This work presents a non-linear boundary element formulation applied to analysis of contact problems. The boundary element method (BEM) is known as a robust and accurate numerical technique to handle this type of problem, because the contact among the solids occurs along their boundaries. The proposed non-linear formulation is based on the use of singular or hyper-singular integral equations by BEM, for multi-region contact. When the contact occurs between crack surfaces, the formulation adopted is the dual version of BEM, in which singular and hyper-singular integral equations are defined along the opposite sides of the contact boundaries. The structural non-linear behaviour on the contact is considered using Coulomb`s friction law. The non-linear formulation is based on the tangent operator in which one uses the derivate of the set of algebraic equations to construct the corrections for the non-linear process. This implicit formulation has shown accurate as the classical approach, however, it is faster to compute the solution. Examples of simple and multi-region contact problems are shown to illustrate the applicability of the proposed scheme. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.