ABSTRACT Background: Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) affects 257 million people worldwide. However, the proportion of patients eligible for treatment in the public health system has not been established. This study describes the clinical and laboratory profiles of untreated CHB patients and estimates the eligibility rate for antiviral therapy in accordance with the Brazilian Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines. Methods: Records of 670 CHB patients were collected from May 2012 to September 2013 in Minas Gerais. Data from each patient were analyzed by hepatitis B virus (HBV) management. Results: 461 CHB patients were treatment-naive. Of these, 23 were HBeAg-positive, 352 were HBeAg-negative, and 14 were clinically diagnosed with cirrhosis. Periodic monitoring was performed in only three patients. However, 9.3% of untreated patients met the eligibility criteria for HBV treatment. Conclusions: Few CHB patients were active carriers and eligible candidates for antiviral therapy. This study revealed inadequate pre-treatment conduct in the Brazilian public health system, emphasizing the need for regular laboratory follow-up for patients initially not eligible for treatment. Such information may indirectly subsidize the planning and improvement of actions and services related to optimal HBV management in the public sphere.