Sick and tired of the rain and wind? Grey winter days, sitting in the office and feeling a little bit depressed? Why don’t you move your online business to a tropical country? Looking at the beach while you sit at your desk, sipping a drink at the ocean drive after work, or even working outside under the sun as long as there is WIFI. Brazil offers great opportunities for courageous entrepreneur who dream of a better work life balance and a different lifestyle.
You probably won’t be killed
The country of the next World Cup and the Olympic Games 2016 had enormous growth rates during the past ten years and has made it to the top 6 economic powers in the world. Brazil’s unemployment rate has fallen below 6%, illiteracy has been cut to below 10% and crime rates have been reduced significantly. Most crimes happen in slum areas far away from where you live as an expat and around half of the killings happen in clashes between police and drug dealers. Apart from that, the country isn’t as dangerous as many non-Brazilians believe.
8000 km of good reasons to stay
No surprise that the number of tourists is rising. Many North Americans and Europeans discover Brazil’s 8000 km of beaches, its wild life in the Amazon and Pantanal, and attractive cities like Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza and Maceio. Some people stay for longer than they planned. Especially the South of Brazil attracts young business people. Its climate with hot summers and mild winters, the hospitality of its easy-going people, its beautiful nature and great night life are all attractive factors to young professionals from all over the world.
Exporting your knowledge through online services
Especially in Sao Paolo and Florianopolis there are thousands of North Americans and Europeans with internet businesses. Brazil offers attractive conditions for young online entrepreneurs. Imagine you sell ebooks and services online. Taxes in Europe, US and Canada can vary between 12 and 38%. In Brazil it is just 2.28% – as long as you sell outside of the country. In that case, it is considered export and the Brazilian government has a strong interest in promoting exports. Your products – ebooks, consulting or services, need to be “produced” in Brazil, though.
Taxes and cost are small
Depending on the country where you mainly sell, local VAT legislation might apply as well. Also consider that Paypal or similar services charge up to 9% for their services if the money goes to Brazil. You will also need to pay at least $200 to an accountant per month. However, summing all expenses up, you should be able to run your business with less than 20% cost – and that includes at least one employee who you need to pay at least $ 400 minimum wage. For experienced online specialists and social media experts you easily pay three or four times more.
How to get a permission to stay
When your company grows and you when you need to hire more people you might run into the difficulties of Brazil. It’s not always easy to find reliable and well-educated employees and getting rid of them if necessary. Therefore, it can be smart to remain small. In order to start your business you will need to apply for a permanent investment visa and set up a “Limitada”. 150.000 Brazilian Reais, i.e. US$ 70.000, is the minimum amount that you need to invest into your company.
You will also need to present a business plan on how you want to grow your business and employ people in the future. After five years you can apply for a nine-year extension of your visa. After that it will usually be granted for the rest of your life.
Shrimps and beer instead of cold rain
US$ 70.000 is more than most e-book and internet entrepreneurs need to invest in the beginning. Therefore, it can be a good idea to set up your business for various purposes. Why not having an online and construction company. For US$ 70.000 you can build a small piece of land in a rural area and build small apartments on it. Building one sq m of apartments and houses in Brazil cost US$ 600 if you want average quality.
The real estate market is growing in Brazil and you can sell with profits and reinvest the money. Your working days might consist of four hours on the internet, three hours on the construction site and two hours of lunch break on the beach, with crispy shrimps and an ice cold beer – compare that to the cold December rain where you live now.
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned