Business Practices in Brazil

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The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
However relaxed business relations may seem, they are in fact very sophisticated. Plan to spend time and patience as well as personal investment. Personal contact is valued.
First Contact
The first contact may be initiated by letter followed by a telephone call. Businessmen generally have a secretary. It is recommended that you renew your calls to get in touch with your contact in person. A meeting should often be set up several weeks ahead and confirmed in writing a few days before.
Men shake hands, women sometimes kiss each other on the cheek. A woman should hold out her hand first if she wants to shake hands with a man. Relations become friendly very quickly and physical contact is common. Embracing is a normal form of greeting between people who know each other well.
How to Present Yourself
It is advisable to speak a little Portuguese, or to be accompanied by an interpreter. The first contact is relatively formal and it is usual to employ distinctive titles (Senhor, Doutor, Engenhero) according to age and qualifications. It is better to find out information about the person before meeting them so that you know how to address them.
Business Relations
Business relations are above all human relations. It is important to know your contact before negotiations start. Good understanding and mutual confidence are valued. The borderline between personal and professional relations is rather hazy.
Recommended in personal relations, for example when you are invited to dinner, but not at a professional meeting. Flowers are always welcome, and a gift will be opened at once.
Business Communication
Negotiations are generally in Portuguese. Take the time to get to know one another before dealing with business. It is better to let your contact bring up the subject and use local lawyers and consultants if necessary. Negotiations can be long and meticulous, and the final decision will be taken by the person highest in the hierarchy.
Dress Code
Dress is important: men's clothes plain and elegant; women elegant and feminine, and preferably well-manicured.
Visiting Cards
Visiting cards are exchanged at the first meeting (preferably in Portuguese or bilingual).
For Further Information
Main recommendations and codes of business relations

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