How to be Prepared for Business Etiquette in Brazil

Business dealings in Brazil can be much different from other countries. From business meeting etiquette to greetings, here are some things you should know to be prepared when doing business abroad.


Building relationships in Brazil is critical to correct business etiquette. That’s because Brazilians tend to be very social, with business meetings beginning and ending with small talk and chit chat. People use this informal conversation to build up relationships and establish rapport. In America, while there may be a few sentences of small talk, generally the concept is to get to business matters right away. Take more time in Brazilian business meetings to get to know your colleagues and clients.

Physical Proximity

Even in business situations, Brazilians tend to touch – you may feel a hand on your back or your arm, for instance, while talking business. Expect to make steady eye contact as part of the body language, too. Try not to feel uncomfortable or put-off. This is just how it’s done in Brazil.

Verbal Communication

Brazilians would rather engage in face-to-face conversation over written correspondence, email or text. To that end, expect to be held accountable for your verbal remarks, which may even trump written ones. Just be wary of what you say and what you promise. Brazilian communication is informal and peppered with interruption, which shows interest and enthusiasm, and therefore should not be taken the wrong way.


In the world of business agreements, Brazilians take their time for negotiations. Don’t expect a deal to come together quickly. They don’t like to rush. Instead, they will take the time to review all details completely before asking for legal contracts that they can sign.

Changing Teams

It’s a major no-no to change your negotiation team mid-way through business proceedings. This could make a deal fall apart, or at the very least break rapport. This is considered a breach of trust, so try to work things out within your own team before you ever consider switching things up.

Dress the Part

Brazilians consider appearance in a business setting very important. Dress equals rank, so make sure the business attire you choose accurately reflects your profession and position within your own company. It’s always better to dress more formally than informally, so if you are unsure, over-dress.

Meeting Times

Flexible punctuality: this is a phrase used to describe the business meeting schedules of Brazilians. Don’t expect everyone to show up on time. This can make it hard to schedule several meetings a day, with changes in scheduling fairly common. You should schedule meetings at least two weeks in advance. But don’t be surprised if someone cancels at the last minute.

Know the Language

The native language of the Brazilian people is Portuguese rather than Spanish. Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, but Brazilians don’t consider themselves Hispanic. Target your learning to the correct language, which is Brazilian Portuguese. Let BRIC Language Systems help you achieve fluency in this beautiful language!