Subnational Doing Business in Brazil 2021

Author: Subnational Doing Business
Published: June 15, 2021
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Subnational Doing Business in Brazil 2021 assesses the regulatory environment for small and medium-size enterprises in Brazil’s 26 states and in the Federal District. This study measures business regulations across five areas: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, paying taxes, and enforcing contracts. In each of these areas, the study highlights good practices and opportunities for improvement.

The report also includes two pilot studies, which measure the processes of registering as an individual microbusiness owner (Microempreendedor Individual, MEI) and of paying taxes under the Simples Nacional tax regime in five locations in Brazil.

Where is it easier to do business in Brazil?

Main Findings

  • Overall, doing business is easiest in São Paulo, followed by Minas Gerais and Roraima. At the same time, no single location comes first in the five benchmarked areas, leaving room for all locations to learn from one another.
  • Brazil’s business environment presents a strong variation at the subnational level, particularly in enforcing contracts and in dealing with construction permits.
  • Examples of good practices are found in states from all regions, income levels, and sizes. Among all 27 locations, it is easiest to: start a business in Pará; obtain building permits in Roraima; register a property transfer in São Paulo; comply with taxes in Espírito Santo; and resolve a commercial dispute in Sergipe.
  • Long and complex processes are a major challenge for Brazilian entrepreneurs in all five business regulatory areas; the main causes include a lack of coordination among national and local agencies, and an uneven and fragmented implementation of reform plans.
  • The results highlight areas for improvement and point to local and international good practices that can guide reform initiatives in Brazil. Well-coordinated action from local and national governments could improve the prospect that reforms will bear fruit.

Note: The Doing Business 2021 data for Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as well as for comparator economies and regional averages, are not considered official until published by the Doing Business 2021 report.


Watch the launch webinar of Subnational Doing Business in Brazil 2021 – June 15, 2021 (in Portuguese)