Legal services in Brazil: find a good corporate legal firm

Anyone planning on starting a business in Brazil, or who is already active in Latin America’s largest economy, will need the support of a good corporate legal firm. This South American country is known for its sometimes convoluted red tape, with regulations imposed at the federal, regional, municipal, and local level, so finding a reliable provider of legal services in Brazil can be crucial to smoothly navigating the regulatory regime.

A BLH map of Brazil accompanying article on finding a good legal firm to provide legal services
A map of Brazil including some key cities

Nicknamed ‘The Giant of South America’ because of its enormous geographic and economic size, Brazil shares borders with every country in South America other than Chile and Ecuador.

The country registered a gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.44 trillion in 2020 — a notable drop on the $1.88 trillion reported the previous year, due to the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil is also the sixth-most populated country in the world, with a population of more than 212 million people in 2020, of which almost 88% lived in urban areas that year, according to Statista.

The GDP decline seen in 2020 saw a corresponding drop in gross national income (GNI) — a key marker of prosperity. However, the GNI figure of $7,850 per capita registered in 2020 still placed the country as an upper-middle income nation according World Bank classifications.

The country is home to a large emerging middle class, with its fast-growing professional services sector concentrated in major cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo — the latter also being Brazil’s manufacturing epicenter, as well as the most populous city in Latin America.

While most professionals will speak a degree of English, it is worth noting that the country sits in the mid-range of English proficiency among countries in the region, so if you don’t speak the official language of Portuguese, you will need to seek out legal services in Brazil from a legal firm with sufficienctly proficient speakers of English (or any other language that you are comfortable doing business in).

Brazil’s status as a major source of primary materials, including agricultural goods, minerals, and hydrocarbons, means that the country is a major hub for international trade. While its membership of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) provides resident businesses with preferential access to other members Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, as well as a wide range of major economies and economic blocs worldwide.

All of these factors contribute to Brazil being a popular destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), which stood at $69.2 billion in 2020 — the fourth-highest inflow registered globally. 

See Also: Business formation brazil

Some of the things to look into when choosing a legal firm in Brazil include:

Company reputation: You will want to work with a provider that has good reputation in the local market, which will have been built up by providing good services to past clients. You can get an idea of the reputation of a legal firm in Brazil by checking for comments posted online.

Industry knowledge: Depending on what type of business you are doing, you will likely want to seek out legal services from Brazil with some experience in that area, because such experience will allow them to anticipate likely obstacles that may arise.

International experience: For foreign investors, as well as finding a legal firm in Brazil with knowledge of their industry, you also ideally want to find a provider who has worked with overseas investors previously, so that common issues they face are also anticipated and dealt with effectively.

Easy communication: Should you intend to manage your affairs from outside the country, or in the event you will be traveling frequently, you will ideally find a provider of legal services in Brazil that uses online management tools, so that you can easily keep track of progress and communicate with them, even when operating in different timezones.

What will your provider offer?

When seeking out corporate legal services in Brazil, your chosen legal firm will be able to assist you in the following areas:

Stock image of people meeting representing the connections a legal firm or legal services provider in Brazil will be able to offer.
Your provider should have valuable connections

IP protection: Protecting your intellectual property (IP), be that a brand, product, or trademark, can be crucial to maintaining you competitive edge, and your chosen legal firm in Brazil will ideally have a proven history of dealing with IP protection.

Business connections: A well-established legal firm in Brazil will have good local connections that could prove useful to you during market entry and ongoing operations. That could be providers and partners you will work with or potential clients.

Expert advice: Regardless of what type of economic activity you will be engaged in, you will need a provider of legal services in Brazil to provide standard corporate legal support, such as company formation or due diligence. However, should you be entering a more specialized field that is governed by specific regulations, such as the mining or oil industries, you will need to seek out a legal firm in Brazil with experts in those areas on staff.

Tax management: Navigating the Brazilian taxation system effeciently takes experience, meaning that you will need to seek legal services in Brazil from a provider that has a good understanding of tax related matters related to the type of business you will be doing.

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated market entry and back-office services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with offices in 17 key cities around the region, including Sao Paulo.

As well as legal services, our portfolio includes accounting & taxation, company formation, due diligence, and hiring & PEO, meaning we can provide tailored packages of services to suit every need. Our unrivaled regional presence also means we are ideal parterns to support multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross-border operations.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you doing business in Brazil, or anywhere else where we operate.

If you found this article on legal services in Brazil of interest, check out the rest of our coverage of this massive South American market. Or read about our team and expert authors.

A Biz Latin Hub infographic of the key services provided including company formation, hiring & PEO, and legal services
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub

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