Open a Business in Portugal
in 8 Steps
A business can be of different types: from simply opening a VAT number as a freelancer, to opening a commercial activity, to opening a company or enterprise.
Portugal, with its mild climate, natural beauty and steadily increasing economic growth, is attracting more and more entrepreneurs eager to start a new adventure abroad. Opening a business in Portugal can be an exciting step, but it is crucial to understand the process and requirements to do so successfully. In this section we explore the step-by-step process for those who want to establish a business in this fascinating country.
1. Define Your Business Idea
The first crucial step is to have a clear vision of your business. You need to decide what form of business you want to start, whether it will be a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company or a subsidiary of a foreign company. It is important to conduct thorough market research to understand the potential and competition in your niche.
4. Obtain a NIF (Tax Identification Number)
The NIF is the Portuguese tax number, which is essential for conducting business in the country. You can apply at any Portuguese finance office or online via the Portale das Finanças. You will need to present your passport, residence certificate, company certificate and application form.
2. Plan Your Business
Planning is crucial. You should create a comprehensive business plan that includes information on your finances, business structure, marketing strategies and financial projections. This plan will help you obtain financing, if necessary, and clearly define your goals.
5. Open a Corporate Bank Account
Opening a bank account for your business in Portugal is essential to manage your business finances. You will need to provide your business documents, your NIF and residence certificate to open a bank account. Many Portuguese banks offer specialized services for foreign companies.
3. Choose a Name and Registration
You will have to choose a unique name for your company and check its availability with the Portuguese Commercial Registry which can be done at the Centro de Formalidades das Empresas (CFE) or online. You will need to provide your certificate of residence, tax code and the company's articles of incorporation.
6. Registration with the Portuguese Classification of Economic Activities (CAE) Information System
CAE registration defines the economic sector in which your company operates. You must register with the CAE via the Portal da Empresa, identifying the appropriate CAE code for your business.
7. Tax Compliance
It is important to comply with all tax regulations in Portugal. You will be subject to income tax and VAT. A local accountant specialized in international tax law can be a valuable ally in ensuring tax compliance.
8. Set up Operations
Once all bureaucratic steps have been completed, you can officially start business operations. Hire employees, open premises if necessary, and start your business operations.
Opening a business in Portugal can be an exciting entrepreneurial decision, but it is important to be well prepared and to follow the registration process scrupulously. In addition, it can be helpful to seek the help of local professionals, such as accountants and lawyers specialized in business law, to ensure a smooth transition into the Portuguese business world. With the right planning and due diligence, Portugal can offer numerous opportunities for entrepreneurial success to those who are eager to embark on this adventure.
Once all bureaucratic issues have been sorted, you’re ready to start! But first of all, your project needs a targeted promotion. Get in touch with our start-up experts, who will promote your business the best way, in order to avoid wasting time and money.