Brazil has about 32 million dogs and 16 million cats, and the Brazilian pet shop market is the second largest in the world, being only behind United States. In 1995, the Brazilian Government put into force the Decree 40.400, that established the main guidelines of a veterinary practice in Brazil.
The Decree defines what the qualifications for a veterinary practice, who can work on it, which activities can be performed there and basically all of the legal aspects of the business itself, such as necessary documents, licenses and others.
Nomenclatures and Definitions
According to the Decree, veterinary practices cover many ranges that must be legally classified and characterized. The table below was based on Decree 40.400 and aims to explain all the types of veterinary practices recognized by the Brazilian Government.
| Consultório Veterinário |
or Veterinary Office
| Place where pets are taken to be examined, but they cannot be operated on in the place. |
| Clínica Veterinária |
or Veterinary Clinic
| Place where pets are taken to be examined, to receive medical or surgical treatment, but works in a restrict period of time. Accepting or not the internment of animals for treatment. |
| Hospital Veterinário |
or Veterinary Hospital
| Place where pets are taken to be examined, to receive medical or surgical treatment or to be interned. The place works 24 hours per day. |
| Maternidade Veterinária |
or Veterinary Maternity
| Place designated to the attendance of female pets pregnant or after had given birth to the young animals, for prenatal or postnatal treatment or for the realization of births. |
| Ambulatório Veterinário |
or Veterinary Ambulatory
| The place is a dependency of an industrial establishment that receives animals of the place for clinical evaluations, make bandages or for small surgeries. |
| Serviço Veterinário |
or Veterinary Service
| The place is a dependency of the industrial, commercial, recreational, educational or research establishment, where animals that will take the same clinical examination, clinical evaluation, and medical or surgical treatment are received and treated. |
| Parque Zoológico |
| The private or official establishment where live, native, exotic, domestic or savage animals are kept for public visitation or exhibition for leisure and educational purposes. |
| Aquário |
|The place where water animals are kept for leisure, educational or commercial purposes.|
| Hipódromo |
| Place designated for horse races, where the animals are kept as properties and maintenance of their owners. |
| Hípica |
or Riding Club
| Place where horses are kept and used for saddle or jump exercises. The animals are used by the club members or for public exhibition. |
| Haras |
or Horse Farm
| Place where horses are created for any finality. |
| Carrossel Vivo |
or Carousel with Real Horses
| Fixed or nomad place designated for horse riding in closed spaces for public or exhibition. |
| Rodeio |
| Fixer or nomad place where horses, cattle and other animals are kept for riding spectacles or competitions. |
| Cinódromo || Places where dog races occur, the place can also have kennels. |
| Circo de Animais |
or Animals Circus
| Place fixed or nomad where trained, domestic or wild animals are exhibited for public. |
| Escola para Cães or School for Dogs || Place where dogs are received and kept to be trained. |
| Pensão para Animais |
or Animal Hotel
| Place where animals are received to stay for a while, works just like a hotel, but is for animals. |
| Granja de Criação or Creation Farm || Place where small- or medium-sized animals are created for consumption, such as birds, rabbits, pigs and others. |
| Hotel Fazenda |
or Farm Hotel
| Place that works as hotel, but since it’s located in a farm have animals in its property. |
| Pocilga/Chiqueiro |
| Place where pigs are created with commercial or reproduction purposes. |
| Canil de Criação |
or Creation Kennel
| Place where dogs are created with commercial purposes. |
| Gatil de Criação |
or Creation Cattery
| Place where cats are created with commercial purposes. |
| Pet Shop || Store designated for the commerce of animals and veterinary products, except for the commercialization of veterinary medicines and drugs. In this place trimming, grooming and bathing of pets can also be offered. |
| Drogaria Veterinária |
or Veterinary Drugstore
| Place where veterinary drugs and medicines are commercialized. |
| Biotério |
| The place is a dependency of a research, commercial or industrial establishment where animals are reproduced and developed for medical or scientific research, medical, chemical or biological tests or for diagnosing purposes. |
| Laboratório Veterniário |
or Veterinary Lab
| Place that realizes clinical evaluation and veterinary diagnosis. |
| Salão de Banho e Tosa |
or Trimming and Grooming Salon
|Place where pets are taken for trimming, grooming and bathing.|
Places also considered veterinary practices are where there are live animals for research, consumption, education, recreation, or any other use by man, not specified in the table, but which, by their activity, may directly or indirectly provoke health risks to the community.
How a Veterinary Practice Can Work?
Veterinary establishments may operate under an operating license (named alvará) issued by the municipality in which the establishment will take place. And, it is also mandatory to acquire a license issued by the competent health authority.
Both licenses will only be granted to veterinary practices duly legalized by the Regional Council of Veterinary Medicine and municipal authority. The Decree also demands the constant presence of a veterinarian responsible for the establishment operation during the functioning time of the place.
Legal Steps for the Opening
- Check with the municipal hall for a previous evaluation about the Zoning Law, in order o find out if the place where the veterinary practice will be installed is in accordance with the legislation.
- Check for Company Naming Availability in the Board of Trade of the respective State.
- Elaboration of the Articles of Association.
- Registry in the Board of Trade or in Notary Office.
- Check the taxes which will be levied on the new venture.
- Registry the Company in the Federal Revenue, in order to acquire a CNPJ number.
- State Registry, can be in most States of Brazil acquired together with the CNPJ number.
- Registry in Municipal Hall.
- Asked for a Municipal Hall Operating License (Alvará).
- Registry the Company in the Social Welfare.
- Registry the Company in Caixa Econômica Federal.