Can a foreigner open a business in Brazil? How does it work?

Today’s post (written by our team at SRC Lawyers) is about this frequently asked question in a time of high mobility of people and companies: “can a foreigner open a startup / business in Brazil? How does it work?”.


Let’s start: Yes, a foreigner can open a business in Brazil. A foreigner can create or have shares in companies in Brazil, living there or not. But before that, he/she needs to be compliant with some requirements and also perform some paperwork. Please find below some of them:

a) Foreigner living in Brazil through an Investor Visa (permanente visa, obtention of a “RNE permanente”).

A foreign investor can pledge an investor visa in case he/she wants to have a permament residence in Brazil. The category of this visa is “permanent”.

The Foreigner will be asked to prove an investment of a minimum of R$ 150.000,00 (a hundred and fifty thousand reais) on the company (existing or new) that he/she intend to invest on, besides presenting an Investment Plan that proves the social interest of the investment.

The general rules of this type of Visa can be found at  Resolução Normativa nº 84 from the National Immigration Counsil.

b) Foreigner living in another country:

A foreigner can be partner or shareholder of a Brazilian company without living in Brazil. He/she will need to be registered in the Receita Federal (to get a CPF – a national identity document) and in the Central Bank of Brazil (Bacen) through the Registro Declaratório Eletrônico (RDE), besides mandatorily having an attorney-in-fact (also called agent) with specific powers. After that a foreigner will be able to invest in Brazilian companies.


Important to mention that Brazilian Law states a few prohibitions on foreign investimento on specific economic activities, such as investments in activities related to nuclear energy, health services, postal and telegraph services and aeroespacial industry.

There are also restrictions of the participation of the foreigner in financial institutions, mining sector, public air services, property and management of newspapers, magazines and other publishing vehicles, as well radio and television. 

Therefore if you want to open or invest in a startup in Brazil, check out the possibilities above and talk with a lawyer about the procedure for your specific case.

Hope this post is useful for you. If you liked itclick here to subscribe and receive the new posts by email.

This post was written by our team at SRC Lawyers.

See you soon!

Luiza Rezende
Business Lawyer specialized in Startups

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Foto: Syda Productions / CrayonStock