Setting up as a Sole Trader or Small Business in Brazil

Information about the requirements and processes involved when registering as a small business owner in Brazil...

July 2009 saw the introduction of a new status, known as the Empreendedor Individual (Individual Entrepreneur, EI), which simplifies the process of registering and running the smallest businesses.

The Empreendedor Individual is a person who works independently and is legalized as a small business. To be an Individual Entrepreneur, the following must apply:

  • Not earn more than R$60,000 per year
  • Have no participation with another business in the form of associate or main title-holder
  • Foreigners must have an RNE or two year amnesty visa

Among the advantages offered by being an Individual Entrepreneur are:

  • Registration with the National Register of Legal Entities, Cadastro Nacional de Pessoa Juridica (CNPJ)
  • The ability to open a bank account and request loans and to issue receipts for services rendered or goods sold (only necessary when the services rendered or goods were sold to another business (pessoa juridical)

Basic Requirements

To enroll as an Individual Entrepreneur, activities should be exercised in one of the following categories:

  1. Trade in general.
  2. Industry/services in certain business sectors.

Trade examples include: street vendor, laundry, beauty salon, artisan, dressmaker, key cutting, event/party planner, plumber, tire fitter, welder, passenger transport, travel agency, and countless others.

Service examples include: Day care crèche services, pre-school and elementary school, technical school, professional teacher, teacher of foreign languages, arts, technical or managerial subjects and free schools; third party mail services; travel agency and tourism; schools for drivers and drivers of passenger vehicles or transport.

Note: It is important to check with SEBRAE if it is possible for an activity to be registered.

  • To find a SEBRAE office: Click here (in Portuguese)