All You Need to Know on How to Start a Business in Portugal

No matter what expansion strategy you put into place, BRIDGE IN can help you register a company in Portugal, or simply hire skilled talent through its Employer of Record services.

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  1. SOFT-LANDING IN PORTUGAL — many are the requirements you need to meet prior to establishing your legal entity in Portugal. Although English is widely spoken, much of the official correspondence and official documents you will be dealing with will be in Portuguese. By acting as your interim country manager, BRIDGE IN can help you streamline the whole process: working with us as your local experts will greatly speed up your market entry, cut your learning curve & culture adaptation, help you identify and offset risks, avoid mishaps and maximize your ROI.
How to efficiently start a business in Portugal
How to efficiently start a business in Portugal
Test the market by hiring talent through an EOR, and incorporate your company and your team later.

Work with an Employer of Record in Portugal: Reach Your Growth Goals Faster While Keeping Costs Down

When you are entering regions and territories where you have no experience operating and in-depth knowledge of the regulatory framework, miscalculating timelines, and underestimating potential costs are common mistakes. A general rule of thumb is that no matter where you are looking to gain an international presence, everything will take more time and be more expensive than you think.

BRIDGE IN, your Employer of Record in Portugal
BRIDGE IN, your Employer of Record in Portugal

Setting Up a Company in Portugal

Portugal is ranked 39 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings, scoring significantly better than larger economies such as Spain, Italy and Germany. It is indeed relatively easy to set up a business in Portugal; however, the process involves a great deal of time, local regulations knowledge and paperwork.

Ease of doing business in Portugal
Ease of doing business in Portugal
Source: World Bank — the ranking of economies on the ease of starting a business goes from 0 to 100, where 0 is not easy at all and 100 is the best-ranking position.
  • The managing directors of the company;
  • The social object of the company;
  • The articles of association that will be applicable to the new company (you can either draft the articles or use a local pre-approved template).
  1. Company office address: You will need to register a business address in Portugal. You can find many coworking spaces in Lisbon and elsewhere in the country that will allow you to use their address as your business address.
  2. Get a certified accountant: when registering your company, you will have to prove that you have a certified accountant (“TOC”) or you can also choose one from a list made available at the registration desk. Also, if you decide to create a Public Limited Company, you need to have an auditor — Revisor Oficial de Contas (ROC) — as well.
  3. Get a lawyer: Although not absolutely mandatory, getting a law firm involved can be a good idea, especially if you have a complex legal structure or require custom Articles of Association. Talk to us to know who the best lawyer for you is.
  4. Decide on company legal structure:
  • Individual Stakeholder Company (“Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas”)
  • Public Limited Company (“Sociedade anónima”)
  • Others (additional information here)
  • Setting up on the spot (service called “Empresa na hora”) allows you to register your business in person. All shareholders of the future company have to go to the Empresa na Hora desk to start the incorporation process. If any shareholder cannot attend, they may be represented by another person who shall have power of attorney. For a standard registration, this service costs around 360€. If the company’s share capital includes assets that are not money, this registration cost may vary. Also, when setting up on the spot, the Articles of Association must follow pre-approved templates.
  • Setting up through the traditional way implies going through several steps with different entities, at different times. You need to apply for the Certificate of Name approval, deposit the company’s share capital, prepare the memorandum and articles of association, submit the declaration of beginning of activity, register your business at the Commercial Registry Office, and register at the Social Security.
Corporate Income Tax in Portugal compared to other countries
Corporate Income Tax in Portugal compared to other countries
Source: Trading Economics

BRIDGE IN helps companies set-up their tech hub and hire talent in Portugal. We are the OS for distributed teams.

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