- Be prepared to commit long term resources (both in time and money) toward establishing strong relationships in Brazil. This is the key to business success
When planning your trip, check for local vacations and holidays. The greatest official holiday in Brazil is the Carnaval, and it lasts five days
- Business hours normally begin between 8:30 and 9 in the morning, and end around 5pm. Lunch breaks are usually for one hour, midday but they sometimes last longer. It is not unusual to discuss business during lunch or dinner
- Business meetings should be set up about 2 weeks in advance. Call or e-mail to confirm a day before the meeting
- Try to set up appointments between 10 a.m. to noon, or 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Never show up a company or office without an appointment
- It’s normal for Brazilian to be 10-15 minutes late for a meeting. Be on time, but bring something to read while you wait
- Business appointments may occasionally be delayed or canceled without prior warning
- In formal situations handshakes are the most common form of greeting. When leaving a small group, be sure to shake hands with everyone
- In more informal situations women sometimes exchange kisses on either cheek, and men may briefly embrace.
- It is customary to exchange business cards at the first business meeting. Cards should be double sided printed in both Portuguese and English.
- If you are offered tea or coffee, don’t refuse, as this may be perceived as impolite
- Brazilians are as informal as they are hierarchical. First names are used often, but titles are also important. In formal situations, for superiors, use titles like (Mr./Mrs)In social situations it is customary to use first names
Doctors and lawyers are always called Doctor
The terms “Seu” (for men) and “Dona” (for women) are used with certain regularity
Bags should not be placed on the floor. It’s considered a sign of bad luck about money.
If you are invited to a Brazilian home, it is considered polite to send flowers to the hostess the next day, along with a thank-you note.
Don’t bring purple flowers, they are normally used at funerals. Violets, however, are OK.