Special aspects of negotiating with German medium-sized businesses for investors from Brazil/Portugal


last updated on 22 February 2022 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

What special issues await Brazilian and/or Portuguese companies when they take over or acquire a stake in an owner-managed company in Germany?

Brazilian entrepreneurs, especially those from leading economic hubs in Brazil, expect that business deals and transactions will be handled consistently and professionally. In this context however, one should consider that the way of starting negotiations by talking about personal and family issues, which is a common practice in Brazil, only seldom will be well-received in Germany. Right from the beginning, the focus is on typical business ratios, usually without any phase of warming up the atmosphere.
Entrepreneurs from Brazil should neither expect to get to know their negotiation partners privately and, for example, to get invited to dinner/lunch at the company owner’s place. If at all, such invitations, which are quite appreciated in Brazil or Portugal, are extended in Germany following the successful conclusion of a contract and/or after collaboration has worked out. In no case should this separation of professional and private sphere be misunderstood as being impolite.

What aspects should Brazilian/Portuguese companies take into account when negotiating with German medium-sized businesses?

Apart from the highly facts and figures-oriented style of negotiating as mentioned above, a fundamental difference lies in the culturally specific component of the negotiation techniques.  Whilst the Portuguese being a people of sailors, explorers and merchants like bargaining, German entrepreneurs assume that a submitted price quotation will be respected as fairly calculated. Attempts to underbid the price may cause misunderstandings and even lead to termination of the negotiations.
Companies from Portugal or Brazil may also be irritated by the dress code of German entrepreneurs which is often rather casual. But in no case does this mean that the negotiation partner is not taken seriously – it rather results from the fact that in German medium-sized businesses everyone is accustomed to helping out on the shop floor. German entrepreneurs should not be expected to change for negotiations. 

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Philipp Klose

Managing Partner South America

+55 11 5094 6060

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Contact Portugal

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Filipe Lobo d’Avila

+351 212 4726 88

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