I’m often asked about the process of opening a business or buying property in Brazil, after-all I’ve been living here a dozen years. I think the banking systems work well and for the most part it’s simple.
My best advice for anyone planning on doing business here in Brazil, is to have a good attorney or “advogado” (in Portuguese). I’ve been fortunate in that regard, having met Jose Santiago in Sao Paulo. As a way to introduce Jose, I’ll include an overview of the first step in opening a bank account in Brazil.
Acquiring a Tax ID (CPF) Number in Brazil
The Brazilian Individual Taxpayer Registry (CPF) stands for “Cadastro de Pessoa Fisica” and it is a fundamental document for Brazilian nationals or foreigners. It is mandatory for individuals who are planning to own properties and investments in Brazil subject to public registration, such as real state; vehicles; bank accounts; and etc.
The process of applying for a CPF number in Brazil by foreigners can made via Power of Attorney. Once the required documents are received and the petition is filed, it takes less than 2 days to get a CPF number. The fees for that is R$1,000.00(Brazilian Reais).
The entire process is very simple for the applicant. The petitioner will send me, via email, the following information: Full name; Nationality; Marital status; Date of birth; Mother’s name; Address in native country; Address in Brazil (could be of a relative or friend, if any); Phone number in Brazil (if any) and Passport number. Once this information is received, I will prepare a Power of Attorney and send it to the petitioner, also via email. Once it is received, petitioner shall sign, notarize, and authenticate in a Brazilian “Cartorio”, Consulate or Embassy, and return to me along with a copy his/her passport and birth certificate both also authenticated by the “Cartorio”, Consulate or Embassy near you.
All Embassies and Consulates abroad offer this service via regular mail, facilitating the procedures. Please note that the birth certificate is needed only if mother’s name does not appear in your passport, such as any American and British Passports.
When these documents are received, I will prepare the petition, pay the fees, collect all documents, and file the petition on your behalf. Afterwards, if the petition is in accordance to local law and is approved, a CPF is usually assigned and issued to you. With the number you may, immediately, use for any of the above listed circumstances. Your card is usually sent within a month, I will, upon receipt, forward it to you.
By Jose Santiago
Law Office in Brazil