Posted by: changholt | May 11, 2010

Brazil “Dos” and “Don’ts”

In international business adapting to local customs is essential in order to succeed. My cultural expertise comes from my experience in Asia and China specifically (nothing like making tons of mistakes over 15 years to learn a fen things). However, I am not as experienced at doing business in Brazil, and I am planning to visit our Brazil operations next week. During our preparations the HSI team put together a few helpful hints when doing business in Brazil (dos and don’ts):


•Separate meetings to finalize Brazilian negotiations.  

•Demonstrating strong character and enjoyable personality.

•Develop a personal relationship before getting to business.

•Prepare business cards in both English and Portuguese.

•Expect informal and slow pace to Brazilian business affairs, despite a very formal meeting.

•Begin with “small talk,” an important element to the Brazilian business protocol.

•Make decisions based on the particulars of the unique situation.

•Prepare to address the big picture

•Prepare good visuals for any presentation.

•Be positive during Brazilian business negotiations.


•Don’t expect one productive meeting will be enough to finalize any agreement.

•Don’t attempt to build relationships in business negotiations which are considered to be arrogant and untrustworthy.

•Avoid making changes to your negotiating team.

•Don’t discuss about personal lives

•Avoid making decisions relied on externally determined guidelines.

•Avoid focusing on individual details of the business proposal. 

•Avoid confronting a Brazilian negotiator

•Don’t leave as soon as a meeting is completed!

•Do not be alarmed if Brazilians only offer their word or a handshake to initially finalize an agreement.

I hope these hints help you as much as they always help me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: