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How can a foreigner open a company in Brazil?

What does a foreigner need to open a company in Brazil?


Brazil is considered the leading economic and political power in South America. In 2019, it recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$1.878 trillion, with a Gross National Income (GNI) of US$9,130. With a population of 212 million, a rapidly growing middle class, abundant natural resources, and many unsaturated domestic markets, the country offers several opportunities for foreign investors.

All these factors partly explain why Brazil is the top destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the region, and the fourth largest recipient worldwide – with FDI inflows reaching US$65.4 billion in 2019.

To help foreigners who want to open a company in the country, Pryor Global has launched the e-book “Constitution of Foreign Companies in Brazil”, available for download on our website. There, all interested parties have access to important information, such as the first steps and documents prior to the constitution of the Brazilian company, articles of association or by-laws, and mandatory registrations at the competent bodies, to name just a few topics.

To help our future clients even more, today we will take a deeper look into what a foreigner needs to open a company in Brazil, with direct questions and clear answers. Check out our Q&A section below.

What does a foreigner need to open a company in Brazil?

According to the legislation, people who are in full possession of their civil capacity and are not legally impeded can open a company in Brazil. They must be over 18 years old, Brazilian, or foreign citizen, who is in free administration of his/ her person and property, or an emancipated minor, or coming of age as described by law.

The opening of a company by a foreigner in Brazil, living in the national territory or not, is possible, and he or she may constitute or have interests in companies in the country. However, there are different requirements to be met for each of these situations.

Resident permit or permanent visa

To obtain a visa as an investor, the foreigner must prove an investment of at least BRL150 thousand and the hiring of Brazilian professionals. For detailed information, check Normative Resolution No. 84 of the National Immigration Council.

Living in another country

If the foreigner lives in another country, he or she must appoint an attorney-in-fact residing in Brazil with powers to receive a summons, in addition to being registered with the Federal Revenue (RF) and with the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB), through the Electronic Declaratory Registry (RDE).

If the foreigner has only obtained a temporary visa, he or she will be considered a fiscal resident when getting a residence permit; having an employment relationship; or staying in the country for more than 183 days, consecutive or not, within 12 months.

How to open a company for foreigners who live in Brazil?

The requirements are similar to those for foreigners living in Brazil: an authenticated photocopy of the Foreigners National Registry (RNE) and an identity document, issued by a Brazilian authority, in addition to the Taxpayer Identification Number (CPF). He or she must also go to the Board of Trade and present proof of a permanent visa.

How to open a company for a foreigner living abroad?

In this case, it is necessary to present a specific power of attorney at the Board of Trade, with the signature notarized at the notary’s office and/or embassy, empowering the representative in Brazil to receive a judicial summons in lawsuits filed against the foreigner citizen.

A notarized photocopy of the identity document and the legal existence of the company must also be presented, notarized, apostilled, or certified by a Brazilian authority (Brazilian consulate in the country of origin of the foreign company).

How to open a company being a Brazilian who lives and is domiciled abroad?

In this case, the Brazilian must appoint an attorney-in-fact residing in Brazil, giving him/her powers to sign and file documents with the respective bodies.

Activities that are forbidden to Foreigners in Brazil

  • Companies with foreign capital in the health care sector;
  • Cabotage and Shipping Company;
  • Newspaper Company, Radio and Image Broadcasting Company;
  • Cable TV Company;
  • Road Cargo Transport Company;
  • Mining Company.

The opening of a company by a foreigner in Brazil implies a series of legal obligations. Count on an experienced partner to guide you through this journey. Pryor Global has been representing multinational companies operating in the Brazilian market for over 26 years.  Get to know our portfolio and talk to one of our experts.

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