Looking for answers to your questions? Look no further!

1. How much time does it take to open up a company in Portugal?

At Oporto Accounting we make the process to incorporate a company in Portugal fast and easy. In around 1 month we will set up your company, open the bank account, register the company at the Tax Authority (Autoridade Tributária) and at the Social Security Services (Segurança Social);

2. When I arrive to Portugal will somebody accompany me to all necessary institutions and bank agency?

Yes, before arriving we will send you an itinerary, indicating date, time and location of all necessary institutions including bank account, and one of our staff members will personally accompany you until company formation is fully concluded.

3. What Identity documents will I need when setting up a company in Portugal? You will need to carry your passport, a proof of residence with complete address and your tax number in your country of residence

Before a company registration can be completed with Oporto Accounting, you will need to provide us a certified proof of identity (preferably passport) and a certified document showing proof of address (e.g. bank statements, utility bills, tax documents) for the directors and shareholders of the new company in Portugal.

4. Being foreign and a non resident, can I open a company in Portugal or are there any constraints that I should know of?

Portugal is a free market economy. Foreigners are welcome and no special restrictions apply to foreign shareholders or directors in Portugal. This country has agreements with more than 50 other countries for the reciprocal protection and promotion of investments, and agreements with 79 countries for the avoidance of double taxation.

5. What are the most common company formats that exist in Portugal?

Sociedade por Quotas (LDA) Sociedade por Quotas is a private limited liability company, the share capital is divided into “quotas” of at least 1 euro each. There must be a minimum of 2 shareholders.   

Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas is a Sole Trader Company, and is essentially a Sociedade Por Quotas (Lda) having a single shareholder.   

Sociedade Anónima (SA) Sociedade Anónima (SA), is a corporation/public limited company with a minimum capital of EUR 50,000, at least 30% of which must be paid on incorporation. Capital is represented by freely transferable shares, there must be an initial number of shareholders  (5) to set up a Sociedade Anónima company. The SA is the most demanding entity in terms of regulatory compliance and, irrespective of size, its accounts have to be audited annually by a certified auditor (Revisor Oficial de Contas), a requirement that only applies to other business entities in case they exceed a certain size or have a regulated activity.

Holding Company (SGPS) Where an Lda or an SA is essentially a holding company subject to applicable regulations, it may adopt the additional legal status of a regulated holding company, called Sociedade Gestora de Participações Sociais (SGPS). The advantages of this legal status lie essentially in the tax benefits it confers.

The branch (sucursal) of a non resident business entity is a permanent establishment that carries on a business activity in Portugal, its registration being mandatory should any activity be carried on (or intended to be carried on) for more than one year. It is a local extension of the represented business entity, without separate legal personality, the management of the branch being performed under delegation of powers by the owning entity. It is in practice treated as a domestic company regarding taxation and compliance; but unlike other jurisdictions there is no requirement to file the “parent’s” accounts in Portugal, and unlike a domestic company, the distribution of profits by the branch to the “parent” is not subject to any taxes.

6. What are the main services that Oporto Accounting provides in addition to the company setup process:
  1. Registration of Company with the AT (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira – Tax Authority)
  2. Registration of Company with the Portuguese Social Security system
  3. Recommendation on the most appropriate fiscal arrangement to ensure taxation levels are optimised
  4. Resolution of tax enquiries related to the industry sector of the company
  5. Maintenance of all legally required records (income, expenses, invoicing, assets)
  6. Completion and presentation of all required tax returns
  7. Company annual return (abbreviated accounts: balance sheet, profit and loss statement, annual report)
  8. Ongoing updates on any legislative changes affecting the area of the Company Activities
7. How much does it cost to set up a limited company in Portugal?

The price varies depending on the services you require. For setting up a limited company in Portugal, we always try to provide a competitive quote tailored to your individual needs.  Contact us for more information on incorporating in Portugal and to learn more about the services we can offer your business.

8. What tax rate will apply to my Portuguese Limited Company?

The corporate tax rate for a limited company in Portugal is currently 21%, among the lowest in Europe. The low corporation tax rate has been one of the primary reasons why companies globally are interested in Portugal. As Directors and business owners, it is very important to know the tax rates before proceeding with any decision related to your Portuguese company. It is a good opportunity for businesses to save a lot of money on their tax bills as well as ensuring they get the most out of their year-end revenue.

9. Can I open a Portuguese Limited Company Bank Account in Portugal as a Non-Resident or being a foreigner?

Yes, Portuguese banks will open business accounts in your business name for non-resident and foreign individuals. We work with Eurobic.

10. What annual paperwork needs to be filled for my company?

In Portugal limited companies are required by law to produce annual accounts, a director’s report (which has to include a true and fair view of the company’s affairs, the business trajectory and standing, as well as a list of principal – if any – risks that the company faces, the company’s likely future outlook amongst other matters). The company is also liable for corporation tax.

11. Do I need to visit for setting up a limited company in Portugal?

No, your physical presence is not required in Portugal in order to incorporate a company. Signed application and identity documents can be sent by post in advance of your limited company setup. However, we always like to invite our clients to Porto or Lisbon to meet us where possible.

12. Do company owners or directores need to be resident in Portugal?

No, limited company owners or directors do not need to be resident in Portugal. The nationality of a owner or director will not influence the company formation process in Portugal.

Adriana Bessa

Adriana Bessa

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