Apex-Brasil is the official Brazilian agency for the promotion of exports and foreign investments to Brazil.
Apex-Brasil’s mission is to foster the competitiveness of Brazilian companies by promoting the internationalization of their business and the attraction of foreign direct investments (FDI).
The Agency focuses on investments that will contribute to the development of technological innovations and new business models, strengthen industrial supply chains, have a direct impact on national job creation and improve the volume and diversity of Brazilian exports.
Apex-Brasil has a qualified, client-oriented team, providing high quality and tailor-made services, able to adapt their scope and direction to meet the specific demands of investors. Thus, the Apex-Brasil's team is able to provide customized service for foreign companies, private equity/venture capital investors (LPs), Brazilian companies and startups.
The Apex-Brasil offers customized service to foreign companies aimed at establishing a productive investment in Brazil, in order to exploit the opportunities in the country. The Apex-Brasil supports these companies by providing information about the market and the business environment, the approach with agencies and public and private entities at federal, state and municipal level, identifying potential national partners and supporting the process of finding the location for the investment in Brazil.
The Investment Unit also supports venture capital investors in the identification of investment opportunities in Brazilian startups and established companies that can contribute to the development of national supply chains, enhance innovation and increase exports. Moreover, the Agency promotes local GPs abroad to raise funds from foreign institutional investors.
All services rendered by Apex-Brasil to companies and investors are free of charge.
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The Investments Unit of Apex-Brasil is located in its headquarters in Brasília, capital of Brazil. However, Apex-Brasil also operates 9 Business Offices strategically located at relevant global markets.
The Offices are located at key business destinations around the world:
- Africa (Luanda – Angola)
- North America (Miami – United States)
- North America 2 (San Francisco – United States)
- Latin America and the Caribbean (Havana – Cuba)
- Asia (Beijing – China)
- Western Europe (Brussels – Belgium)
- Eastern Europe (Moscow – Russia)
- Middle East (Dubai – United Arab Emirates)
- South America (Bogotá – Colombia)
Brazil has a robust, diversified and sophisticated industrial base, and the industries that are most outstanding within the country are: energy, metallurgy, agribusiness, food and beverages, automotive, consumer goods, chemicals, telecom and retail, among others. Services also account for a remarkable share of the Brazilian GDP.
Apex-Brasil prioritizes investment attraction for some strategic industries of the Brazilian economy (automotive, energy, life sciences, oil and gas, semiconductors, infrastructure, research and development), for being sectors that have high potential of development in the country. Other industries are also serviced by Apex, through investment facilitation.
Apex-Brasil maintains partnerships with several state government agencies dedicated to investment attraction and also industries associations and federations, and this makes it possible to Apex-Brasil to help investors build relationships not only with state governments but also with the industries present in each state.
Foreign companies interested in investing in Brazil benefit from numerous tax incentives granted by the Brazilian government at the municipal, state and federal level. Most incentives are granted upon the submission of a project indicating the minimum invested amount, addressing job creation and other relevant matters.
Apex-Brasil has relations with over 70 industry associations in Brazil, as well as with industries federations and, based on the profile of the company that seeks partners in Brazil, the identification of potential partnerships might be possible, as well as the organization of business agendas.
Brazilian law establishes equal treatment for domestic and foreign capital, with the exception of a few areas in which foreign investment is restricted or prohibited. Thus, a foreign company in Brazil must follow the national legal system, which is based on the Federal Constitution, in international treaties and conventions, laws and other infra-legal acts, as decrees, regulations and ordinances.
1) How can I open a business in Brazil being a foreigner?
A foreigner may be a member of a Brazilian company, but the legal representative of the company and the administrator must be Brazilian or a foreigner with permanent visa in order to represent the company before national authorities.
2) What are the most common types of companies in Brazil?
The main ways of constitution under Brazilian law are: Limited Liability Company (Ltda.), Corporation (SA), Single Company with Limited Liability (EIRELI). The law gives legal status to such companies upon registration with the Commercial Board or Civil Registry of Legal Entities, considering them as well, in law entities with assets separated from those of its partners and with different limits of liability.
3) Do I need a special visa to start a business?
Brazilian law provides seven categories of visa: transit, tourist, temporary, permanent, courtesy, official and diplomatic. To be legal representative, director or manager of a company, the foreigner needs a permanent visa. To apply for a permanent visa for director or manager, the company must demonstrate a minimum investment (R$150,000), which may be reduced if the company undertakes to create new jobs, during the years following the establishment of the company. Foreigners working in Brazil on a temporary basis for 4 years (regardless the fact of Brazilian or foreign company), may apply to convert their status to permanent visa.
The Brazilian Banking system is solid and offers many financing options for companies. The main reference for financing industrial and productive investment projects is the BNDES – National Social and Economic Development Bank – which has special financing lines for many industry segments.
According to the official superior education census carried out in 2013, there are 2,391 universities and colleges in Brazil, 5,4 million graduate students in Brazil, and 31,000 post-graduate students.
Technical schools and professional training centers are available all over the country, to provide technical skills to undergraduates, in order to give them the necessary qualification to take jobs in operational positions in the most diverse fields. The PRONATEC, launched by the Brazilian Government in 2011 is a Program to offer professional and technical courses free of charge to high school students and for those who wish to learn a technical profession.
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