Business Etiquette and Protocol in Brazil

Business Etiquette and Protocol in Brazil

Relationships & CommunicationDoing business etiquette Brazil

. 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.