Brazil is very attractive for foreign investments as it offers a business-friendly environment with big opportunities and growth potential. Its more than 200 million population provides for a fast-growing consumer market. Even though Brazil has huge resources in minerals, agriculture, energy, and raw materials, it still has a lot of infrastructure needs.
In principle, there are no restrictions on foreign investments in Brazil, except for a few sectors, as follows:
Prohibitions: projects involving nuclear energy, mail services, and aerospace industry.
Sectors with restrictions: coastal navigation, fishing; broadcasting, news media and telecommunications. The restrictions are mostly regarding participation in the company’s capital and corporate control. Foreign investments in health-care services are also prohibited, except when authorized by law. Private health plan operation, research, general hospitals, clinics, among others are currently authorized.
In some sectors the restrictions are to foreign direct participation, so the incorporation of a holding company in Brazil may solve the issue.
The acquisition, operation or lease of rural lands by a Brazilian company under foreign control, a foreigner resident in Brazil or by a foreign -based legal entity authorized to operate in Brazil is subject to certain conditions, and, in some cases, to authorization of the Brazilian Congress.
Moreover, registration of direct foreign investment (cash, capitalization of credits, reinvestments, or goods) at the Central Bank of Brazil is mandatory, and allow the repatriation of the investment, the distribution of dividends, and the repayment of loans. The registration is made through a self-declaring electronic system (SISBACEN) within 30 days the capital enters the country.
Also, foreign shareholders must appoint an attorney-in-fact resident in Brazil with mandatory powers to receive service of process and must obtain a taxpayer number for controlling purposes only.