Business Etiquette In Brazil

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By Dzhingarov

There are so many things that are not properly understood when referring to business etiquette in Brazil. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as you may believe at first glance. For instance, did you know that you should not expect to do any business around the Carnival Week or around national holidays? Never assume you will be able to do business in February since that will not be possible. The exact same thing is true when referring to New Year and Christmas. Always know as much as possible about local customs. Did you know that the official language in Brazil is not Brazilian? It is Portuguese! If you did not know this, you have a lot to learn!

businessmen handshake after good deal in front of brazil flag


Titles are important and first names have to be used. You need to expect a firm handshake that is longer than what you may be used with and eye contact is usually strong. Both women and men greet women with kisses on both cheeks. When you leave, you have to kiss and shake hands again.

Negotiation Etiquette

A lot of time will be spent reviewing details. Those that you usually negotiate with do not have the authority to make decisions. Brazilian business stands out as hierarchical and only the highest ranking individual will make a decision. The negotiation will be done with people so you should never change the negotiation team.

The good news is that Brazilians are adaptable and flexible. In most situations the aspect is put on short-term results and improvisation. Price stands out at a key factor to make any decision, although quality is a concern. Try to learn all that you can about a potential business partner and the culture that surrounds the area where business will be done since all will have an impact on negotiations.

Also Read:  Business Etiquette in China

Relationship Building

In Brazil, relationships are really important. This does vary based on background and regions but for some businessmen it is of upmost importance to have a strong relationship for business to flow. In most situations you will want to create a transparent, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The standard European direct negotiation methods will not be great in Brazil.

It is great if you can learn Portuguese, at least the basics. It is not a problem if you have an interpreter but you should opt for those that are briefed before the meeting so they can properly push towards your goal. Remember that Brazilians are highly patriotic.