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Start A Company In Brazil
To be able to operate in Brazil, foreign companies must, first of all, establish a Company in Brazil, registering the Articles of Association in the Government agencies and obtaining a Corporate Tax Payer Number (CNPJ).
There are two characters that are fundamental when opening a foreign company in Brazil:
- Proxy Holder (Legal Representative)
The proxy holder must be a Brazilian resident, who will sign on behalf of the foreign shareholders. To nominate the proxy holder, it is necessary to have a Power of Attorney (POA) from each foreign shareholder to be represented. Depending on the country of origin, the POA must be consularized at the local embassy.
- Legal Manager
The legal manager also must be a Brazilian resident. It will be the person signing on behalf of the Brazilian company, and will be the primary responsible in case of any liabilities.
It is important to highlight that this procedure takes time, as all the documentation must be sworn translated and sent to Brazil. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead.
Brazilian companies may be of three different natures:
- Trade (import/export/retail)
Opening a service company would take around 30 days, after receiving the POAs properly registered and consularized, to be able to issue Notas Fiscais (official invoices issued through a Government System).
Import, export, commerce and industry activities may take longer to be opened. Depending on the activity, it may take from 45 to 90 days, as they may need special licenses, such as RADAR (import/export license), CETESB (Environmental License), working permit, INMETRO (Quality and Technology Standards Verifying Agency), ANVISA (License to produce and trade products for human consumption), etc.
In addition, it will be necessary to have a tax address to obtain the CNPJ; and, for industry and Trade companies, a commercial address is also required.
After opening the company, you will need an accountant to run your monthly routines, which includes payroll, filing tax requirements, bookkeeping, etc., and to open a Bank Account. Opening a Bank Account to foreign owned companies in Brazil can be a very bureaucratic and time consuming process, taking up to 90 days to be fully operational.