Individual Microentrepreneur Allows Big Business in Brazil

Entrepreneurs can operate legally by paying fewer taxes

Daniel Roncaglia


Brazil reached the mark of 11 million Individual Microentrepreneurs (MEI) in 2020. There were 1.8 million new companies during the pandemic.

The federal government launched the program in 2009 to regularize the small business.

With a number in the National Register of Legal Entities (CNPJ, in Portuguese), a worker can issue invoices for various jobs.

The difference about other categories is that the tax is not charged per invoice issued.

The category is provided for by Complementary Law 128, of December 19, 2008.

The company pays a flat fee per month. Currently, the value is 61 reais (11.37 dollars). Part of the money goes to the National Institute of Social Security (INSS). It is counting as contribution time for retirement.

The annual billing limit is 81,000 reais (15,000 dollars). That means 6750 reais (1,257 dollars) per month, an amount well above the average Brazilian salary.

There is a list of permitted activities. The most popular professions are jobs with high demand for service. The first one is the hairdressers with 850,000 businesses open.

The official data shows that on the program are many young adults. The age group with the largest number of entrepreneurs is 31–40 years old, with more than 3.5 million.

The Individual Microentrepreneur is an opportunity for many people to generate income.