Counsel on Doing Business in Brazil

“It doesn’t work that way in Brazil” or “Brazil is complicated, you wouldn’t understand” – do these sound familiar?

Make no mistake, business in Brazil can be time and labour intensive, and subject to its own brand of bureaucracy, but it is by no means impossible or beyond the grasp of foreigners.

Unfortunately, we have encountered many specialist business advisors to foreign companies who prefer to obfuscate rather than demystify and educate.

As an agency, we like to take the opposite view.

The basic tenets of establishing a presence in Brazil will be obvious to any business owner—although in our experience, a good accountant is more important that an expensive international lawyer— but it is the softer side of business that is perhaps harder to master from beyond Brazil’s borders, particularly when conducted in a second language.

When setting up Sherlock Communications, we inevitably made our own series of mistakes – but we like to think that we made these mistakes so that our clients don’t have to.

So much of doing business in Brazil is the relationships you establish along the way. We take pride in our own network of trusted partners and advisors, and frequently support our clients in ways far beyond a basic public relations or marketing remit.

The concept of the ‘jeitinho brasilerio’ (loosely translated as ‘the Brazilian way of doing things’) may be unfamiliar to foreign companies but is an everyday reality for businesses on the ground. At its best the term essentially describes a form of creative problem solving, born of Brazil’s uniquely bureaucratic and often shifting regulatory environment.

Almost all examples of positive ‘jeitinhos’ in business relate to providing collaborative (often ingenious) solutions to cumbersome process or timeliness by working together with trusted contacts.

In the course of work with our clients, we have been asked for advice and, through our partners, provided solutions to a far wider range of problems than simple public relations challenges – everything from visas, introductions to trade associations through to security, accommodation and transport for visiting executives.

Brazil can occasionally present unfamiliar challenges, but it is a mistake to think you are the first company to have faced them. Working closely with clients, we are happy to provide creative solutions to whatever problems you might face.

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