Brazil is a fascinating country and will be hosting the football World Cup next year. Its resources include gold, nickel tin, oil and timber; and it’s the biggest and most populous country in Latin America, so there are plenty of opportunities to do business in Brazil.
The official language is Portuguese. However, the Portuguese language used in Brazil does differ from the European Portuguese, therefore, when translating your documents you need to ensure to use a Brazilian Portuguese translator to do the work. Apart from Portuguese, there are over 230 languages identified in Brazil, but unfortunately over 40 are now extinct. The second most widely used language in Brazil is German and there can be found entire German-speaking enclaves throughout the country.
The Brazilians value the personal relationship very highly and they perceive business deals as deals between people, rather than between companies. Therefore, it is crucial to establish strong personal relationships and don’t change the team members during the early stages of the cooperation as creating new personal bonds might delay sealing the deal.
If you are booking a meeting the best time to schedule it in is for 10am. This way it’s likely to run into lunch, and it is important to host a good meal with Brazilian prospects as part of building a relationship. However, business is usually not discussed during the meal, at least not until the coffee is served.
It needs to be noted that punctuality is not their virtue, so do expect waiting for your Brazilian counterpart. Also, before you commit to a trip it is advised that you hire a Brazilian contact, called a despachante in Portuguese, specialising in your industry who will be able to facilitate the initial introductions. In addition, a local accountant or notario (similar to a lawyer) will be of great help in sorting out the contracts as Brazilians might perceive external lawyers as negative sign.
Interestingly Brazilians communicate at a very close proximity. During conversations they tend to stand really close to each other, and may actually keep in physical contact by touching shoulders, arms or hands. This is in their nature as being friendly and outgoing, so try not to back away during conversations but engage with them. It is also polite to shake hands with everyone in the group upon arrival as well as upon departure.
If you are planning on doing business in Brazil, we would love to help with your Portuguese translations. We have a team of Brazilian Portuguese translators specialising in many industries who can translate all your marketing collateral and any legal or technical documents into Portuguese.