Brazil is a country that is a haven for start-ups. It is estimated that close to 85% of all businesses in the country are small to medium sized enterprises. So, what does an aspiring entrepreneur need to know about Brazil?

E-Commerce
There are over 180 million people in Brazil and 44% of them are online. Social networks are exceptionally popular with Brazil’s internet users as is online shopping. So if your business is socially engaged and knows how to advertise online you have an established and enthusiastic audience waiting to be tapped.
PPC advertising is very cheap in Brazil and the average cost per click for businesses is $0.18. When you compare this to countries such as Australia at $0.95 or the UK at $0.59 the difference in price is startling. Advertising on social media is also relatively cheap in Brazil with ads on Facebook costing as little as four or five cents per click.
If you are selling a product then it is worth bearing in mind that paying in interest free instalments is popular in Brazil. Locals will often decide to purchase something based on their monthly/weekly budget and offering these kinds of payment options will have a big say in whether you are successful or not.

Taxes and Interest Rates
Taxes for small businesses in Brazil are quite low (16-20%) and dividends are tax free. Brazil is also about to introduce further tax breaks for businesses that are involved in television and mobile internet in an effort to further expand the countries communications network. That said, the tax system is quite complex, and financial penalties for tax fraud are quite severe, so you will most likely need a local accountant to do your paper work. Interest rates for short term loans are also quite high so this is something to be wary of.

The Language
If you are selling a product to Brazilian people it is important that you are fluent in Portuguese or have associates who are. You will find there are a lot of people who speak English in Brazil but Portuguese is always preferred and more importantly trusted. Any contact you have with customers and clients will be expected to be in Portuguese. If you are a web based business this, of course, means your website will also need to be in Portuguese and it is important that you get someone fluent in the language to write or translate your site; computer translations will be easily spotted and will make your site seem untrustworthy. Would you buy anything from a website in poorly written English?

Where to Set Up
Sao Paulo is the most business orientated city in Brazil with Rio de Janeiro close behind. More than a quarter of Brazils entire population live in Sao Paulo or Rio; so if you are wanting to achieve maximum exposure for your business then either of these cities would make an ideal base.

Getting There and Setting Up
A tourist visa will entitle you to stay in Brazil for up to a year but special business visas allow stays of up to five years. When you begin to set up in Brazil you may notice that things move a little slowly and it may take up to two months for your business to cut through all the bureaucratic red tape and open.
Brazil loves small businesses and all the resources needed for an intelligent and capable entrepreneur are available. There really hasn’t been a better time to invest in Brazil.

[box_light]Kevin Ball is a writer who works in marketing. He works on behalf of a number of small businesses and believes that businesses can flourish anywhere if they know their market.[/box_light]