For people from other parts of the world, the idea of starting a business in Western Europe may look unrealistic even though tempting. Indeed, taxes are quite high in the region and the bureaucratic procedures are traditionally burdensome. However, today there is a good opportunity to enter the Western European market through Portugal. A corporate bank account in Lichtenstein will give your Portuguese company additional credibility.
Why open a company in Portugal?
Portugal suffered greatly in the world economic crisis of some ten years ago. However, the Government has learnt the tough lessons and serious steps have been taken to help the economy restoration. New regulations have been passed that facilitate small- and medium-size business formation in the country. Apart from that, foreign investors can find significant new incentives to bring capital to Portugal.
Below please find some key benefits of incorporating in Portugal:
- The country’s geographical location is simply perfect for an international businessperson. It takes about three hours by plain to get from Lisbon to London or Zurich, for example. The time difference between Lisbon and New York is only five hours. There are a number of low-cost aviation companies flying in all directions from Portugal.
- Even though the taxes in Portugal are, of course, higher than in some tiny offshore jurisdictions, they are notably lower than in many other Western European states.
- Due to the recent Government efforts, the business environment has improved significantly. In particular, the amount of red tape involved in company registration and maintenance has been considerably lessened.
- Hi-tech and IT sectors are currently booming in Portugal. The absolute volume of these sectors of Portuguese economy is smaller than in other Western European countries, but their growth rates are several times faster than anywhere else in Europe.
- Portuguese authorities especially welcome foreign investors who are engaged in some kind of innovative business. With the 200M economic program, for every euro you invest in something like solar energy technologies, for instance, the Government will invest another euro.
- The workforce is highly qualified in Portugal. Portuguese universities rank high with the international academic community. At the same time, labor is less expensive in Portugal in comparison to other first-world countries. This combination makes a great number of international companies establish their divisions in Portugal even though they keep their headquarters somewhere else.
- Labor costs are lower in Portugal in absolute terms. However, the living standards are as high in the country as in neighboring states. This is because the cost of living in Portugal is comparatively lower.
- The housing prices are also quite fair in Portugal. The supply of offices for rent is huge and it is quite possible to find a perfect place at an affordable price.
- Finally, it is warmer in Portugal than in most other European countries. The climate is comfortable for living and the natural beauties of the country will leave no one indifferent.
Forms of company ownership in Portugal
Most companies established in Portugal are registered as Limited Liability Companies even though there are other ownership types available as well.
An LLC can be owned privately and then it is called Sociedade por Quotas, or LDA in Portuguese. At least two constitutors are required to establish an LDA and the minimum registered capital is 5,000 EUR. The liability of each company constitutor (or ‘quota holder’) is limited by the contribution he or she has made to the registered funds. Redistribution of ‘quotas’ is easy as it can be done by a private act and does not require any public deeds. One director is enough to serve as the head of an LDA company.
What is especially appealing to a small business about a Portuguese LDA is the fact that such a company is not subject to audit if its assets are smaller than 1.5 million EUR, its annual turnover is lower than 3 million EUR, and the number of its employees does not exceed fifty.
A Public LLC can also be established in Portugal. It is called Sociedade Anónima or SA in Portuguese. This company ownership form will better suit larger businesses seeking to raise funds for development and expansion. The minimum number of SA constitutors (that is, shareholders) is five and the required registered capital is 50,000 EUR. Again, the liability of each company constitutor is limited by his or her contribution to the company funds.
Through a General Meeting, the shareholders shall appoint a Board of Directors to manage the company and a Supervisory Board to keep the Directors accountable.
In order to acquire additional investment capital, the SA is entitled to list its shares on the Portuguese Stock Exchange.
It is also possible to register an LLC in Portugal that has a single owner. Two subtypes of company ownership are available for this purpose but both of them limit the liability of the company’s only founder to the contribution he or she has made to the company charter capital. The minimum required amount of charter capital is 5,000 EUR.
Partnerships can also be established in Portugal but this form of company ownership is not so popular. In a General Partnership (Sociedadeem Nome Colectivo) all company constitutors have unlimited liability. In a Limited Partnership (Sociedade Em Comandita Simples) at least one Partner has unlimited liability while other partners’ liabilities are limited by their contributions. Usually professionals such as lawyers or accountants will form Partnerships in Portugal.
Company registration in Portugal
Before a business company can commence its commercial activities in Portugal and the rest of the world, naturally, it has to register with the trade and tax authorities of the country. The list of documents that you will have to supply in order to set up a business in Portugal is actually quite short. All you have to submit is the following:
- Passport copies for all company founders;
- Proofs of addresses (such as a bank statement or a recent utility bill) for all company founders;
- Articles of Association for the future company.
The latter document is central to company formation in Portugal. It must contain the intended company name, the names and other personal data of its founders, its ownership and management structures, and a description of its sphere(s) of business. We can offer you several standard samples of Articles of Association that will certainly be accepted by the Trade Register in Portugal.
The trickiest thing about registering a company in the country is choosing the name for your prospective company. The matter is that it makes good sense to choose from the list of the existing names that are preapproved by the Register. If you want to invent a unique name for your Portuguese company, you will have to pay 1,200 EUR more for the registration and wait additional fifteen days until the name you want to use is approved.
A preapproved company name will appear only on the official documents while you are free to use any other name as your company ‘showcase’ name.
Registration of the company with the Portuguese tax authorities
Every company owner, director, or manager shall have a personal Portuguese Tax ID. Apart from that, any company in Portugal shall have its corporate Tax ID too. Without such an ID, working with the banks is impossible.
It you are an EU resident, obtaining a Tax ID in Portugal is going to cause no problems to you whatsoever. If you come from another region of the world, the procedure becomes a bit more complicated and more time-consuming.
In any case, any foreign company shall have a Portuguese resident as a tax representative. He or she will be the signer of all official documents including various tax reports.
You can obtain this mandatory service in the following alternative ways:
- You can place a request for this service with us especially with the view of the fact that it is included in the overall service price;
- You can use some other company’s services at an additional cost;
- You can become a legal resident of Portugal and we will gladly provide support to you in obtaining permanent residence permit in the country.
Company maintenance in Portugal
Any foreign business company will have operational costs. Even though prices in Portugal are generally lower than in the rest of Western Europe, you will have to incur some yearly expenditures to keep your Portuguese company going.
We would like to help you save on the company maintenance costs by using our Family Office service. A Family Office Package is a complex foreign company maintenance solution that is available in three variants as described in the table below.
|Family Office Package||Basic
440 EUR per month
940 EUR per month
2,000 EUR per month
|Company/ Branch legal address||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|
|Communication with tax authorities, state agencies, and banks (up to five contacts per month)||V||V||V|
|2 hours of consultations or legal services||V||V|
|2 hours of miscellaneous services for you||V||V|
|1 additional hour of consultations||V|
|Transport in the city for 2 days||V|
|3 hours for simple tasks||V|
|Unlimited assistance in the interaction with the accountant and state agencies||V|
We also provide the following additional services that you may deem useful:
|Service||Price in EUR|
|Company name change||1500|
|Power of Attorney||400|
|Legalized and apostilled Power of Attorney||700|
|Company legal address and utilities for a year||2500|
|A package of apostilled documents||400|
|Translation of documents, per page||40|
|Legal consultations, pre hour||700|
|Official legal opinion||3000|
|Professional nominee director services||INDIVIDUAL PRICING|
Applying for these services is not obligatory, of course, but we find these offers beneficial. Please give them some consideration and write to us to email@example.com to apply for a Family Office Package or some other additional service or ask any relevant questions you like.
A corporate account in a Lichtenstein bank for your Portuguese company
You have to leave the comfort of your home neither to establish a company in Portugal nor to open a corporate bank account in Lichtenstein. We can perform both of these tasks for you remotely.
Lichtenstein is a very small independent state in the center of old Europe. It lacks usable territory and natural resources badly, thus it has to rely on other sources on income. As well as many other microstates, Lichtenstein has chosen to bring financial and other administrative and legal services that it provides to a level that makes a great number of entrepreneurs from all over the world apply for them.
Even though traditionally Switzerland is considered the banking center of the world, Lichtenstein banks match the Swiss standards and even outperform the neighbor country financial institutions in some respects. Banking and other financial services found in Lichtenstein are at the highest level of professionalism.
The bank in Lichtenstein that we are offering for your consideration is a subsidiary of a Swiss-German transportation and logistics company that has been in operation since the late 19th century. The holding belongs to three families that have been running the business jointly for nearly 150 years now. Unlike some huge international conglomerates, medium-size family banks really treasure their clients and seek to provide the best service that they can to each customer.
At the same time, the Swiss-German holding is a large modern international corporation operating in over thirty world countries and employing around four thousand people in total. Its annual turnover exceeds one billion Euros.
Thus, the bank is part of an enterprise resting on firm family traditions that allow continuing business generation after generation. Its management is stable and it is based on some well-formulated values. At the same time, it is not a tiny family business and the size of the overall holding guarantees security of the assets that you will keep with this bank.
Bank service conditions
The bank will not accept as clients companies registered in some questionable jurisdictions. Your Portuguese LLC, however, is more than welcome to apply for services to this bank. Anyway, there are certain conditions to meet if your company is to be serviced there.
Beginning September 2019, the bank has introduced new transaction requirements. You have to satisfy the following minimal conditions in order to become the bank’s client:
- Minimum quarterly turnover shall be CHF 500,000;
- Minimum security (permanent) deposit shall be CHF 250,000;
- The company is domiciled in a FATF compliant jurisdiction that is not subject to any sanctions;
- Non-Anglo-Saxon LP structure is allied;
- The company does not perform neither incoming nor outgoing US$ transactions;
- It does not service companies engaged in risky spheres of business (see below).
The bank considers the following types of activities risky and thus unserviceable:
- Betting/ gambling services;
- Unregulated financial services provided outside of the EU and involving off-site foundations such as CFD, Forex, security traders, cryptocurrency brokers, and currency exchange companies;
- Business crediting, cessions, private capital, private debt, project-tied lending;
- Pornography and other adult services;
- Consulting firms;
- IT and software development;
- Digital marketing services, traffic exchange, and SEO services;
- Trade in armory and ammunition and trade in dual use items.
Important: Before the account opening procedure can be launched, you have to fill out and sign the ‘Application for transaction account’ form and send it to the bank together with the application fee of 5,000 Swiss francs.
The payment purpose shall be indicated as follows: Application fee for XXX (name of client/ company).
Only after receiving the payment, will the bank start the due diligence procedures. The payment of the Application fee is not a guarantee that the account will be opened. The Application fee is irretrievable even if service has been denied. The process of account opening with this bank usually takes three to four weeks.
If the bank’s compliance department approves all the application documents and bank forms, the account will be opened. Afterwards, the bank will return all the document originals to you together with an official letter of confirmation and the necessary information for the access to the electronic banking system.
The account maintenance fee is CHF 1,500 a year (CHF 375 can be paid quarterly).
Important: The fees and other amounts stated above are effective on the date this text is written and may be subject to change. Please write to us to firstname.lastname@example.org for updated information.
The bank provides for the opportunity to obtain the prestigious Insignia Platinum Business Card. This card is considered an ideal premium pay card facilitating lifestyle management. Insignia Platinum card is designed for the companies whose directors travel a lot. With the global support from the Insignia concierge team, booking trips and entertainments has never been easier.
The cardholder acquires access to the following features:
- Business expenditure management;
- Complex travel insurance;
- A 56-day interest-free credit;
- 24/7/365 card service;
- Global card acceptance;
- Purchased goods insurance.
The cardholder’s life becomes carefree as he or she has the following:
- Access to platinum concierge service 24/7/365;
- Free membership of LoungeKeyTM
- Access to ‘Insignia Luxury Hotel Collection’ travel support;
- Access to V-Lounge even application.
Insignia Platinum card will provide for an easy opportunity to follow all the payments and control the loan limits for every such card. The unique possibilities that the concierge service offers will surely enrich the cardholder’s life. To learn more about this product and to fill out an application form for an Insignia Platinum Business Card please contact us at email@example.com.
The bank uses a modern online banking system that allows performing all the operations such as transactions, balance check, electronic statements, and so on.
You will have a 24/7 access to your bank account and thus you can control your business effectively. Fast access to your funds from any geographical point will let you feel secure.
Private banking and investment products
The Lichtenstein bank is a reputable professional advisor on investment products. It provides consultations to private individuals and business companies that want to increase their capitals.
The bank specializes in asset development, financial planning, investment portfolio management, and other investment and financial areas.
It must be noted that the bank cooperates not only with banking professionals but also with lawyers, tax experts, brokers, and everybody else who is capable of contributing to the development of best investment strategies for the bank clients.
Documents required for opening a corporate account in the Lichtenstein bank
Please note that if the application documents are written in a language other than English or German, they have to be translated and translations apostilled.
The required corporate documents for your Portuguese company:
- Certificate of Incorporation original or legalized copy;
- Certificate of director appointment original or legalized copy;
- Registered office Certificate original or legalized copy;
- Share certificate originals or legalized copies;
- Certificate of Good Standing/ Certificate of Incumbency originals or legalized copies;
- Simple copies of Articles and Memorandum of Association or By-Laws;
- A simple copy of Declaration of trust/ Trust deed if nominee services are used.
Every account sigher shall supply the following documents:
- A notarized and apostilled copy of the foreign passport pages with the photograph and the signature. The copies shall be of high quality;
- The original of the Power of Attorney if the company is managed via such legal instrument.
Every company beneficiary shall supply the following documents:
- A notarized and apostilled copy of the foreign passport pages with the photograph and the signature. The copies shall be of high quality;
- A completed KYC form provided by the bank or a detailed CV in English;
- A trustworthy document providing information about the sources of funds such as a tax declaration, a profit and loss statement, a payroll, a bank account statement, and so on;
- Proof of address such as a copy of the residence permit (it you reside in a foreign country), a utility bill, a phone bill, etc.
- Business plan or a detailed description of the company activities (1-2 pages in English);
- Bank account statements for the last three months (if available);
- Financial reports for the last two years (preferably, certified by an auditor);
- Documents confirming the company activities such as bills, contracts, agreements, etc.;
- A graphic representation of the company management structure as per template provided;
- A scheme of incoming and outgoing payments.
The time required to set up a corporate account in the Lichtenstein bank is about four weeks since the day of application submission.
If you would like to clarify certain points pertaining to company formation in Portugal and/ or account opening in Lichtenstein, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org without hesitation.
Please use the same address to place a request for the combined service described above. We will have to talk to you prior to providing the service in order to ascertain that we are able to provide it to you. If we are, then you will have to cover the service cost and supply all the necessary documents to us. We will gladly help you draw up the documents and fill in the forms. This is what we are here for: to assist you in making your life better!