What is your Tax ID in Brazil? | How to Obtain a CNPJ
Brazil is the biggest country in South America in terms of territory, but it is also the biggest economy on the region. This attracts companies around the world as it is a perfect starting point for businesses interested in expanding to South America.
If this fit your plans and you’re looking to register a company in Brazil, or are already in the process of completing the incorporation, you may have some questions about the Tax Identification Number, what is it?, how to obtain it?, and more. In this blog article, we explain what the CNPJ is, how it is different from the CNP, and what is the ‘Receita Federal’.
What is the Tax ID in Brazil?
In Brazil, the Tax Identification Number for companies is called ‘Cadastro Nacional de Pessoa Juridica’ or National Registry for Legal Entities. The Federal Revenue Bureau(‘Receita Federal’) is the government agency that provides this number, either online or in one of their offices located all around Brazil. This number is necessary to complete the business incorporation process in Brazil since it is impossible to open a corporate bank account without it.
The CNPJ consists of 14 digits, which include the registration number, a code for the type of legal entity, and more information about the company.
What government agency provides the CNPJ?
The agency in charge of providing the CNPJ in Brazil is the Special DepartmentFederal Revenue Bureau or ‘Receita Federal’. This agency was founded in 1968 as part of the Ministry of Economy and is the one responsible for tax collection and customs. They can also provide you with a CPF or ‘Cadastro de Pessoa Física’, which is also a tax identification number but for a natural person.
This entity also has a fundamental role in the prevention and investigation of fraud, smuggling, noncompliance, piracy, and drug trafficking.
What’s the difference between a CNPJ and a CPF?
The main difference between a CPF and a CNPJ is that a CPF is assigned to a natural person, while the CNPJ is assigned only to legal entities. Both identification numbers are provided by the Federal Revenue Bureau, but the process varies depending on which one you need.
How do I obtain a CNPJ or Tax Identification Number for my company in Brazil?
To obtain a CNPJ in Brazil, your company must be already registered at the State Board of Commerce. This entity will give you a Company Registration Number, called ‘Número de Identificação do Registro de Empresa’ (known as NIRE) that certificates the existence of the legal entity. This document, as well as other information about the company, has to be submitted to the Federal Revenue Bureau either online or at a physical agency.
What documents are required?
These are the documents the Federal Revenue Bureau is going to require in order to issue your company a CNPJ:
NIRE or Número de Identificação do Registro de Empresa (Company Registration Number) provided by the State Board of Commerce
Copy of the Articles of Incorporation of the legal entity
Application Form for the CNPJ
Information about the Board of Directors or Partners of the company
Do I need to register a company to obtain a Tax ID in Brazil?
Yes! It is necessary to have a registered company to obtain a Tax ID in Brazil.
These are some of the main steps you need to follow in order to register your company in Brazil. Remember that some of these requirements may differ depending on the city and the type of legal structure you choose.
Decide on the correct type of company for your business in Brazil
Submit the Articles of Incorporation to the State Board of Commerce
Visit the Federal Revenue Bureau to obtain a Tax Payer ID Number or CNPJ
Register the CNPJ at the Brazilian Central Bank
Register the company at the Local Municipality to obtain all necessary licenses
Open a corporate bank account
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