What Is a CNPJ Number?

A CNPJ number is a tax identification number for companies in Brazil. CNPJ stands for Cadastro Nacional de Pessoas Jurídicas, which is Brazilian Portugese for National Registry of Legal Entities.

The CNPJ is a fourteen digit number that must be included on all receipts and invoices. Tax authorities assign an eight-digit company registration number that makes up the first part of the CNPJ. The following four digits refer to the business place or branch. Company headquarters are usually assigned the number 0001 for this section of the identification number, with other branches receiving different numbers. The final two numbers are called check digits. Systems use this number as a quality check to ensure the CNPJ is entered correctly when creating new customer or vendor entries.

Legal entities can apply for a CNPJ by submitting a DBE, or Entry Basic Document, a copy of the company’s charter and a power of attorney, if one of the company’s partners lives outside of Brazil, to the Federal Revenue Secretariat. The company charter or equivalent document must include the name, address and opening date of the company, the type of corporation and the names of the company’s partners and managers. A CNPJ must be issued before the company can conduct any business operations.