brazil

  • Brazilians need to know who they are doing business with before they can work effectively.
  • Brazilians prefer face-to-face meetings to written communication as it allows them to know the person with whom they are doing business.
  • The individual they deal with is more important than the company.
  • Since this is a group culture, it is important that you do not do anything to embarrass a Brazilian.
  • Communication is often informal and does not rely on strict rules of protocol. Anyone who feels they have something to say will generally add their opinion.
  • It is considered acceptable to interrupt someone who is speaking.
  • Face-to-face, oral communication is preferred over written communication. At the same time, when it comes to business agreements, Brazilians insist on drawing up detailed legal contracts.

Business Negotiation

  • Expect questions about your company since Brazilians are more comfortable doing business with people and companies they know.
  • Wait for your Brazilian colleagues to raise the business subject. Never rush the relationship- building time.
  • Brazilians take time when negotiating. Do not rush them or appear impatient. Expect a great deal of time to be spent reviewing details.
  • Often the people you negotiate with will not have decision-making authority.
  • It is advisable to hire an interpreter if your Portuguese is not fluent. Translate any key documents professionally.
  • Use local lawyers and accountants for negotiations. Brazilians resent an outside legal presence.
  • Brazilian business is hierarchical. Decisions are made by the highest-ranking person.
  • Brazilians negotiate with people not companies. Do not change your negotiating team or you may have to start over from the beginning.

Business Meeting Etiquette

  • Business appointments are required and can often be scheduled at short notice; however, it is best to make them 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
  • Confirm the meeting in writing. It is not uncommon for appointments to be cancelled or changed at the last minute.
  • In Sao Paulo and Brasilia it is important to arrive on time for meetings. In Rio de Janeiro and other cities it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes late for a meeting.
  • Do not appear impatient if you are kept waiting. Brazilians see time as something outside their control and the demands of relationships take precedence over adhering to a strict schedule.
  • Meetings are generally rather informal.
  • Expect to be interrupted while you are speaking or making a presentation.
  • Avoid confrontations. Do not appear frustrated with your Brazilian colleagues.

Business Cards

  • Business cards are exchanged during introductions with everyone at a meeting.
  • It is advisable, although not required, to have the other side of your business card translated into Portuguese.
  • Present your business card with the Portuguese side facing the recipient.

There is plenty more information readily available on how to do business in Brazil, from the UKTI for example and other private partners.

World Bank:

TMF Group:


A useful guide to things to do in Brazil:

For more information on our Brazilian Portuguese professional translation services, get in touch on or call 0844 856 1086.

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