Oct 10, 2019

Register a company in Portugal – from 2,300 EUR

You can start a company in Portugal and do business in this country as well as the whole of Europe.  Below we are going to tell you how it can be done. You can register a company in Portugal remotely or on site.

Types of Portuguese companies

The following company types can be registered in Portugal:

  • Sociedade por quotas (LDA) is a limited liability company. Minimum two owners are required each of which has to invest at least one euro into the charter capital. An LDA company is the most popular form of business proprietorship in Portugal. It will suit small- and medium-size businesses perfectly well.
  • Sociedade anónima (SA) is a public company with a charter capital not less than 50,000 EUR. An SA has to have minimum five shareholders and a board of directors shall be elected.
  • Sociedade em comandita (SC) is a limited partnership with minimum two partners. One of the company founders must act as a general partner and all others as limited partners. The general partner has unlimited liability while the liability of other partners is limited by their shares in the charter capital.
  • Sociedade em nome collectivo (SNC) is a general partnership that also has to have at least two founding members but all of them have unlimited liability and they manage the company together.  
  • Estabelecimento Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada (EIRL) is a sole proprietorship in which the owner’s liability is limited to the assets he or she has contributed to the business.

As has been noted above, LDA is the most popular form of company ownership in Portugal. Below we will describe the procedure of registering an LDA in the country even though the main principles will remain the same for the registration of all other company types.

Why incorporation and registration of a company in Portugal is beneficial

  • Portugal is a respectable European state;
  • The company registration and maintenance costs in this country are among the lowest in Europe;
  • Portugal has an adequate and transparent taxation system;
  • The country welcomes foreign investors;
  • It has advanced business and fintech communities;
  • The company can be registered in Portugal comparatively fast, usually within ten working days;
  • The country has spotless reputation with the banks;
  • Office rent prices are affordable and economic substance is easy to acquire in Portugal. Companies with a substance in the country can open merchant bank accounts.

Company registration in Portugal

The standard company registration procedure consists of several steps. There is a simplified company registration procedure that you can also make use of. The simplified procedure will shorten the registration time but it contains the same steps anyway.

The central document required for company registration in Portugal

The document that you have to prepare prior to applying to the registrar is your company Articles of Association. We will happily assist you in drawing up this document.

It has to contain the following information:

  • Company name in the Portuguese language;
  • The company owners’ names, nationalities, and countries of residence;
  • The sphere of the prospective business;
  • The rights and responsibilities of the company managing directors;
  • The share transfer procedures and other nuances related to company ownership shares;
  • The voting rules and details of other decision-making procedures.

You will need a charter capital of at least 5,000 EUR and minimum two company constitutors in order to register an LDA business entity in Portugal. We recommend that at least one shareholder should visit Portugal. However, you can have the company registered remotely via issuing a power of attorney in the name of a trusted agent.

The official procedure of setting up a company in Portugal

The company registration procedure consists of seven main steps.

  1. Suggest a company name and register it with the Portuguese Trade Register.

You can choose the name that you want for your company. In this case, checking the name for availability will take the state agency mentioned above about 15 business days. In addition, a state duty has to be paid. Then you will have three months to proceed with the company registration under this name.

You can also choose from company names that have been already approved. In this case, you can proceed to the next step immediately. Besides, it is going to be less expensive.

  1. Appoint an official representative of yours who will sign all the registration documents.
  2. Make a draft of your company Articles of Association.
  3. Open a bank account and deposit the company charter capital there (from 5,000 EUR).

In certain cases, the charter capital may come in the form of property rather than money. The property then has to be assessed by an independent assessor. Only with his or her official conclusion can you proceed with the company registration.

  1. Submit the incorporation documents: the company Articles of Association signed by all founding members. It is recommended that all company constitutors be present in Portugal in person at the moment of submitting these documents.

Non-residents in Portugal (both private individuals and legal entities) have to have a personal Tax ID. The EU citizens can acquire a Tax ID directly from the tax administration while citizens of all other countries will have to file a special request.

In order to acquire a Tax ID you will have to have somebody in Portugal who holds such an ID. This person will act as your introducer to the Registrar. This is mandatory and without an official introducer, a Portuguese Tax ID cannot be obtained. You can solve this issue in the following alternative ways:

  • Use the tax representative service that our company provides (included in the total service price);
  • Use some other company’s service at an additional cost;
  • Acquire a Portuguese resident status before registering a company in the country. If this is what you desire, we will gladly help you become a tax resident in Portugal.
  1. Register the company with the Commercial Entities Register. Any of the company owners or directors can submit the necessary documents to this agency. It can even be a representative of the company not directly connected to it but he or she must have a Tax ID. The following documents need to be submitted:
    1. The certificate indicating that the company has been registered under a specific name;
    2. Corporate documents including the Articles of Association;
    3. Additional documents, if required. For example, the assessor’s official conclusion is case a piece of property is used as the charter capital.
  2. Register as a taxpayer (all companies in Portugal have tax numbers) and as a social security payer.

Registering a company in Portugal usually takes not more than ten business days.

Personal documents required for Portuguese company registration

You will have to submit the following personal documents before the registration procedure can be launched:

  • Your foreign passport (a legalized copy of);
  • Proof of address (such as a utility bill, for example);

As we have already noted, a draft of the Articles of Association also have to be drawn up in advance. You will receive all the other documents during the registration procedure.

The costs of registering a business company in Portugal

The cost of company registration in Portugal starts at 2,300 EUR if you choose a name from those available in the Register. If you want to use a name of your own choice, the starting price will increase to 3,500 EUR. This price includes the following services and documents:

Company registration:

  • With an existing name – 1,200 EUR;
  • With the official company name that you will have suggested: – 2,400 EUR;
  • Including:
    • State duties;
    • Corporate documents package:
      • Certificate of Incorporation;
      • Standard Articles of Association;
      • Description of the scope of company activities;
      • If needed, translation of the documents from Portuguese into English.
    • Registration with the Portuguese tax authorities and acquisition of the company Tax ID;
    • Registration with the social security administration and acquisition of a social security number;
    • Access code to the commercial registration certificate for three months: an online access to company official and most important information (an analogue of Good Standings Certificate);
    • Electronic access card to the commercial registration certificate;
    • Company ID card issued by the Registrar. The card carries the basic information about the company;
    • Acquisition of a personal Tax ID for the company owners – this is obligatory. If you require a tax introducer in Portugal, it will coma at an additional cost of 500 EUR;
    • A legal address for three months plus the following services for three months also:
      • Keeping of original corporate documents, archive, incoming mail scanning;
      • Communication with the accountant (up to five e-mails or phone calls per month);
      • Coordinative work with tax authorities, state agencies and banks (up to five conversations per months);
    • The services of a tax representative in Portugal cost 600 EUR for three months;
    • A free account with a PSP (payment service provider) outside Portugal. We will suggest a list of such payment systems to choose from.

If you decide the open a bank account outside Portugal, a package of apostilled documents will have to be collected, which will cost another 400 EUR.

You also have to set up a corporate account within five days and deposit the charter capital into it. The account can be with a bank or with a payment system. It can be in Portugal or in another EU member country. Please contact us at [email protected] and we will advise you on establishing a bank account for your company in more detail.

Keeping accounts is mandatory in Portugal as well as having a legal address. The accounting services will cost 300 EUR per month or 3,600 EUR per year.

Offshore Pro Group provides legal address and accounting services. If you wish, you can apply to another company for this services but having a legal address and keeping financial records is required by the Portuguese law.

An effective and inexpensive way to maintain your Portuguese company is by using a Family Office Package.

Family office Package is a complex company maintenance solution that includes a company address, interaction with state agencies, bookkeeping and other services. The Package comes in three levels:

  • Family office Package (Basic) for 300 EUR per month includes:
    • Legal address;
    • Keeping of original corporate documents, archive, incoming mail scanning, and communication with the accountant (up to five e-mails or phone calls per month);
    • Coordinative work with tax authorities, state agencies and banks (up to five conversations per months).
  • Family office Package (Medium) for 600 EUR per month includes:
    • Everything found in the Basic Package;
    • 2 hours of consultations or legal work;
    • 2 hours of other administrative work.
  • Family office Package (VIP) for 1,200 EUR per month includes:
    • Everything found in the Medium Package;
    • Additional 1 hour of consultations;
    • Transfer from the airport to the city and back;
    • Transportation in the city for two days;
    • 3 hours for simple tasks;
    • Unlimited assistance in cooperation with the accountant and the state bodies.

The costs of company renewal in Portugal

Mandatory expenditures:

  • Rent of legal address – 3,000 EUR per year;
  • Accounting services – 3,600 per year.

Recommendable expenditures:

  • Access code to the commercial registration certificate – 150 EUR per year.

The total annual cost of company maintenance in Portugal is 6,750 EUR. You can pay for the whole year or make monthly payments of 550 EUR each.

Additional services that we provide

Service Price in EUR
Professional director service in Portugal INDIVIDUAL PRICE
Power of Attorney 400
Legalized Power of Attorney with a notary stamp and an apostil 700
Counsel’s opinion 3000
Legal consultation, per hour 700
Change of company name 1500
Postal address and all utilities, per year 2500
Translation, per page 40
A package of apostilled documents 400
A corporate account in a Portuguese bank 4000

Steps to be taken in order to set up a business company in Portugal

  1. Contact us via e-mail [email protected] and place a request for this service with us.
  2. Supply introductory information that will allow us to determine if providing this service is possible in your personal case.
  3. Cover the cost of the service that starts at 2,300 EUR and submit the full package of the required documents.
  4. We will do the paperwork and register the company for you in Portugal.
  5. When the company is in place, you can open a corporate bank account for it and start your business activities.

If you have any questions related in any way to establishing a company in Portugal, please write to us to [email protected] without hesitation. We will promptly answer all your queries.