Mirjam Wolfrum Access to an Emerging Market - Starting Research in Brazil
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By Mirjam Wolfrum


Latin American business information specialist Mirjam Wolfrum provides a starting point for conducting research on companies, economic data and industries in Brazil. She also highlights some of the challenges such as the importance of local language (Portuguese) and local researchers. 


When conducting research in Brazil you need to know the main information providers and the country's regulations on access to information. 

This blog helps you to understand what kind of information is obtainable from English sources and when you should consider involving a local partner or a Portuguese-speaking information expert.


Take Note of Decentralised Structures

Brazil is a federation with a strong governing authority for each state. Although the country's National Statistics Office publishes data on the main economic activities, be aware that a lot of information, especially on local or regional policies, regulations, taxes, statistics, reports and more will be available only on state level and often only in Portuguese.

Brazil's business and information structures can therefore be difficult to navigate. The good news is that there is a law on the right to information regarding government information.


Company Information

Accessibility of company information depends on the size and type of the firm. 

Large companies usually provide information in English. Financial information on companies listed on the stock market is easily obtainable as well. 

For information on any company, especially when it comes to SMEs, the commercial registers (Juntas Comerciaisare excellent starting points for your research. But there are four problems: 

  • All this information is only available in Portuguese
  • You need to find out in which state the organisation you are looking for is located
  • There is no interface to facilitate nationwide research on companies, which means that you need to go to the commercial register of the corresponding state and deal with different layouts and search options
  • You need to login with a Brazilian tax number (CPF).  

The most common types of SME in Brazil are:

Portuguese name

 English name

Possible structures

Empresário Individual

Sole Proprietorship

- Micro-entrepreneur

- Microenterprise (ME: Microempresa)

- Small business (EPP: Empresa de Pequeno Porte)

- Regular company (Empresa normal)

EIRELI: Empresa Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada

Individual Entrepreneur with Limited Liability 

- Microenterprise

- Small business

- Regular company

Sociedade empresária limitada

LLC: Limited Liability Company

- Microenterprise

- Small business

- Regular company

They all have to register with the commercial register of their state, except for one, the solo micro-entrepreneur.


Find Out More

If you are interested in Brazilian business information, resources for economic and company data, the subscription article "Insider Knowledge - Researching Brazil" will provide you with important facts about the country's business and information structures, main industries, cultural differences and pitfalls, and with the key information sources to successfully start researching Brazil.   

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