In Brazil, executives wear three-piece suits and office administrative employees wear two-piece suits. For women, conservative dress is essential. Wearing the colors of the Brazilian flag, green and yellow, in any combination, is considered to be extremely offensive. You should also be sure that your nails are clean and manicured.
There are a number of gestures in the Brazilian culture that are also part of Brazilian business etiquette. Understanding these can help you avoid any cultural misunderstandings. In Brazil, making an O.K. hand gesture is considered to be rude. Brazilians may pinch the earlobe in between their thumb and forefinger to express appreciation. They may also flick their fingertips underneath the chin, indicating that they do not know the answer to a question. To invoke good luck, the thumb may be placed between the index finger and middle finger within a fist. This gesture is known as a “fig.”
Appointments in Brazil should be made at least two weeks in advance. You should also be prepared to commit to your business endeavors for a long period of time. There is a large amount of importance placed on building strong, long-lasting relationships. In some regions of Brazil, a certain amount of casualness may be displayed in business endeavors. For this reason, do not be alarmed if your business prospect is late. However, in San Paulo and Rio, this casual behavior is only exhibited in social events. You should never attend a business meeting late in these regions.
During the meeting, allow your host to start communication. Pleasantries are often exchanged before the meeting begins, and starting beforehand will be considered rude. While restaurant entertainment is usually preferred over home entertainment, it does happen from time to time. If it does, it is customary to present the host with flowers and a thank-you note the following day. However, avoid purple flowers as these are used during funerals. Violets are an exception to this rule./p>
A gift is not required during your first business meeting in Brazil. However, it is customary to treat your host to dinner or lunch. Lunch is generally the larger of the two meals in Brazil, but if you are being entertained formally, a large dinner may be presented. Another accompaniment to Brazilian meetings is coffee. Be prepared for immensely strong coffee.
In Brazil, handshakes are often frequent and can last for a long period of time. You should exchange handshakes with everyone present. When one woman meets another woman, cheeks are pressed against each other while kissing the air. Topics about Argentina, poverty, the Rain Forest, politics, and religion should be avoided. However, social conversations about family, children, and sports such as soccer are often acceptable. Brazilians also enjoy long and animated discussions. Music is often incorporated into business meetings, and an interruption is perceived as enthusiasm. Friendships, informality, and joking are all often a part of the Brazilian culture. Understanding these cultural norms can help you successfully conduct business internationally. This applies to any culture that is foreign to you. If you plan to conduct business in Brazil, be sure to study Brazil business etiquette.