Company Incorporation in Portugal - Residency, VAT, Accountants, Visas & Taxes
A natural hub for trade between Europe and America, Portugal has an open economy and actively seeks to attract foreign investment, with plenty of incentives available. (See our article about Portuguese Tax Breaks).
What are the main types of company in Portugal?
There are two main forms of corporate structure for foreign companies, and they are as follows:
- public company (S.A.)
- private limited company (Lda)
Requirements for company formation in Portugal
- The minimum share capital for an Lda is now €1, which needs to be paid before the end of the tax year in which the company was incorporated.
- The minimum share capital changes with the amount of shareholders. One shareholder €1, two shareholders €2. This lower share capital amount is dependent on the business activities of the company and does not require any authorisation. The shareholders will have to pass a minute declaring that the share capital was deposited.
- Banks may require more than this figure in order to set up an account and provide good financial conditions. They should be able to show that the company has good collateral and a solid business plan.
- You will need to visit Portugal to sign documents with the notary and sign forms for the bank account. This must be done within 15 days of the company formation.
- An electronic post box is required in order to receive the Portuguese tax correspondence. These are issued through the Portuguese Post Service (CTT) with a specific ID code and password. The account must be checked on a regular basis.
- An accountant should be appointed prior to incorporation as VAT registration or the filing of tax returns without the intervention of a chartered accountant is not permitted. We can provide expert accountants along with a registered address for the company. But if you have your own accountant, confirmation is needed to prove they can provide a registered office address for the company.
What are the main features of a public company?
- this is the standard format for large businesses
- minimum share capital is €50,000
- minimum number of shareholders is five
- stringent accounting and auditing requirements
Is it complicated to set up a company in Portugal?
Much less complicated than it used to be. Portugal has streamlined its incorporation procedures in recent years, although professional advice remains absolutely essential. Our network of local experts in Portugal will be there to guide you.
How easy is it to recruit staff in Portugal?
Portugal has a strong and highly developed recruitment industry. There is no shortage of well-qualified applicants for jobs, but it is important to make certain that you are dealing with a recruitment agency that you can trust. It’s also worth noting that Portuguese labor laws protect the employee and it’s essential to take advice before entering into a contractual arrangement. We have a panel of recommended recruitment and employment law specialists in Portugal who will be happy to help you on this issue.
What is the regulatory environment like?
For centuries Portugal has relied on international trade and this is reflected today in the liberal nature of its economy. The regulatory environment is easygoing, while maintaining standard EU rules. Foreign companies are free to invest as they wish, although there are limits in certain strategic sectors. There are no obstacles to capital entering the country, nor any restraint on the repatriation of profits or dividends.
Are there financial incentives available?
Portugal offers generous incentives, many of them backed by EU funds, to attract foreign companies wishing to invest. Special incentives are available for large investment projects and for proposals that would impact positively on tourism, science and the environment.
And what about banking facilities?
Most major international banks and financial institutions have a base in Portugal and offer a full range of banking facilities to investors. The local financial sector is also more than capable of meeting the needs of the international investment community. You will need a bank account if you want to open a company in Portugal which we can help you with.
For more information about opening a bank account or company incorporation in Portugal, along with any other issues including residency, VAT, accountants, visas & taxes, please contact us on 0033 (0)1 53 57 49 10 or email us from our contact page and we’ll be happy to help.