Business Etiquette in Brazil

by | Oct 11, 2010

Business Etiquette in Brazil

    1. It is extremely impolite to get right down to business.
    2. Proper greetings and sufficient time spent on small talk sets up the right atmosphere.
    3. The use of language is critical (The formal Senhor and the informal Voce). Getting a feel for being friendly and familiar without being pushy or disrespectful is one of the more challenging instincts one has to develop.
    4. As for greetings you will probably have to deal only with handshakes, but be open and watch for cues. If a woman is leaning toward you, follow through with a light kiss on the cheek don’t pull away. If while shaking hands with a man, he is leaning in or pulling you toward him follow through with an “abraco” or hug.
    5. When writing faxes, letters or emails, always use the person’s title and both last names.
    6. Avoid criticism. Shy away from anything that can be constructed as critical. Brazilians know about poverty, their lack of a true democracy and corruption, and they don’t need people pushing it in their faces. It’s okay for them to criticize things, but not okay for outsiders to do.
    7.Courtesy titles are allimportant in Brazil. These titles are a sign of respect. The usage of the titles is very simple use it . They like to title and they wear it. Doctor is the one that they use more.


Lunch is the most important meal. It is usually a long leisurely affair that is a prerequisite to serious business. Ironically though business will rarely come up during those lunches. The occasion will be used as a means of getting to know you. Business may be the intention, but overall it will be much more informal. Whatever you do don’t ruin the mood by pulling papers out of your briefcase. It’s suicide.

* If you are not a big eater, order light food. The important thing to remember is to eat along with them, and to have food in front of you at the same time they do.

Back To Relationships or Read The Next Part – The Language Barrier, Attitudes #038; Customs

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