As the largest country in South America, Brazil has strong economic power. That being said, starting a business in Brazil as a foreigner would be a pretty good idea.

Registering a business in Brazil can be time-consuming and bureaucratic. There are several steps to complete in different locations with different documentation. 

There are a few steps to take to legally register a business with the Brazil Corporate Registry Office.

These steps include:

  1. Submit the proper identification and documentation
  2. Obtain NIRE
  3. Complete National Register of Legal Entities (CNPJ) registration
  4. Get a business license 
  5. Register at the State Finance Secretariat 
  6. Register with Social Security
  7. Get authorization to print invoices and authentication of tax books
Hasan Minhaj saying, "Bro I got you." This gif is to highlight that Colibri is here to walk you through the process of registering a business in Brazil.

 Keep reading to learn how you can successfully register your business in Brazil in just a few steps!

What is the Brazil Corporate Registry Office?

You may be wondering what the Brazil corporate registry office is. Ultimately, this is where you would submit documents regarding your business. 

Things to Consider

There are quite a few general obstacles you could face while establishing a business in Brazil. The nation still has room to improve when it comes to business registration.

Because Brazil is still a developing nation some parts of the economy are still underdeveloped. The level of bureaucracy involved means that it can take 11 procedures and about 90 days of work to actually start a business in Brazil. 

Not to mention the government is fighting corruption which has been an outstanding problem. 

As expected when setting up a business in a foreign country, there will be some red tape to work through.

Registering with the Public Authorities

It is good to be aware that businesses have to be registered:

  • In the municipality where the company will operate 
  • In the state where the company will operate
  • The Federal Revenue Service
  • With the Social Security

With that being said, here are 7 steps to legally register your business in Brazil as a foreigner.

Step 1: Identification and Documentation

Necessary documents at this stage consist of personal documents like:

  • ID of the partners
  • Taxpayers ID
  • A standard application
  • The National Registration Form (model 1 and 2)
  • The Articles of Incorporation
  • Fee payments

The Articles of Incorporation need to detail: the entity name, business address, any shareholders, capital, company goal, company name, and the administrator of the company who must be a resident of Brazil.

Step 2: Obtain NIRE

After Step 1, you can now get the Company Registration Identification Number (NIRE) from the Board of Trade.

The only documents you’ll need are:

  • The Articles of Association
  • Personal documentation for the partners

Next, you’ll need to register for CNPJ!

Step 3: Register for CNPJ

The NIRE allows you to register for the National Register of Legal Entities (CNPJ).

CNPJ issues an identification number by the Federal Revenue Bureau to Brazil companies. This is how you’re identified as a taxpayer by the government.

Step 4: Get a Business License 

After that registration is complete, you can get a Brazil business license in the municipality. A business license permits for establishing and operating of associations or service providers in connection to corporations.

Documents you’ll need are: 

  • the approved company address
  • a copy of the Articles of Inspection
  • a survey report done by an inspection agency
  • the municipality form
  • a copy of the CNPJ

After this step, get ready for more registrations!

Step 5: Register at the State Finance Secretariat 

Once the license is obtained, the business must be registered at the State Finance Secretariat. This is mandatory for businesses in sectors of commerce, industry, and inter-municipal and interstate transport services. 

Again you’ll need documentation, including:

  • Single Registration Document (DUC) form, in triplicate
  • DCC form, one copy
  • Proof of address of the holders, certified copy or original
  • Certified copy of a document proving the right to use the business property, such as a leasing contract or deed of property
  • Number of the tax accountant’s registration
  • Proof of the Service Tax (ISS) contributor to the service providers
  • Articles of Incorporation, one copy
  • Copy of the CNPJ
  • Copy of the business license 
  • ID and CPF of the holders

Now that you’ve registered at the State Finance Secretariat, there is one last place you must register at.

Step 6: Register with Social Security

Then it is required for you to register with Social Security within 30 days, even if there are no employees hired at the time.

Step 7: Get Final Authorizations

Lastly, you’ll need authorization to print invoices and authenticate tax books. Once permission is granted, your company can be up and running!

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