sábado, 3 de junho de 2017

The fastest way to have a Brazilian company

Incorporating a company in Brazil takes time. In average, 3 months (for details about incorporation ,please see this post).

I have tried to speed up this process, but without much success. It depends on several independent things: availability of a translator, public hollidays, courier delivery, etc. 

Indeed, this is one of the aspects of Brazilian bureacracy and lack of competitivity. Each step of the task is slightly inneficient. Combined, they slow down the rythm of business. 

When the project includes a Brazilian partner, this hindrance does not matter much, because he will be expecting it and the plans would already have counted for the delay. 

But when the project is totally controlled by foreign parties, this kind of time is essentially counted as a waste. 

I have been experimenting with a system that is less safe, legally speaking, but that can be used to conduct business at a faster pace. Here it is: 

a) I will incorporate a service company in Brazil, with two nominee partners and one nominee director. The company will have the same name desired by the investor;

b) the nominee partners and directors will enter into a quota/shares sales agreement with the future investor. This agreement will allow for a 60-day period in which the buyer (the investor) will be allowed to participate in the company`s management/

c) the investor will prepare the documents required to take possession of the quotas/shares;

d) meanwhile, the Brazilian company may enter into agreements with local partner. The company will refrain from issuing invoices, however. The invoices will be issued only after the foreign investors formally acquire the quotas. 

In short, the procedure is an acquisition of shelf-company. But with some additional agreements that ensure that the foreign investor will have control over the company even before they are formally the owners. 

This strategy is more expensive than a regular incorporation. There will be extra costs with the nominee partners, with additional agreements, etc.

The advantage is that it could allow the foreign investors to conduct business in Brazil within 03 weeks, instead of 12 weeks. 

Business will be limited, of course, and this strategy will work better with service company. Also, import/export operations will not be possible at first, because any Brazilian company that is to engage in international trade must first obtain a license (the "Radar").  

Even so, this strategy will allow investors to have a legal presence in Brazil much faster than usual. 

terça-feira, 30 de maio de 2017

Ahead of the Train - Dubai is Leading the Way for Blockchain Implementation

Dubai is actively implementing blockchain technology - is it only cat talk or could the plans actually to come to life?
An interesting article about Blockchain. 

Bitcoin and Blockchain are still not very common in Brazil. But there is vibrant group of supporters of the technology here, and they have been publishing a lot of content. 

Dubai is actively implementing blockchain technology - is it only cat talk or could the 
plans actually to come to life?
The government of Dubai is actively backing the initiatives on implementation of blockchain
 technology in banking and other spheres of life. The strategy seems bright enough, however, it 
is mostly just plans for now.
Dubai authorities ambitiously state that they strive to make Dubai the first blockchain-backed
 government ever by 2020. Too good to be true?
More than Just Plans
The prospect seems real enough to believe it actually has a chance to be implemented. 
At least, many of the world leading experts think so.
According to J. Bradley Hall, Founder, Chairman and CEO at ICON CAPITAL Corp., 
a merchant bank with a portfolio of investments in digital currencies, payment systems, 
banking and gold trading in Dubai, “Dubai is an aspirational city, it is built on the vision of
 strong leadership.”

segunda-feira, 29 de maio de 2017

Guarantees and securities in Brazilian Law

Brazilian Law provides for wide array of guarantees and securities. Herein below, you will find a brief explanation of the main varieties.

1.         Endorsement (aval)

The endorsement is a personal guarantee of the payment of an instrument of credit. Under the endorsement, the guarantor promises to pay the debt in the event the borrower fails to do so. The creditor becomes invested in the power of collecting the debt from the guarantor or the borrower as soon as the instrument of credit becomes due.

The endorsement is a type of guarantee mainly used in instruments of credit (on the back of note, for example; or a personal endorsement made by the director of a firm). 

It is a very commong guarantee. 

2.         Surety (fiança)

It is a written obligation. It is a contract whereby the surety guarantees the fulfillment of the obligation of the debtor in the event the latter fails to do so. It also guarantees the payment of compensation or penalty for non-fulfillment of an obligation undertaken by the debtor.

The surety may be granted by individuals or legal entities, including banks, whereby the debtor hires a financial institution to act as guarantor of an obligation.

It is very common in rental agreements and in some kinds of loans.

3.         Bill of Exchange (letra de câmbio)

It is a Marketable title. It consists of a payment order by means of which an individual demands that another individual pays a certain amount to a third party. It comprises details such as payment, date and place to perform it.

This is the same Bill of Exchange used in the US and in Europe. However, in Brazil its use is very limited. Only markets where the players are used to it actually use it. Most people will prefer a Promissory Note (see below).

4.         Promissory Note (nota promissória)

An instrument of credit represented by an unconditional promise in writing between two parties, signed by one who agrees to pay on a certain date a certain sum of money to the other or the bearer of the promissory note.

The promissory note is more widely used in Brazil, in comparison with the Bill of Exchange.

5.         Commercial Pledge (penhor mercantil)

Commercial pledge is to have a commercial good ensuring the fulfillment of an obligation. It becomes valid with the transference of possession of the property of the good by the debtor to the creditor.

The pledge shall be in written form and is usually registered before the Registry of Deeds and Documents. 

This is not too common.

6.         Security deposit of instruments of credit (caução de títulos de crédito)

Derived from the commercial pledge, the security deposit of instruments of credit is a guarantee established over credits held by the guarantor.

In the security deposit, the object of the guarantee is the right of the guarantor represented by a negotiable instrument. Therefore, the need to guarantee demands the delivery of the instrument to the creditor, by means of an agreement executed between the parties.

Through the security deposit agreement, the creditor becomes able to exercise all the rights to the instrument of credit, but always on behalf of the debtor, ie, there is no transfer of the property of the instrument of credit.

This is a common kind of guarantee, since it is easy to manage.

7.         Trust receipt (alienação fiduciária)

The trust receipt operates by means of the transfer of ownership of a certain good to the creditor in order to secure the fulfillment of an obligation of the debtor, who maintains the direct ownership of the good, as depositary.

In this type of guarantee, if the debtor fails to settle the obligation at the due date, then the creditor may require action of search and seizure of the sold good, and after taking possession of such good, it may sell it to a third party and settle the outstanding debt.

This is more commonly used by banks, in lease and financing agreements.

8.         Antichresis (anticrese)

The antichresis grants the creditor the right of receiving the real property from the debtor and also the right to earn profits from such real property for the term the contract is in force.

This is rarely used.

9.         Mortgage (hipoteca)

A debt instrument, secured by the collateral of specified real estate property, that the borrower is obliged to pay back with a predetermined set of payments. Under Brazilian Law, mortgages must be registered before the Real State Registry. In the event the debtor fails to provide payment in the due date, the rights of ownership and possession over the real property are transferred to the creditor.

This is fairly used, especially in the financing of real estate.

quarta-feira, 24 de maio de 2017

'Manual on Petroleum Law in Brazil' - Book Launch | Brazilian Chamber of Commerce for Great Britain

'Manual on Petroleum Law in Brazil' - Book Launch | Brazilian Chamber of Commerce for Great Britain:

'via Blog this'

Tratado de Extradição entre Brasil e Índia

Foi publicado hoje. Chamou minha atenção.

D9055: "Tratado de Extradição entre a República Federativa do Brasil e a República da Índia"

'via Blog this'

A República Federativa do Brasil
A República da Índia
(doravante denominadas “as Partes”),
Desejando uma cooperação bilateral mais eficaz na supressão do crime por meio da extradição dos criminosos;
          Reconhecendo que são necessários passos concretos para combater o crime organizado transnacional e o terrorismo;
Desejando tornar mais efetivos os esforços de combate à impunidade; e
Respeitando os princípios da soberania, da não-interferência em assuntos internos de cada uma das Partes e as normas do Direito Internacional,
          Acordam o seguinte:
Artigo 1
Da Obrigação de Extraditar
            As Partes extraditarão qualquer pessoa que se encontre em seus respectivos territórios, contra quem exista um mandado de prisão, expedido por juiz competente, por um crime extraditável, ou que tenha sido condenada por crime extraditável no território da outra Parte, nos termos deste Tratado, tendo sido o crime cometido antes ou depois da entrada em vigor deste Tratado.
Artigo 2
Dos Crimes Extraditáveis
1. Um crime será extraditável se, de acordo com as legislações de ambas as Partes, for punível com privação de liberdade ou prisão por um período de pelo menos um ano, ou com pena mais severa.
2. Se a extradição for solicitada para o cumprimento de sentença imposta na Parte Requerente, a duração do que resta a cumprir da sentença deverá ser de pelo menos um ano.
3. Um crime também será considerado extraditável se envolver tentativa ou associação para cometer, ajudar ou incitar a cometer crime, ou cumplicidade anterior ou posterior ao crime descrito no parágrafo 1.
4. Para os propósitos deste Artigo, um crime será considerado extraditável:
a) quando for solicitada a extradição de uma pessoa por crime contra legislação relativa a matéria tributária, alfandegária, cambial, de lavagem de dinheiro ou outros assuntos financeiros. A extradição não será denegada mediante alegação de que a legislação, da Parte Requerida não impõe o mesmo tipo de imposto ou taxa, ou não contém regulamentos do mesmo tipo que os da legislação da Parte Requerente no tocante a impostos, taxações, alfândega ou câmbio;
b) independentemente de a legislação da Parte Requerente classificar o crime na mesma categoria ou descrevê-lo com igual terminologia.
5. Se a extradição foi concedida para um crime extraditável, também o será para qualquer outro crime especificado no pedido, mesmo que a pena para esse tenha duração menor que um ano de privação de liberdade ou prisão, desde que todas as outras condições para a extradição sejam cumpridas.
Artigo 3
Dos Crimes Compostos
De acordo com o presente Tratado, poderá ser concedida a extradição para crime extraditável ainda que a conduta, parcial ou integral, da pessoa procurada tenha ocorrido na Parte Requerida, e se, de acordo com as leis desta Parte, a referida conduta e seus efeitos ou seus efeitos intencionais, como um todo, forem considerados cometimento de um crime extraditável no território da Parte Requerente.

terça-feira, 23 de maio de 2017

Power of Attorney for setting up a company in Brazil – new rules

In order to incorporate a company in Brazil, the foreign investor must appoint a local representative who lives in Brazil.

Traditionally, this representative was required to have powers to receive court summoning and to answer to any civil subpoenas directed at the foreign investor.

This makes sense under Brazilian procedural law, that puts a lot of focus on making sure that respondents will be properly summoned to present his defence in administrative or judicial procedures. Rulings “in absentia” are exceptional.  By requesting the nomination of a Brazilian resident as representative of the investor, Brazilian authorities would always have someone close enough to be summoned by ordinary means (without the need for international communications between courts, etc.).

This is the basic idea.

Now, since Brazil is a very bureaucratic place, people soon noticed that is would be a waste of time to issue a one-line PoA, considering that several other actions also require a power of attorney. For example: registration of the investment before the Brazilian Central Bank, clearance of foreign currency exchange agreement, etc.

Not to mention that any alteration to the articles of the company, such as increase in equity or appointment of new directors, would also require the investor to sign the documents himself, or to name a proper representative in Brazil with powers to do so.

All things considered, a proper PoA would have 3 pages and a LOT of very specific powers.

Now, this “excess” of powers has contributed to a problem. Brazilian courts started to consider that this all-powerful attorney would act, in practice, as a company director. Thus, labour and tax courts started to redirect debt collection suits to the Brazilian representative, whenever the company didn`t have enough assets to pay for the debts.

This situation, albeit technically illegal, has persisted for some time.

Recently, the Brazilian Revenue Service has tried to make the representative`s personal liability official. It issued an administrative ruling stating that any foreign company looking for enrolment before the national taxpayer`s registry (the famous CNPJ) must name a local representative with full powers to manage the investor`s assets in Brazil.

By choosing these word, the Brazilian Revenue Service made clear that the local representative will be considered a kind of local manager, not only a representative able to receive summoning.

Please notice that the enrolment with CNPJ is one of the first steps required in order to incorporate a new company in Brazil, in case the foreign investor is a corporate entity (not an individual).  Therefore, there is no way around this requirement.

And this is not the only recent change.

The federal body responsible for standards in corporate regulation issued new guidelines in 2017. They include a provision requiring that all powers of attorney from foreign investors must not have a time limit. This is to say, they must be valid until a formal cancellation is filed before the Commercial Registry.

The two alteration, combined, result in a local representative that:

a)    Has powers to manage the investor`s assets in Brazil (to control the company);
b)    Is liable for company`s debts, since he will be considered a sort of director;
c)    Has power for an unlimited period of time, until he gives up the job or until his PoA is formally cancelled.

The situation is awkward, to say the least.

It has forced the new PoA documents to become even longer. Now they must include:

a)    Provisions for cancellation;
b)    Protection against tax and labour liability;
c)    Restrictions on powers, to prevent the representative from “taking over” the company.

So, there is little chance you will find a good template for a PoA, readily usable.