If you intend to open a company in Brazil, learn about the business culture in this country.
Business culture refers to the set of customs, principles and values that govern an organization. In general, these characteristics vary according to the local culture of each country.
After the Second World War, the world began to experience a growing process of interculturality in business. With the advance of globalization, from the 80’s on, interculturality has become something essential in the daily life of organizations.
When negotiating with companies from other parts of the world, it is essential to seek to know in advance how the business culture of the country in which it is located works. This is a basic requirement to relate in a cordial way and not disrespect local beliefs and customs.
For those who are going to open a company in another country, this is even more important. Knowing what forms of greetings are used, the appropriate language, the best dress and other details, is essential to adapt to the environment and build a successful career.
If you intend to open a company in Brazil, below we show you everything you need to know about the business culture in Brazil.
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Business Culture Principles
Generally speaking, the corporate world is governed by some trading principles that are similar. They are: purchase, sale, partnerships, commercial conditions, etc. However, so that these principles do not jeopardize the negotiations, it is necessary to respect the cultural elements.
Business culture encompasses the behaviors that are considered acceptable in a society. They are part of their customs and are natural to the people who live in each region. Thus, there are behaviors that are considered acceptable and those that may be offensive.
Knowing how to deal with the peculiarities of the local culture is a valuable skill for managers. That is why it is so important to get to know the cultural elements of the country where you intend to trade.
Cultural elements are divided into two types. For this, a theory called the Iceberg Model is used.
At the tip of the iceberg are those aspects that are visible, such as language, culture, literature, dress, music, etc. And in the body of the iceberg are the invisible ones, which are morals, ethical issues, social commitment, acceptable behaviors, non-verbal codes, etc.
Reaching visible elements is simple, as they are easily identifiable. However, reaching the base of the iceberg can be a challenging task. But for those who need to establish a good relationship with the local culture, this is crucial.
It’s based on cultural information that you can establish a real connection with people inside and outside a business. This helps to understand the organizational culture and engage the work team, maintain a healthy relationship with partners and win over customers.
How is the business culture in Brazil?
Brazil is one of the countries that find it easier to negotiate with Latin American countries, and with Western countries in general. Mainly, because it is a country with a large territorial extension and, consequently, a wide cultural diversity.
Having inherited customs from different countries, some habits and values are shared. However, there are specific cultural characteristics of Brazilian businesses. Below we show some of them.
Forms of greetings and reference in the Business culture in Brazil
In Brazil, there are different ways of greeting a person. However, the most formal and recommended for the business world is the traditional handshake.
Always with the right arm outstretched, the person’s hand is firmly squeezed for about 3 seconds.
When referring to someone, the address pronouns “Senhor” (Mrs) and “Senhora” (Ms) are the traditional ones.
Gift giving is part of many cultures. In Brazil, gifts are given on special dates, such as celebrations, anniversaries, etc. or even as a form of recognition or gratitude.
Gifts are welcome, but they need to be given with caution, only in propitious situations. Otherwise, they may end up looking like a show of interest, which is negative for the image of a business.
Dress code in business culture in Brazil
In Brazil, the vast majority of large and multinational companies have a defined dress code. The objective is to provide employees with guidelines and rules related to professional image, which are reflections of the corporate identity.
In general, these companies recommend social attire, casual sport or a complete tour.
It is important that the dress code speaks to the identity of the business. Companies that work with a younger audience, for example, can explore more colors when dressing. However, always with care to convey a respectful image.
The business card or visiting card is a small size graphic material that can be easily kept in your wallet. It has basic contact information for a company or a professional.
In Brazil, the use of cards is traditional and is part of the establishment of general contacts in an organization.
Business Meeting Style
Business meetings in Brazil follow a formal style. They are always face-to-face, held in appropriate places, with fixed times and scheduled through the issuance of formally signed invitations.
For meetings, delays are not recommended and attire must follow the organization’s dress code. If you are going to attend meetings hosted by other businesses, it is important to inform yourself about the dress code. But in general, in order not to make a mistake, one should choose formal clothes.
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