Good entrepreneurs know that great business opportunities can be found anywhere and the most ambitious will travel or innovate to get into markets that might not necessarily be local to them. With this in mind, it is no surprise that many people are looking to the small business mecca that is Brazil for their start-up ventures.

Brazil and the Small Business

The Brazilian economy has been steadily growing for the last few years and part of the reason for that is a thriving small business community. Small to medium sized enterprises make up 85% of all businesses in Brazil, which may come as a surprise to people who wholly associate Brazilian business with massive corporate industries like gas or drilling. So why are small businesses flourishing?

Low Taxes

The tax system in Brazil is complicated and you will almost definitely need to hire a local accountant to sort yourself out; that is the bad news. The good news is that the effort is worth it because, when you are settled, you can reap the benefits of some incredibly low small business taxes; think around 16-20% annually not including tax free dividends.

Affordable Online Advertising

PPC (Pay Per Click) is very cheap in Brazil with the average CPC (Cost per Click) coming in at around USD $0.18. When you compare this to Australia at USD $0.95, Canada USD $0.59 or the United Kingdom USD $0.75 you can see the savings that can be made. Advertising on social media is cheap too. Facebook adverts can cost as little as 5 US cents a click.


There are 180 million people in Brazil and more than 40% of them are online. The Brazilian people have really embraced social media and e-commerce, so combine this with the fact that online advertising is incredibly affordable and you have great potential in Brazil for an online venture.

It is important to know a few things about Brazilian web culture though. If you are selling a product to Brazilian consumers then you must be aware that your website will need to be in fluent, not computer translated, Portuguese if it is to be trusted.  Also, Brazilians are accustomed to interest free payment plans and often make large purchases based on their monthly budget as opposed to what funds they have available in their savings or on their credit cards.

Linked-In is massively popular in the Brazilian SME community so I would recommend scouring the profiles of businesses in a similar niche to your start-up to get some pointers.

Where to Set Up

When it comes to Brazil and business there are, really, only two places you should be considering: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo is Brazil’s business hub and this is where most head offices are located. That said, Rio also has a thriving small business community and is perhaps the more tourist friendly of the two major cities. Rio also has the advantage of being located on the coast. So consider who your business will appeal to before picking a location.

Brazil is a country that is growing in international stature and economic clout and this is making it crammed full of opportunity for entrepreneurs who can spot a gap in the market. If you think you have an idea that will work in this sun drenched and beautiful country then there has never been a better time to set up in Brazil.

Kevin Ball is a writer who works on behalf of a number of small businesses. He believes that all small businesses are unique and that no “one-size-fits-all” advice exists. Kevin has most recently been writing for Sunset Visitor an independent travel site focused on Brazil.