Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Obtaining Building Permits in Brazil

Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Each Brazilian city has its own regulations and rules when it comes to constructing. Although guidelines vary, it is possible to note a standard of the basic procedures to get a building permit, which is presented in this article.

A license is needed whenever somebody wants to construct or significantly reform a building. Proprietors must present their project to the town hall where their land is located, in order to start a process of analysis and approvals.

As said previously, each city has its own rules when licensing new buildings. In addition, there are also zoning regulations, environmental rules, and specific limitations for each type of building. All of this may require changes to the original project.

Procedures, though, are pretty similar between municipalities. The main variations are the needed documents, the fees required, or, simply, the name of each paper or process.

Before Presenting The Project

Make sure that all the required information about the license requisition is clear and available. Most of the needed data can be found in the paper containing the technical specifications of the land about to be used.

Also, have in mind the city zone in which the property is located, so you can be aware of what types of establishments are allowed, and how tall a building can be, for example. Even though zoning regulations are everything but strict in Brazil, a permit for a factory right in the city center will hardly be granted.

Many other factors must be observed, and, depending on each case, a special authorization must be granted by specific entities. Some examples are:

  • If the property has cultural or historical value
  • If the property is close to an airport
  • If the establishment will generate a considerable amount of traffic
  • If the property is located in an environmentally protected area
  • If any trees or vegetation will need to be removed

Making The Project

The hiring of an architect or an engineer is strongly recommended for the elaboration of the project. Among the obvious reasons, this can make the process quicker and reduce the chance of mistakes.

Projects must usually contain, at least:

  • How it is going to be implemented
  • Blueprints of the building’s floors and attic
  • At least one longitudinal and one transversal cut
  • Details needed to comprehend the project
  • An area chart, indicating the computable and noncomputable areas

Required Documents

The needed documents might be different, depending on the city where the property is located. Landowners seeking to obtain a building permit must, usually, present, at least:

  • A standard requirement, obtained at the town hall
  • Copy of the property title of all the involved plots
  • Copy of the IPTU’s receipt notification
  • Planimetric survey of the land, made by a habilitated professional
  • Graphic elements of the project, including blueprints
  • Proof of payment of the required fee

Permits For Factories or Event Venues

Permits for larger establishments, like factories or tall apartment towers, are harder to be obtained, since they will have a bigger impact on their surroundings and in the city. The process itself is not entirely different from what was presented above, but, the number and types of involved entities may vary.

A factory will have a stricter fiscalization on its environmental impacts. Also, an authorization issued by a specific ministry might be required. A dairy factory, for example, needs to be approved by entities associated to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply.

In the case of an event venue, an authorization issued by the traffic controlling agency will probably be necessary, since the construction will affect the driving conditions of that area.

Before starting to build one of these establishments, it is recommended to contact the governmental body responsible for the planned activity or contact the city hall, so it is possible to know the specific procedures needed to obtain this type of permit.