Sales Representative in Brazil

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
- Trading companies, public limited companies, listed on the Stock Exchange and registered with the Secretariat for Foreign Trade (SECEX), they manipulate large volumes of imports thanks to substantial financial capacities;
- empresas comerciais, limited liability companies, less expensive and more flexible, better adapted to lower volumes of imports or on the regional scale. In addition, it is essential to go through these importers-exporters to penetrate the retail sales market, and they take charge of distribution.
  • Main Actors
List of import-export companies.
  • Type of Organization
Importers are also wholesalers in accordance with Brazilian legislation.
  • Main Actors
Atacadão, a wholesaler bought by Carrefour in 2007.
Makro Atacadista S.A.
Association of wholesalers and distributors (ABAD)
Useful Resources
Useful information for exporters and foreign investors in Brazil
Association of wholesalers and distributors
Association of pharmaceutical product wholesalers

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
It is advisable to begin commercial operations through an agent or a distributor. Agency and representation agreements are governed by the law of 10 December 1965. An agent knows his area of activity, his potential customers, his town and/or his region well. Less expensive than going through a trading company.
Where to Be Vigilant
A single agent cannot cover the whole country. In spite of considerable progress made at the level of domestic transport and communications, the regional orientation of the economy continues to be important. In function of the company's objectives, it would be interesting to have at least one agent in each of the two main centers of activity that are Rio and Sao Paulo. Agents are not always specialized in one type of product. You should get prior information about your contact.
Elements of Motivation
The agent has exclusivity for the distribution of the product once he has proved his sales capacities in the area concerned.
The Average Amount of Commission
Commission on the volume of sales is negotiated between the two parties. It is better to go through a bank which pays the income from sales to the exporter and commission to the agent.
Breach of Contract
The content and the extension of the agent's work must be specified in the contract. This cannot be broken unless there is a professional fault or the two parties request it.
Finding a Commercial Agent
French Chamber of Commerce in Brazil
Association of distributors and wholesalers, State of São Paulo
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Brazil on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
The company's physical presence in Brazil is an essential element given that business relations are based on personal contact and mutual confidence.
Where to Be Vigilant
Be careful of fiscal declarations and the legal constitution of your company; the initial formalities can be long and complex. The advice of a local lawyer is not superfluous.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
It is relatively easy to set up a representative office to make the first contacts on the ground. If the office is to be responsible for importing, it must be formed into an "empresa comercial" (commercial company).
  • A Branch Office
There are no major legal obstacles to setting up a branch office in Brazil. It will be considered as a local company in the eyes of the fiscal authorities.
  • A Company
The forming of a company in Brazil, as a corporation (anonimas) or limited liability company (limitada) is more complex and all participating foreign capital must be registered with the Central Bank.


Evolution of the Sector
Franchise stores represent about 25% of retail turnover. Brazilian franchises dominate 90% of the market, but foreign names are beginning to appear. It is important to adapt a foreign name to the Brazilian context. At the legal level, a specific form is required for any official franchise offer, called "Circular de Oferta de Franquia", and which must contain a certain amount of information concerning the company's financial health and the settlement of legal disputes. The main sectors where franchises have developed are catering, language courses and body care centers.
Some Big Franchises
Habib's , Fast-food
O Boticario , body care and products
Kumon , language and mathematics courses
Wizard, English courses
For Further Information
Buying, selling, setting up a franchise
Brazilian franchise association

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
Association of foreign trade companies
Find more on about Selling to Brazil.

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