CNAE Register in Brazil

From January 1st, 2019 on, Brazilian companies and Brazil-based subsidiaries have to issue the Bloco K report in line with the SPED e-Accounting regulations. The concrete deadline for each company depends on its revenues as well as its industry affiliation. This affiliation is defined by the CNAE register. These regulatory changes are particularly relevant to companies planning a SAP-Rollout in Brazil given that tax compliance is one of the biggest challenges in the process.


What it is

CNAE (Classificação Nacional de Atividades Econômicas) stands for the National Classification of Economic Activities and issues a specific code to each company based on its productive activities. Depending on the code different legal and tax regulations apply to the business. Consequently, it is important to choose your code wisely!

The CNAE register is based on the ISIC register from the United Nations and aims to categorize and provide equal legal treatment for alike industries.


How to choose your CNAE code

In order to detect the correct CNAE code companies need to consult the CONCLA table from the National Classification Commission. This table can be found here, on the website of the National Geodata and Statistics Authority (IBGE, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística).

Based on the table the primary and secondary activities of your company can be compared to those of the provided classifications. The classification is carried out using a menu, consisting of the menu options Seção (section), Divisões (division) and Grupo (group according to the description of the activities).


Classification Example

In the following example, a company belongs to the electricity and gas sector. Specifically, it classifies as section D, division 35. Depending on the specific activities it can be subcategorizes in one of the three following groups:

  • 35.1 for the generation, transmission and distribution of electric energy
  • 35.2 for the production and distribution of gas in urban networks
  • 35.3 for the production and distribution of vapor, hot water and air conditioning


Every group will be further subdivided into a Classe (class) and Subclasse (subclass):

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