Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


How to Operate a Logistics Company in Brazil

Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


The Brazilian logistics sector is still in development, and the market opportunities for this type of company are big. Large demand and market expansion are a few characteristics that describe the logistics scenario in Brazil.

The logistics reality in Brazil shows that the logistics costs are at least double the average of developed countries, which spend in this area 8% to 10% of their annual GDP. The Brazilian infrastructure is not favorable for the development of the sector. The transport matrix is heavily dominated by road transport, which accounts for two-thirds of the cargo movement in the country.

However, in 2012 the Brazilian government launched the Logistic Investment Program, that allots almost BRL 212,3 billion in investments in highways, railways, ports and airports.

This panorama shows challenges and opportunities. The challenges reflect the need to get quick solutions to the problems that hinder the development and improvement of logistics efficiency. The opportunities in this scenario present substantial room for improvement. Companies that are embarking in this sector and who embrace improvements first will move ahead of competitors and enable themselves to conquer new markets in Brazil.

The Brazilian market has a huge demand for logistics companies, which guarantees market space for all companies that offer quality services at competitive costs.

The Brazilian Definition of a Logistics Company

Growing trends of outsourcing logistics activities have reignited the importance placed on to the sector in Brazil. The ABML, also known as the Brazilian Association of Moving and Logistics, was developed as the concept of logistics operator or Operador Logístico.

The logistics operator is a service company specialized in managing and executing all or part of the logistic activities at various stages of the customer's supply chain, adding value to their products.

For a company providing logistics services to be classified as a logistics operator in Brazil, it must at least provide services in the three following basic activities:

  • stock control
  • storage
  • transportation management.

Requirements for Starting a Logistics Company in Brazil

The same procedures that are necessary to open a company in Brazil are also the first step in opening a logistics company in the country. It is necessary to present:

  • Contrato Social, also known as Articles of Association
  • registry of the Contrato Social in the Board of Trade
  • obtaining CNPJ, also known as National Register of Corporate Taxpayers, at the Federal Revenue (Receita Federal)
  • state registry in the State Treasury Office (Secretaria da Fazenda do Estado)
  • municipal registry in the City Hall (Prefeitura Municipal)
  • web password to the issuance of invoice
  • registry in the Caixa Econômica Federal.

The following documentation must also be presented to open a company:

  • three notarized copies of the RG, CPF (the taxpayer identification number) and proof of residence (both private and corporate)
  • copy of the IPTU (tax charged over the property of urban real estate), of the company, partners or businesspeople addresses.

Licenses Required

The necessary licenses to open a logistics company in Brazil depend on the type of product being transported by the company. For the transportation of controlled products, obtaining the following certificates is required:

  • Civil Police Certificate on the controlled products sector
  • Federal Police: License of Functioning Certificate and Cadastral Registry Certificate
  • Army: Registry Certificate
  • ANTT (National LandTransportationAgency): National Registerof RoadFreight Carriers Certificate.

Taxation Applied on a Logistics Company

The taxes levied on a logistics company vary according to the company's fiscal option, although the taxation charged by the three government spheres, federal, state and municipal, is mandatory. The state and municipal sphere will depend on which state or city the company is located in, while in the federal sphere the following taxation will be incidental:

  • IRPJ: the corporate revenue tax (15%)
  • additional IRPJ (10%)
  • CSLL: the Contribution Incident on the Liquid Profit (9%)
  • PIS: Social Integration Program (0,65% on a cumulative regime or 1,65% on a non cumulative regime)
  • COFINS: Contribution to the social security program (3% on a cumulative regime or 7,6% on a non cumulative regime)
  • ICMS: the tax over operations relating to the circulation of goods and installments of interstate, inter-municipal, and communication transport services (12%)
  • ISS: the services tax (varying from 2% to 5%)
  • Social Security Contributions (achieving a 27% maximum rate).