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

  1. EMPLOYER OF RECORD SERVICES — if you are not ready to take the leap, there is an easier and less risky solution that will allow you to avoid major up-front investments and a raft of foreign compliance requirements. With us as an EOR provider, you can start hiring and having operations in Portugal by employing your team under BRIDGE IN: you keep ownership of the workforce while we take care of taxes, payrolls and all HR-related tasks under our own local legal entity.
  2. 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
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

BRIDGE IN, your Employer of Record in Portugal

Setting Up a Company 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 shareholders of the company;
  • 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. Choose a name: you can pick one from a list of pre-approved names or choose one outside of the list and request a name approval certificate before registering the company. A standard request takes up to 10 business days to get an answer and it costs 75€. For urgent requests (answer in 1 business day) the cost is 150€.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Decide on company legal structure:
  • Private Limited Company (“Sociedade por Quotas”)
  • Individual Stakeholder Company (“Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas”)
  • Public Limited Company (“Sociedade anónima”)
  • Others (additional information here)
  • Setting up online takes less than an hour and the registration fee depends on the Articles of Association chosen: approximately 220€ for pre-approved articles and 360€ for articles established by founders. If you choose to register your company online, you and all the shareholders of the company to be established must hold a Portuguese Citizen Card with an activated digital signature or a Digital Mobile Key. Otherwise, we can help you to choose a registered lawyer, notary or solicitor that holds a digital certificate and can register the company on your behalf.
  • 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
Source: Trading Economics



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