How to Start a Business in Portugal in 10 Simple Steps? – PMCG – Sociedade de Advogados SP RL


How to Start a Business in Portugal in 10 Simple Steps?


There are many reasons why choosing Portugal to start your business is a good decision, but… How to do it?

  1. Find a Lawyer!

As you start your business in Portugal it is advisable to speak to a firm, knowledgeable in business law. Obtaining the right advice can help you identify any tax breaks. As well as helping you generally navigate Portuguese bureaucracy as you launch your company.

Contact us and we will help you with the 9 remaining steps!

  1. Meet the Legal Residency Requirements

If you are a Non-EU/EFTA national, you will need to obtain a Portuguese work visa and residence permit; you may also be eligible for Portugal’s Golden Visa programme.

If you are an EU/EFTA National, you are free to travel and work in Portugal. However, to open a business, you will need to get a registration certificate.

  • Regardless of being an EU or Non-EU national…

You will need to sign up for a Tax Number, as well as a Social Security Number.

  1. Register Your Company
  2. Choose a business name;
  3. Sign up a business address in Portugal;
  4. Formally register the company;
  5. Choose a logo and a brand;
  6. Register the logo and brand at the INPI.

Keep in mind that:

  • There is also a symbolic initial capital requirement of €10 (ten euros) for limited companies (“Limitada” or “LDA.”);
  • If you are planning to set up the equivalent of a PLC (Sociedade Anónima) you will need a minimum of five shareholders and a minimum capital investment of €50,000. Liability of debts is limited to business assets and shareholders are liable for amounts up to their share value.

If you want to register a Foreign Company in Portugal, then…

  • If you want to open a branch or subsidiary of your company in Portugal, you will need to register the branch with the IRN and the Commercial Registry Office.
  • If you own a business that has been operating in at least two EU countries for the last two years you can create a European Company. This allows you to easily expand into Portugal and other EU countries.
  1. Open a bank account

Having a bank account is essential to managing the company’s profits and expenses.

It is common to find entrepreneurs who end up using an individual account for company receipts and payments.

This attitude can put the future of the company and the capital of the partners at risk.

Although there are only a few global banks operating in Portugal, digital banks allow you to manage your business accounts online or via apps. They have made great strides in their tech transformation and hardly ever require you to physically visit their branches.

  1. Get an Accountant!

An experienced accountant will provide a no-nonsense approach and will help you with all your financial concerns.

  1. Sign Up for Great Accounting Software

When you start a business in Portugal, it is now a requirement that all invoices be produced by an authorised accounting software product that is linked digitally to the tax authority. Besides this software, we also suggest getting an ERP software as well.

This not only saves you time and money but also provides constant visibility on your business. It shows you where you are with your clients and offers you the ability to instantly analyse your company’s financial performance.

Your accountant may help you!

  1. Get an Office / A space to your company

You will need a space to support work activity, where your employees will stay and where you can have meetings with customers and suppliers, receive correspondence or develop any activities necessary for the operation of a company.

  1. Employ Staff

As your business starts to grow and you start to build your team you will be tapping into the great talent Portugal has to offer.

Just make sure your account for the cost as you hire. Employers in Portugal are obligated to pay each employee 14 months of salary per year.  The extra two months are because holiday pay and Christmas bonus are equivalent to one-month salary each. You are also obligated to social security contributions.

Employees are entitled to 14 public holidays and five weeks annual paid leave.

If you plan to hire non-Portuguese employees, be sure they have a valid work visa.

  1. Get Workplace Health and Safety Checks

Every company in Portugal needs a yearly workplace safety check and access to occupational health services. There are now several companies providing these requirements.

The Portuguese tax year runs from the 1st January until 31st December.

When you become profitable you will need to start paying a corporate tax. It is charged at around 21%, one of the lowest in Europe. If you happen to have a very large company then your profit will be taxed progressively up to slightly above 30%.

Before that, however, you will need to pay some payroll taxes. These include a social security tax of 11% (paid by the employee) and a 23.75% levee paid by the company. In addition, there is a progressive Income Tax that is partly paid by the company.

Your accountant will need to send you a salary sheet with your social security and income tax payment codes.

Moreover, it is worth remembering that the VAT rate in Portugal is 23% and is paid to the state every three months minus VAT spent by the company on its purchases.


It is Time to Start a Business in Portugal!!

Still having doubts? It is normal! Please, go to the first step and come back here…

Are you back yet? Great!

We are here to help you… just a message away.

Contact us!