Getting Your Paperwork Right
Foreigners entering the Brazilian startup market will need an investor visa issued by the Brazilian Ministry of Labor. This requires a minimum investment of between R$500,000 (US$97,000) and R$800,000 (US$156,000), or, if the investment is connected to technology or research areas, around R$150,000 (US$29,000). When the Ministry approves your investment plan and you are able to prove your financial means, you’ll be eligible for a permanent visa (also known as a VIPER). The visa will be reassessed in the third year.
Taxwise, entrepreneurs will need Brazilian tax identification numbers: a CNPJ (Cadastro Nacional de Pessoas Jurídicas) for companies or a CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas) for individuals. CPFs can be done online at the Receita Federal (Brazilian Revenue Service) website (servicos.receita.fazenda.gov.br), but CNPJs will require the support of an accountant. If you become a tax resident, you are subject to personal income tax – progressive rates up to 27.5% for monthly income over R$4,500 (US$900) on your worldwide income. Nonresidents are only taxed on Brazilian-sourced income. Bear in mind that Brazil has one of the most complex tax systems in the world, and companies pay municipal, state and federal taxes. The support of a great accountant is crucial to get your company started following the right criteria.