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Successfully doing business in Brazil

Successfully doing business in Brazil
For many entrepreneurs, it seems like a good step: doing business in Brazil! But how do you get there? How do you do business? What are the chances of entrepreneurs? How do I proceed and on what should I pay attention? These are all questions that you should ask yourself to be successful in this immense country, which is larger than Europe and more than 200 million inhabitants. As co-founder of FCN Brazil and with my years of business experience with my company Vreugdenhil Consultancy & Yachts I like to help you out and I’ll connect you with reliable Brazilian parties.

Beginners Mistakes
Many entrepreneurs come to Brazil with the idea to score an order here fast, but doing business with Brazilians takes time, lots of time! You need to have patience here before you do business; this is a big cultural difference from Netherlands for example. In the Netherlands we can reach agreement on a couple of appointments. In Brazil, depending on the product or service, they want to build a personal relationship first and get to know the person. So it’s still not about how good your product / service is. for some reason, if a Brazilian do not like you, the door remains to be closed. Also, the business sense for a Brazilian to just say ‘no’ and then continues to beat around the bush. This is in contrast to the Dutch people who focussing just on their target and being direct (which can be considered as rude) and will take the relationship for granted.

So it is very important to build up a relationship and if you intend to do so, from out of your own country, there will be a lot of business trips should be made. The remotely try to strengthen

the relationship (mail, Skype, phone, fax, letter, etc.) is not the best and effective way. It will be really whether to appoint a delegate in Brazil which you can trust. This may take some time too but will be much more efficient eventually. These are rookie mistakes that many foreign companies ignored, but this does not mean that you will have success here, on the contrary! Many companies have great potential here if they follow the right way! Also, another important detail: Brazilians generally speak no English, 95% of the entire population speaks purely Portuguese. Trying to communicate with Spanish, which is an insult to them.

The road to success
If you learn from the beginner’s mistakes and you realize how business is done here, you have a lot of chance to have success in Brazil and you will see your turnover growing. Also, it is very important to build up a network and to get into contact with the right people. There exists in Brazil no “short-cuts” that would accelerate through devious ways, in turn or trying to circumvent the law. The road to success is best to approach with a good solid plan market and first to do good research.

The law in Brazil is not like other laws in the world
It sounds simple, but many visiting business owners wonder why the law matters are regulated in a way it is sometimes very difficult to understand for foreigners. Opening a business for example, takes about two months, opening an account can sometimes take much longer to complete the final structure. Why is that? It is better not to ask, because Brazil is just working this way! It is best to just accept this because everyone has to deal with it here. Besides, the tax system in Brazil is one of the most difficult to understand, even the auditors of reputable companies can not keep up-to-date.

Opportunities for Dutch quality
Now let’s look at the positive side of this South American country. Brazil is a growing market with a population what consumes a lot and getting more and more interested in quality products. People are positive naturally and are very friendly. As a foreigner, you have added value if you say you’re from Europe. The Netherlands have a good reputation and you easily feel very welcome. The first contacts can also quite easily make with this background.

Because Brazil has lived under a military regime for a long time and could be up to 20 years back that no products could be imported from other countries, the country was in isolation in terms of product development, technology and innovation. The products manufactured here demonstrated quite inadequate in terms of quality. Now it is still the case that there is a big import duty is levied on imports. But this does not mean that there is a demand for quality, in fact, a Brazilian thinks he can afford this quality and will purchase it at whatever price is. Maybe that’s why the word importada (Translation. import product) is equal to the words as a luxury and lifestyle. This means that when a product or service is missing in the Brazilian market or it has a terrible quality, there are opportunities for foreign companies. The prices of products are very high in Brazil, especially the prices of articles that have more quality and luxury, you can suddenly compete with the imported products once local prices. So you have to see this from the Brazilian perspective.

Next step
You now probably think: good story, but how do I proceed? Who can I go now, and who can I trust? As Co-founder FCN Brazil and with years of experience with my Vreugdenhil Consultancy Group in Brazil, it is my pleasure to connect you with the right companies and individuals. Our mastery of the language is an absolute advantage. We have been helping a lot of Dutch parties (including FCN members) in the Brazilian market. Besides Vreugdenhil Consultancy has assisted several other foreign companies. Vreugdenhil Consultancy has experience in organizing missions (including the trade mission in 2012 with the Royal Dutch King and Queen) and not for nothing Merlin Melles has set up with Vreugdenhil FCN in Brazil.

We have built up a huge network, for many sectors we have the right knowledge, can provide market research and are representing businesses and make custom made programs for visits.

If you have already a Brazilian establishment and you would like to be listed on the Brazilian site of fCN or you want to connect us with your business partners in Brazil, please directly contact Robert: tel +551196455 6000 or

The next year there will be organize trade missions, networking events and mini-events by fCN. If you are interested and want to learn more, please send an email to or visit our website: FCN / Of course you can also contact the FCN secretariat in Amsterdam for more information.