Brazil Best Asset & Business Protocol

An Expert's View about Business Practices in Brazil

Posted on: 26 Apr 2012

For a long time now, Brazil’s natural beauty and Carnival rendered it international fame, attracting thousands of tourists all year long. But there is a very special attraction that you only discover when you are there: the Brazilian people. Much beyond the breathtaking scenery, the way these people live surprises everyone with its simplicity, willingness, hope, hospitality and happiness.
 

Studies carried out by Embratur indicate that 75% of the tourists who seek Brazil as their vacation destination do so first of all because of the natural beauty. But once they arrive here, they find such hospitality that they soon become enchanted with the mixture of colors, races and cultures of the people as well.

According to surveys, when foreign tourists are questioned about Brazil, they indicate happiness as the main characteristic of our people. Happiness that can be perceived in every moment they stay in the country – whether in our music, the warmth of our northeastern beaches, the lively Rio de Janeiro nightlife or the exuberant Amazon.

Now...a little about Business Etiquette and Protocol in Brazil

Relationships & Communication

. Brazilians need to know who they are doing business with before they can work effectively.
. Brazilians prefer face-to-face meetings to written communication as it allows them to know the person with whom they are doing business.
. The individual they deal with is more important than the company.
. Since this is a group culture, it is important that you do not do anything to embarrass a Brazilian. (continue here)


Business Etiquette and Protocol in Brazil

Relationships & Communication

. Brazilians need to know who they are doing business with before they can work effectively.. Brazilians prefer face-to-face meetings to written communication as it allows them to know the person with whom they are doing business.
. The individual they deal with is more important than the company.
. Since this is a group culture, it is important that you do not do anything to embarrass a Brazilian.
. Criticizing an individual causes that person to lose face with the others in the meeting.
. The person making the criticism also loses face, as they have disobeyed the unwritten rule.
. Communication is often informal and does not rely on strict rules of protocol. Anyone who feels they have something to say will generally add their opinion.
. It is considered acceptable to interrupt someone who is speaking.
. Face-to-face, oral communication is preferred over written communication. At the same time, when it comes to business agreements, Brazilians insist on drawing up detailed legal contracts.

Business Negotiation

. Expect questions about your company since Brazilians are more comfortable doing business with people and companies they know.
. Wait for your Brazilian colleagues to raise the business subject. Never rush the relationship- building time.
. Brazilians take time when negotiating. Do not rush them or appear impatient.
. Expect a great deal of time to be spent reviewing details.
. Often the people you negotiate with will not have decision-making authority.
. It is advisable to hire a translator if your Portuguese is not fluent.
. Use local lawyers and accountants for negotiations. Brazilians resent an outside legal presence.
. Brazilian business is hierarchical. Decisions are made by the highest-ranking person.
. Brazilians negotiate with people not companies. Do not change your negotiating team or you may have to start over from the beginning.

Business Meeting Etiquette

. Business appointments are required and can often be scheduled on short notice; however, it is best to make them 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
. Confirm the meeting in writing. It is not uncommon for appointments to be cancelled or changed at the last minute.
. In Sao Paulo and Brasilia it is important to arrive on time for meetings. In Rio de Janeiro and other cities it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes late for a meeting.
. Do not appear impatient if you are kept waiting. Brazilians see time as something outside their control and the demands of relationships takes precedence over adhering to a strict schedule.
. Meetings are generally rather informal.
. Expect to be interrupted while you are speaking or making a presentation.. Avoid confrontations. Do not appear frustrated with your Brazilian colleagues.

Dress Etiquette

. Brazilians pride themselves on dressing well.
. Men should wear conservative, dark coloured business suits. Three-piece suits typically indicate that someone is an executive.
. Women should wear suits or dresses that are elegant and feminine with good quality accessories. Manicures are expected.

Business Cards

. Business cards are exchanged during introductions with everyone at a meeting.
. It is advisable, although not required, to have the other side of your business card translated into Portuguese.
. Present your business card with the Portuguese side facing the recipient.

Useful information and links about Brazil

* Currency - the currency of Brazil is known as the Real (BRL). Use the free currency converter to compare to dollars, GBP or Euro.
* Weather - visit Yahoo!'s up to date Weather for Brazil.
* Dialling Code - the international dialling code for Brazil is +55.
* Time - Brazil is -3 hours GMT. Get the time in Brazil now.


Posted: 26 April 2012

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