Company formation in Portugal

Setting up a company in Portugal can be a promising step for companies. The southern European country offers numerous advantages for entrepreneurs looking to expand or internationalise their business activities

Portugal is characterised by its stable economy and a favourable business environment. The country's government has made efforts in recent years to facilitate the investment process and incentivise foreign investors. There are a number of tax and financial benefits that entrepreneurs can take advantage of when setting up a business in Portugal.

Companies wishing to set up a company or branch in Portugal can obtain information from InterGest Portugal. InterGest Portugal specialises in helping foreign companies plan and implement a business base in Portugal.

Nelson Queirós is Managing Director of InterGest Portugal since 2002. Since 1998 he has been registered at the Portuguese Chamber of Chartered Accountants. More than 15 years experience in International Business, especially in the fields of Administration and Controlling, gave him broad experience to support international players.

Advantages and opportunities of setting up a company in Portugal

Portugal offers an attractive tax environment for companies. The country has one of the most competitive tax systems in Europe. Small and medium-sized companies in particular benefit from low corporate tax rates and various tax incentives. The value added tax (IVA) is 23 per cent, which is moderate compared to other European countries.

Portugal has a well-educated labour force. The country has a high number of university graduates and a good infrastructure for research and development. Many Portuguese universities maintain close ties with the business community, which is an advantage for both existing companies and start-ups. In addition, many Portuguese speak English, which makes it easier to communicate with international business partners.

In Portugal, administrative procedures for setting up a company have been simplified and bureaucracy reduced. It is now possible to set up a company online within 24 hours. There are special organisations, such as business incubators, that support start-ups in their first steps and provide them with resources and mentoring.

Portugal offers good options for funding start-ups. There are various public and private funding programmes that support entrepreneurs in raising capital. In addition, there is a growing number of business angels and venture capital companies willing to invest in promising start-ups.

InterGest Portugal advises companies and start-ups on their business plans in Portugal. As a local administrative service provider, InterGest Portugal supports entrepreneurs in setting up a company. Expertise includes payroll, business process outsourcing, accounting, tax and legal advice, day-to-day fiduciary administration, reporting and controlling.

Legal aspects and first steps

The first step in setting up a company in Portugal is selecting the appropriate legal form. This is followed by the creation and registration of the articles of association (Contrato de Sociedade) and the appointment of the directors and shareholders. It is necessary to open a commercial register (Registo Comercial) and register the company in the company register. These steps ensure that your company is legally recognised and registered.

As an entrepreneur, tax obligations towards the Portuguese tax authorities must be fulfilled. This includes registering for VAT (IVA) as well as filing tax returns and paying corporate taxes.

Labour laws and employment contracts must also be taken into account. It is important to respect the rights and obligations of employees, enter into the necessary contracts and pay employee social security contributions.

Given the complex administrative, tax and legal processes involved in setting up a company in Portugal, it is advisable to work with an experienced service provider such as InterGest Portugal. Managing Director Nelson Queirós has many years of experience in administration and controlling. He has the necessary expertise to advise and support internationally orientated companies and knows the applicable laws and regulations. InterGest Portugal helps to avoid legal problems and ensure the smooth establishment of companies.

Company forms and their characteristics

A successful company formation in Portugal requires not only a solid business idea, but also a sound knowledge of the different company forms and their characteristics. These are:

1. Limited liability company (Lda)

The Lda requires at least one shareholder and a minimum capital of EUR 5,000. The liability of the shareholders is limited to their capital contribution. They are not personally liable for the company's liabilities. An Lda offers both flexibility and limited liability risk, which makes it an attractive option for many entrepreneurs.

2. Public limited company (SA)

A public limited company requires at least five shareholders and a minimum capital of 50,000 euros. In contrast to the Lda, the shareholders are liable with their paid-up capital shares. The SA is particularly suitable for larger companies that require extensive financing and an increased capital structure.

3. Branch office

A branch office enables a foreign company to have a presence in Portugal without having to set up an independent company. The branch is legally dependent on the parent company and is not liable independently. This can be an interesting option for companies that are already established in another country and now want to expand in Portugal.

Various factors should be taken into account when choosing the appropriate company form, such as the size of the company, the sector in which it will operate, the desired limitation of liability and the tax implications. Seek advice from InterGest Portugal at an early stage in order to take the right steps from the outset when setting up and managing your company.

Financial aspects of setting up a company in Portugall

Portugal offers an attractive tax system for companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Corporation tax currently stands at 21 per cent. There are various tax incentives and exemptions for investments in regions of the country or in certain sectors.

Wage levels in Portugal are relatively low compared to other Western European countries. This allows companies to hire qualified labour at competitive costs. This is particularly interesting for companies operating in sectors with high labour requirements, such as the service sector or manufacturing.

Portugal has various financing options for entrepreneurs. There are state support programmes. The country has a solid and stable banking landscape that supports companies in obtaining loans and financing.

The favourable tax system, the low wage level, the financing options and the banking system make Portugal an interesting location for entrepreneurs. If you want to find out more about the specific financial regulations and requirements before setting up a company, InterGest Portugal is the right partner for you. Founded in 1996, the InterGest Portugal team has many years of experience in supporting company formations in the Portuguese market. The range of services is broad. These include bookkeeping and accounting, import/export and administrative work, business accounting, cash and credit management, personnel recruitment and administration, payroll accounting, legal and tax advice, invoicing, dunning and debt collection as well as support in setting up sales.

Choice of location for company formation in Portugal

Portugal has a modern infrastructure and a well-developed transport network that enables companies to transport their products and services efficiently. In particular, its proximity to important European markets such as Spain, France and Germany makes Portugal an attractive location for export companies.

The country has a well-educated population, particularly in the fields of technology, engineering and languages. Portugal therefore offers ideal conditions for companies that need highly qualified employees.

Another exciting aspect: Portugal is known for its high quality of life. The country offers breathtaking nature, a rich culture, a pleasant climate and a good work-life balance. This makes Portugal not only an attractive location for company founders, but also for employees.

Support and advice for setting up a company in Portugal

Do you find the Portuguese market attractive for your company and want to set up a company or open a branch office there? InterGest Portugal will make it easier for you to enter the market. Nelson Queirós and his team will advise you on administrative, financial and legal business matters. This will help you get your business off to a successful start in Portugal.

Where to find Intergest Portugal?
InterGest Portugal offices are located in Sintra, part of UNESCO-World Heritage Site, 20 minutes away from the capital, Lisbon. InterGest office is located in one of the most important Portuguese commercial areas, and it is 15 Kilometers away from the Lisbon International Airport.



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