MEI: check out how to become a formalized entrepreneur

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For those looking to open their own business, or work autonomously and want to formalize it, an alternative is the individual microentrepreneur registration (MEI).

According to Sebrae, in 2021 alone, 3.9 million Brazilians became MEI, an increase of 19.8% compared to 2020.

What is MEI?

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In general terms, MEI is a legal form for the formalization of self-employed workers.

When the individual registers on the platform, he/she has a National Register of Legal Entities (CNPJ ) and a Municipal and State Registration that allow loans as a company and opening of a bank account for legal entities.

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In addition, the MEI is entitled to benefits such as old-age and disability retirement, maternity pay and sick pay.

Who can participate?

To be registered as an individual micro and entrepreneur, the professional needs to earn up to R$ 81 thousand per year, an average of R$ 6,750 per month.

In addition, you cannot have a stake in another company as a partner or owner; and can have at most one employee who receives the minimum wage or floor of the category.

If they exceed this amount, the individual leaves the sub-category and becomes part of Simples Nacional, which has a different tax regime.

Not all professions can be MEI. On the Federal Government website, there is a complete list of permitted occupations, which include manicurists, pool workers, astrologers and day laborers.

How much does it cost to be MEI?

Registration in the MEI is free . The individual microentrepreneur will have as expenses only the monthly payment of Simples Nacional. currently at R$ 60.60 – 5% of the minimum wage.

This amount is fixed, and collected through the Simplified Collection Document of the MEI, called DAS-MEI.

MEIs that carry out activities related to Commerce and Industry pay R$ 1 more referring to ICMS (Tax on the Circulation of Goods and Services) and those related to the Service, R$ 5 referring to ISS (Tax on Services). The maximum amount charged is R$ 66.60.

how to formalize

According to Sebrae, opening a MEI is a process designed to be simple, without bureaucracy. It is done 100% over the internet, without the need for an accountant. Check out the step by step below:

  1. Access the Federal Government Services Portal and create an account with login and password. If you already have the registration, just log into the account;
  2. Access the Entrepreneur Portal and click on “Quero ser MEI”, and then on “Formaliza-se”;
  3. Fill in the questionnaire.


In the questionnaire, it is necessary to inform some personal data, such as RG, CPF, contact telephone number and residential address. In addition to these, business data such as type of occupation, trade name and business address are also required.

It is also necessary to inform the number of the last two income tax returns, if any.

Advantages and disadvantages

According to Antônio André Neto, MBA professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), the government’s objective in creating the MEI was to transform the significant number of people working informally into formal workers.

In this way, Brazilians who did not have job security began to enjoy a series of benefits, paying an amount that André Neto considers “very low” through a “very simple” process.

An advantage mentioned by the professor is the social security coverage of the INSS, which guarantees benefits such as retirement due to age and disability, pension for death, maternity allowance, sickness allowance and reclusion allowance – when the individual is arrested – among others.

In addition, the employee has the technical support of Sebrae – Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Companies – which, according to Neto, is the main support body for micro-entrepreneurs in Brazil. Sebrae provides a series of courses, indications and information to the formalized professional.

Individuals who have this record can also have easier access to some microcredits: Caixa Econômica Federal, Banco do Brasil and Banco do Nordeste, for example, offer lines of credit that facilitate access to MEI members.

Another point that the teacher considers an advantage is for individuals who have an employee. “Overall, the cost of having an employee is 11% of the payroll, which is much less than what companies pay to have an employee,” he explains.

Neto points out that there are some limitations in the MEI. There is a ceiling on receipts and company growth. If the professional exceeds these values, there are already more fees and limitations.

Even so, he believes that anyone who can open a MEI should do so. “There are hundreds of professions allowed. The objective of the MEI is to favor these professionals, to protect them”, he concludes.

* Under supervision of Ana Carolina Nunes

Source: CNN Brasil

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