Brazil is one of the countries that most attracts foreign investment. According to the Census of Foreign Capital in Brazil conducted by the Central Bank of Brazil every five years, in 2010 the stock of Foreign Direct Investment totaled US$ 660.5 billion, equivalent to 30.8% of national GDP. The amount invested by foreign countries in Brazil in 2011 was a record total of US$ 101.7 billion.

In the same year the country was considered top be the 5th best place to invest according to the World Investment Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Another recent study highlighted Brazil as the third country in the world in foreign investment, behind only the United States and China.

Foreign investment occurs with the entry of foreign or national currency into the country. According to Law 4,131/62(content in portuguese), foreign capital also includes machinery and equipment for the production of goods or services and financial or monetary resources for use in economic activities.

The capital must come from individuals or registered companies domiciled abroad. Foreigners can also invest in the the same instruments available to Brazilian investors, receiving the same legal treatment, guaranteed by law. Foreign capital that enters Brazil as direct foreign investment is not subject to taxation.

In order to invest in Brazil the foreign investor is required to have a representative responsible for the registration of the operation with the Central Bank, together with a representative for the company that will receive investment, in accordance with National Monetary Council Resolution 2,689/2000. The representative must maintain documentation that supports any information that has been declared and must inform of any payments made abroad.

Brazilian laws and regulations require that all foreign investments, regardless of their type, are registered with the Central Bank. This registration is of a declaratory nature and is individualized, it does not serve as an authorization, and it must be declared in the currency of the country of origin.

Registration is done online via the Central Bank Information System by means of the Electronic Declaration Registry (RDE). More information is contained in the RDE Manual (contents in Portuguese).

Foreign investments are registered grouped in specific modalities, according to their classification as direct investment, foreign credits, technical assistance contracts, royalties and investments in financial and capital markets.

All registrations are issued with a RDE number, which is used in foreign exchange transactions relating to remittances abroad for the return of capital, interest, profits and dividends. There is no requirement for examination or prior authorization from the Central Bank for remittances.

The objective of the register is to monitor the flow of capital entering and exiting Brazil and to evaluate foreign capital stocks.

Reinvestment of capital gains and alterations in the monetary value of remittances is also required to be registered under current legislation. Currently, the registration of foreign investment is required 30 days from its entry into Brazil, independent of the payment of fees.