If you would like to register a foreign company in a jurisdiction of good repute, you should give an eye to Portugal. Contrary to what you might expect, starting a business in this EU member state is not so expensive. An account with a European PSP is going to be as functional as a traditional bank account but it is much easier to open.
Reasons to set up a business company in Portugal
There are several compelling reasons to relocate your business to Portugal or establish a branch of your company in the country. Their combination makes establishing economic presence in Portugal a very exciting opportunity.
- Portugal has a favorable geographic position. It is the westernmost country in Europe and it is located close to Africa. Besides, Portugal used to be an outstanding naval power before and it colonized several countries around the globe. Apart from Europe, the Portuguese language is spoken on three other continents: America, Asia, and Africa. Portugal maintains close economic and cultural relationships with all its former colonies and it is especially true for Brazil.
- The Government of Portugal has recently introduced several regulations that foreign investors find truly inviting. A large investment into the country’s economy will make you qualified for a Golden Visa. This type of visa provides for a residence permit in Portugal on the condition that you spend at least 14 days in the country each year. Clearly, a Portuguese residence card gives visa-free access to all other Western European states.
- In addition to that, there are numerous startup business support programs in Portugal. This includes informational, educational, administrative and financial support to small and medium-size business companies. The Government makes every effort to promote business development in the country.
- Thanks to the Government’s efforts, the Portuguese economy is currently growing. All sectors of the market are on the rise with tourists services growing at an especially fast pace. There are several multibillion development projects going on in Portugal at the moment. A sharp-witted entrepreneur will find vast fields to plough in the country: there are an immense number of business opportunities in the Portugal of today.
- Portuguese universities are well known in the world for the high level of education that they provide. There are many highly qualified specialists in the country. The labor cost, however, is considerably lower in Portugal than in all other Western European countries. A Portuguese engineer, for instance, is paid twice as little as his colleague from Great Britain and four times less than his Swedish counterpart is. This is one of the reasons why many large international corporations bring they research and production facilities to Portugal.
- At the same time, the cost of living in Portugal is also much lower than that in the neighboring countries. This makes the living standards in Portugal as high as anywhere else in Europe.
- Maintaining a company in Portugal, consequently, will cost you comparatively little as well. Below we offer packaged company maintenance services and when you look at the table, you will find that the price of supporting a company registered in Portugal is nothing extravagant.
- People are friendly in Portugal and they are welcoming to foreigners too. Speaking Portuguese is very desirable, however, English is mandatory in schools and almost everybody can at least give directions in Lisbon, Porto, or any other large city.
- Some business people, especially those arriving to Portugal from Great Britain or the United States, say that they have had to adapt to a much slower pace of life in the country that the one they are used to. Things are not usually done as fast in Portugal as they are in some other countries. But then again, this trait of national character is typical of all warm countries. And Portugal is the warmest country in Western Europe.
Company registration in Portugal
Various forms of company ownership are available in Portugal. You can establish a sole proprietorship or a partnership, a private or a public company, with or without employees, and so on. We can assist you in setting up any type of company in Portugal. However, here we will promote the type of company ownership that is most popular with both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs – the Limited Liability Company.
The Portuguese abbreviation for LLC is LDA. This form of proprietorship has several attractive characteristics in Portugal. First, the company charter capital can be 1 euro only. Most LDA’s register 5,000 euros as their charter capital but having it as low as 1 euro is not prohibited by the Portuguese law.
Second, unlike in many other countries, a single person can be the LDA constitutor. Moreover, the company founder can hire him or herself as the only company director. No other employees are required by law.
The list of documents necessary for registering an LDA in Portugal is rather short. The following documents will have to be submitted to the Trade Registry:
- A copy of your foreign passport or any other official ID that carries your photograph and your signature;
- A proof of your residential address such as a recent utility bill or a bank account statement, for instance;
- The prospective company Articles of Association.
The latter document shall contain all the basic information about your future Portuguese company: its official name, its ownership structure, its prospective fields of economic activity, its management organization, and so on. We will be happy to assist you in making a draft of the Articles of Association for your Portuguese company. We have registered a vast number of companies in Portugal for our clients and we know very well what exactly the Registrar wants to see.
A special note has to be made about the company official name, as this detail is quite peculiar in Portugal. Any company name has to be approved by the Portuguese Registrar before the company can be registered with the authorities. The Trade Registry has a list of possible company names that have been already preapproved. If you want to be tame and select one of these names for your Portuguese company, you will save a lot of time and money.
If you want to be vain, however, and insist on a company name of your own invention, you will have to wait two more weeks while this name goes through the approval process and besides, this service provided by the Portuguese state bodies is going to cost you another 1,200 euros. This said, the choice remains yours.
If you choose the easier path, the whole process of company registration in Portugal is going to take about two weeks. We believe it is sensible to opt for this variant, as you will only have to use your official company name in the official documents such as the Registration Certificate, for example. The Portuguese legislation does not prohibit using any other name as your shop window name or your brand name.
The total price of our combined service “a company in Portugal + an account with a European PSP” includes the payment of state duties, acquisition of a Tax ID for you and your company, and a number of other smaller expenses. We also offer additional company maintenance services that will come at an additional pay.
Company maintenance costs in Portugal
There are regular expenditures that you cannot possibly avoid if you have a business company registered in Portugal. In particular, the law requires that every company in the country have a registered legal address. Besides, every company has to keep financial records and thus it has to hire an accountant or an accounting firm. The company office rent price is quite affordable in Portugal and it starts from 3,000 euros per year. The accounting support will cost you from 3,600 euros per year but the ultimate price will depend on the actual amount of accounting work that needs to be done.
We also offer three Family Office service packages, each of which contains a different number of services and thus they are differently priced. Unlike the legal address and the accounting support, the services that are specified in the table below are not mandatory. However, buying a service package is going to work out less expensive than purchasing each service separately.
|Family Office Package||Basic
300 EUR per month
600 EUR per month
1,200 EUR per month
|Interaction with tax authorities, state agencies, and banks (up to five contacts per month)||V||V||V|
|Original documents storage, archive, scanning of the incoming mail, communication with the accountant (up to 5 e-mails or phone calls per month)||V||V||V|
|Company legal address||V||V||V|
|2 hours of consultations or legal services||V||V|
|2 hours of miscellaneous services||V||V|
|1 additional hour of consultations||V|
|3 hours for simple tasks||V|
|Transportation in the city for 2 days||V|
|Airport – city – airport transfer||V|
|Unlimited assistance in interaction with the accountant and state bodies||V|
A corporate bank account with a European PSP
Your Portuguese-based company cannot do business without a corporate account. We invite you to consider the opportunity to open an account the remote basis and advantageous conditions. Below we will promote a Payment Service Provider (PSP) stationed in Lithuania.
Lithuanian payment systems
European banks are often reluctant to work with newly established companies. The reason for this is the fact that such companies have not had the time to earn a reputation yet as they are only entering the market. Besides, traditional banks will not service companies whose business is not 100% clear to them. They will automatically regard such business as a risky one.
Opening an account with one of the Lithuanian PSP’s would be a wonderful alternative to a bank account. It is advisable to choose this jurisdiction as the country provides the best financial services in Eastern Europe. Thanks to the recent changes in the Lithuanian legislation, new possibilities have emerged for banks as well as fintech companies.
The PSP that we are advertising here provides international financial services and consults its clients on various issues related to the services and investment opportunities. The company has offices in Lithuania, Malta, Cyprus, Iceland, the USA, and Singapore.
This PSP holds a license that allows operating in the international financial service market. It is involved with electronic money emission and circulation, and provision of professional services under the requirements of the European legislation and European Parliament directives. The regulating authority for the PSP is the Central Bank of Lithuania.
International corporate clients of this company can use its fund management and global payment services. The PSP closely cooperates with the companies that issue and support such pay cards as Card Schemes, VISA, and MasterCard. Probanx, a high-reliability software is used for providing the services. The PSP is a SWIFT Alliance member and it has its own BIC.
The advantages of a corporate account with the Lithuanian PSP for a non-resident company
A foreign company that sets up an account with the Lithuanian PSP acquires a number of important advantages:
- Information services in English via a website with a user-friendly interface;
- Multifunctional online banking in English;
- Customer support in English;
- Remote account management via the Internet and mobile bank;
- A simplified procedure of remote account opening;
- Fast international payments within SEPA zone;
- Low tariffs.
Who can open an account with the Lithuanian PSP
Any company that meets the basic (quite relaxed) requirements can open a corporate account with this payment system. There are no procedural complications involved: all you will have to do is supply the required documents and fill out the application form.
Payment system’s restrictions
Companies registered in the following blacklisted jurisdictions cannot acquire services from the Lithuanian PSP:
Afghanistan, Botswana, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nauru New Caledonia, Niue, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Depending on the client company types of activities, the Lithuanian PSP can also apply certain restrictions. For instance, even though it does service companies involved with cryptocurrencies and IT business, these will have to go special consideration procedures and their applications will be examined individually.
Clients whose business may be involved with illegal money laundering activities cannot obtained service from the PSP. Applications from potential clients involved with the types of business activities that the PSP management considers risky, will be scrutinized with special attention.
The following business activities are considered risky:
- Accounting and audit, independent legal advice, notary services, and tax consultations;
- Trade in armor and defense industry;
- Construction and investments into real estate;
- Cryptocurrency exchange;
- Charities and political groups;
- Medicine and pharmaceutics;
- Trade in rarities and articles of luxury (artefacts and antiquities, gold, diamonds, etc.);
- Adult business;
- Cash turnover;
- Offline betting, casinos, slot machines, poker, lotteries, online gambling, and the like;
- Multilevel marketing, pawnbroker’s business;
- Public procurement.
The PSP tariff groups
All client companies are divided into four groups depending on their countries of origin and the business risk level. Every group has its own billing plan with the Lithuanian PSP:
- The client company is assigned to Group 1 if it is registered within the EEA (European Economic Area; see the list of countries below) and its business activities are of low risk.
- The client company is assigned to Group 2 if it is registered within the EEA and its business activities are of higher risk; the client company is also assigned to Group 2 if it is registered outside the EEA and its business activities are of low risk.
- The client company is assigned to Group 3 if it is registered outside the EEA and its business activities are of higher risk.
- The client company is assigned to Group 4 if it is involved with ICO activities regardless of where it is registered.
The following countries belong to the EEA:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal , Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
To qualify as an EEA company the prospective client company has to meet the following criteria:
- The applicant company is registered in one of the EEA countries.
- Corporate owners of the applicant company are registered in EEA countries.
- The company UBO (Ultimate Beneficiary Owner), its directors, and shareholders have passports issued by EEA countries.
- The company head office is located in one of the EEA countries.
The conditions of opening an account with the Lithuanian PSP
When opening a corporate account with the Lithuanian PSP, the foreign client is advised to make an initial payment of minimum 900 EUR. If your company deals in ICO, the minimum required initial payment is 5,000 EUR. Part of this money will be used for application processing.
The account currency
Currently the clients can make transactions in euros mostly. Payments in GBP, USD, JPY, and RUB are also acceptable. However, in the nearest future the list of available currencies is going to be extended to twenty-four.
In addition to four billing plans, the Lithuanian payment system offers different financial opportunities. You can open the following types of account there:
- An account for electronic commerce.
- Holding fund accounts. You can open an unlimited number of such accounts and manage them all via only one account.
- Escrow accounts for your clients’ needs. Licensed escrow agents can open such accounts.
- Currency exchange available 24/7.
Apart from the traditional opportunities to make and receive payments, the following services are available:
- Electronic emission and acquiring.
- Swift, SEPA, ACH, EFT, and Remittance payments.
Important: Only SEPA can be used to receive payments. Both SEPA and non-SEPA (SWIFT) can be used for outgoing payments. All EU banks (as well as many banks in other parts of the world) support SEPA payments. All SEPA transactions are performed within one business day.
Bank cards from the Lithuanian PSP
Every client of this payment system can acquire a pay card from the Lithuanian PSP. These are euro debit or prepaid cards that may carry the name of the holder or the holder company or carry no holder name otherwise.
Tariffs by Groups
|Commission in EUR||Account opening||Incoming debit payments||Incoming credit payments||Account maintenance||Account closure / Inactive account maintenance||Monthly interest on the remaining balance (from 50,000 EUR)|
|SEPA||non-SEPA (SWIFT)||SEPA||non-SEPA (SWIFT)|
|If the company is involved with ICO||3,000||5-200||50-250||10||20||250||750||0,05%|
|Group 4||900||15 — up to 1%||50 — up to 1%||10||20||250||750||0,05%|
|If the company is involved with ICO||4,000||15 — up to 1%||50 — up to 1%||10||20||250||750||0,05%|
- A ‘first in line’ service is available. You can open an account with the Lithuanian PSP within 24 hours. However, this service will cost you an additional 1,500 EUR.
- The application processing fee (250, 500, 750, 900, 3,000, or 4,000 EUR) will be deducted from the initial payment. Your account will be credited with the remaining portion of the sum. You can use your bankcard to make the initial payment.
- An additional application processing fee is charged in complicated cases. Such cases include the following ones: when the company has a complex company ownership structure; when the company UBO’s are not direct nor indirect owners or shareholders of the company (trusts, foundations, and so on).
- You will have to pay a contractual penalty if you fail to provide the requested documents within two months since the date of request. The account closing fee is applicable only if the client has been using the account for over six months.
Additional services for corporate account holders
M-POS is a mobile point of sale. This is the most secure and the simplest method of receiving payments if you are moving around the globe. If your business activities are not tied to a certain area but rather have an international character, you can enjoy using this unique technology.
The POS interface is provided by an associated company. You can use it to create your own unique sales catalogue on your IOS or Android device, organize trouble-free payments, obtain electronic pay stubs, and protect your PIN code. The system security is guaranteed by the following certificates: CE, EMV Level 1, Level 2, and PCI PTS (SRED).
Electronic wallets are divided into ‘verified’ (the Know Your Client procedure has been completed) and ‘unverified’ (easy access for basic information). The latter type of electronic wallet has lower spending limits. However, there is a possibility to upgrade the wallet class and make full use of the opportunities that it provides.
It is a perfect tool for those who want the do the following:
- Receive fast and inexpensive payments;
- Have constant secure access to their moneys via the use of unique passwords;
- Have an opportunity to link the wallets to their pay cards and load money to them.
ОСT (Original Credit Transaction) payments are an innovative payment solution that can be used to transfer funds to VISA, MasterCard or Maestro cards. This solution allows sending money to over 200 world countries in various currencies. You can make payments anywhere and at any time. If the card-issuing bank supports this function, then the payment will be made within thirty minutes.
How to open a corporate account with the Lithuanian payment system
The owner of a foreign company has to fill out the application forms in order to establish an account with the Lithuanian PSP. In these forms, you will have to describe your business activities and development perspectives.
The required documents have to be uploaded on the PSP website rather than e-mailed. All the documents need to be legalized and apostilled. This requirement is applicable especially in the situations when verifying the information via the online Company Registries is impossible.
Before submitting the application documents to the Lithuanian PSP, we will examine them carefully. If some information is missing or if a certain error occurs, we will tell you what the form should look like. If you intend to use the ‘first in line’ option, please inform us about it.
The following application outcomes are possible:
- If your application is approved and the account is opened, the application processing fee will be deducted from the initial payment. The remaining part of this payment will be credited to your new account.
- If the application is rejected and, consequently, the account is not opened, the application processing fee will be withheld while the rest of the initial payment will be returned to you.
- If you begin the application process but fail to submit the additional requested documents within two months, the application processing cannot be completed. In this case, 500 EUR will be withheld from your initial deposit. If yours is a company that is involved with ICO, 2,000 EUR will be withheld.
Application document package for opening a corporate account with the Lithuanian PSP
- Extract from Company Registry.
- Memorandum and Articles of Association.
- Certificate of Incorporation.
- Certificate of Directors (if the directors are not indicated in the Company Registry extract).
- Appointment of Directors (decision of the Board/ Shareholders).
- Certificate of Good Standing (if the Company Registry extract is more than 3 months old).
- Share Certificates.
- Proofs of Addresses for the company, the directors and UBOs (for non-EU/ EEA residents only; the information must be less than 3 months old).
- Declaration of Trust (for Trust companies only).
- Proof of domain (if the company has a domain).
- Colored high definition copy of a valid passport, a driver’s license, or a state identification card for any of the company’s directors.
Important: The Compliance department may request some additional documents. The list of the required documents is subject to change depending on the applicant company country of registration and the complexity of its corporate structure. All the additionally requested documents shall be submitted within two months.
The terms of opening a corporate bank account with the Lithuanian payment system
In order the establish a bank account with the Lithuanian PSP you have to supply high quality scan copies of the required documents and exhaustively answer all the questions found in the application form. With our professional assistance in these matters, you chances for success will increase significantly.
The decision on opening the account or denying service is made within a few days, after all the requested documents have been examined by the Lithuanian PSP Compliance department. If you decide to make use of the ‘first in line’ option, your application will be processed within 24 hours.
Apply for our combined service ‘a company in Portugal and a bank account with a European PSP’
The price of the service is 5,299 euros if you do not apply for any additional services that we provide. If you are interested in registering a company in Portugal and opening a corporate bank account with a European payment system, please place a service request at email@example.com. Should you have any questions or want to clarify certain details, please write to the same address without hesitation.