If you would like to establish a foreign company with a bank account in Western Europe, the combination of a Portuguese company and a Swiss bank account would be ideal. Business registration and administration costs are lower in Portugal than in any other country in the region, while an account with a Swiss bank will certainly boost your company reputability.
The Portugal of today
There are multiple places in the world where you can set up a foreign business company. A large number of national states wish to attract foreign capital and thus their governments make some tempting offers to foreign investors.
Portugal suffered greater economic losses in the global financial crisis of 2008 than most other European states. Thus, it needs to spend greater effort on making up for these losses. Today, the Portuguese economy is recovering at a fast pace. To a large degree, this is owed to serious administrative and legislative measures that the Government is taking to stimulate the economy growth.
In particular, the authorities have introduced certain new regulations that make contemporary Portugal look very inviting to foreign businesspersons. A substantial investment into the country’s economy will bring the foreign national huge benefits. If you put half a million euros into Portugal, you will qualify for the Golden Visa Government program.
With this program, the foreign investor is entitled to a permanent residence permit in Portugal. Obviously, this means that he or she will become a legal resident of the European Union, as Portugal is one of the major players in this organization. The holder of the permanent residence status, however, does not have to move to Portugal and live there until the end of his or her life. As a matter of fact, you would have to spend only seven days a year in the country during your first year of holding the permit and fourteen days during consecutive years.
At the same time, a smaller scale investment into Portuguese economy is going to be lucrative as well. By bringing some capital to the country from abroad, that is, by registering a business company there, you will become dear to the Portuguese authorities anyway. Various tax incentives are in place today that make it beneficial to do business in the country.
Of course, Portugal is not the cheapest place on earth to set up and maintain a company. There are other jurisdictions where you could do this at a reduced price. However, Portugal is probably the least expensive country in Western Europe as far as company registration and maintenance are concerned.
It would be a wise business decision to take advantage of the opportunities that exist today. Even though the Portuguese economy is improving faster than the economies of some other EU member states such as Italy or Greece, for example, the comfortable level of economic development has yet to be achieved in the country. This makes the Government cut the taxes and introduce other incentives to stimulate the growth of small- and medium-size business in Portugal.
If you are a businessperson from Eastern Europe, America, Asia, or any other region of the world, establishing presence in Portugal should look especially inviting to you. With this move, entering the Western European markets will be relatively easy for you. Your Portuguese company will provide you with all the necessary instruments to sell your goods, services, or resources in one of the richest world areas. Yes, the costs are high in Western Europe but the purchasing power is much greater there than in most other regions. So, your net profits should increase significantly.
Company registration and administration in Portugal
Previously, Portugal used to have a heavy and a squeaky administrative machine. Both domestic and foreign business people complained that the regulations were not clear enough neither were they uniform throughout the country. There were too many things to do in order to register a new business company in the country. The company maintenance and the regular reporting could also be a nightmare at times.
The good news, however, is that the Portuguese authorities have rid of much of the red tape that the business people had to deal with before. The process of company formation in Portugal has become much simpler. The requirements to tax and other financial reports have been made more transparent and standardized. This is quite understandable because if it is too complicated to set up and administer a company in the country, foreign businesses will be reluctant to come there. And Portugal needs investments.
Assistance in company registration and maintenance in Portugal
Whatever the administrative barriers may remain in Portugal, they are not going to give you any headache at all. We have vast experience in registering companies in a number of national states including Portugal. We will go through all the registration procedures on your behalf while you will not even have to come to Portugal to establish a business company there.
We only need the following three documents from you in order to set up a company in Portugal:
- A copy of your foreign passport.
- A proof of your residence address.
- Articles of Association for your prospective Portuguese company.
As far as the proof of address is concerned, any document that carries your name, your address, and the date of issuance will do. It can be a bank statement or a utility bill, for instance.
As for the Articles of Association, we have standard forms that the Portuguese Registrar will accept without any doubt. When you apply to us for company registration in Portugal, we will give you the forms and you will have to choose the one that suits your purposes better than others do. We will also help you fill the form out in case you have any difficulties doing it.
If you would like to register a company in Portugal in the names of several people (form an LLC or a Partnership, for example), all you will have to do is supply the documents indicated above for all company constitutors.
Things are going to be a little more complicated, though, in case you want a legal entity to act as your Portuguese company constitutor. Without any doubt, we can do this for you too but you will have to supply all the corporate documents to us in addition to the personal documents. If this is what you wish to do, please inform our specialists about it and they will give you a complete list of corporate documents to be submitted.
There is a chance that you may not intend to start doing business in Portugal and in Europe immediately after establishing a company there. A number of business people use their foreign company bank accounts for asset diversification and protection in the first place. If this is the case with you, you may want to consider applying for our company maintenance services as well. We will provide these services via our back-office in Lisbon.
It costs more to administer a company registered in Portugal than in some other world countries but it costs less than anywhere else in Western Europe. The most lucrative option for you would be making use of our Family Office packages. A ‘Family Office’ is a complex company maintenance solution that includes various activities related to company administration in a foreign country. As is the case with any complex solution, the cost of each individual service will work out smaller in comparison to covering each service separately. The table below describes three available Family Office packages that you can order if you want to take company maintenance in Portugal off your shoulders.
|Family Office Package||Basic
440 EUR per month
940 EUR per month
2,000 EUR per month
|Company legal address||•||•||•|
|Original documents storage, archive, scanning of the incoming mail, communication with the accountant (up to 5 e-mails or phone calls per month)||•||•||•|
|Interaction with tax authorities, state agencies, and banks (up to five contacts per month)||•||•||•|
|2 hours of consultations or legal services||•||•|
|2 hours of miscellaneous services for you||•||•|
|1 additional hour of consultations||•|
|Transport in the city for 2 days||•|
|3 hours for simple tasks||•|
|Unlimited assistance in the interaction with the accountant and state bodies||•|
We will also be happy to provide some additional services that will have to come at an additional price. These include the following ones:
|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, per hour||700|
|Official legal opinion||3000|
|Professional nominee director services||Prices vary|
Company registration and administration in Portugal does not come at no cost as you can see. However, the benefits that you will acquire by setting up a business in Portugal and a bank account in Switzerland will make it a farsighted and profitable investment.
Opening a bank account in Switzerland for your Portuguese company
A great number of our clients ask about an opportunity to set up an account with a Swiss bank. It is no surprise at all, as Switzerland is the most powerful banking center in the world.
At the same time, we have been in close cooperation with various Swiss banks for many years and we are in a position to advise on the matter of choosing the best bank in Switzerland for your purposes.
This text in particular is not directed at the owners of large international companies who may be interested in setting up a corporate account with a major Swiss bank such as Credit Suisse, for example. Rather, we will recommend a more modest but still very reliable bank that will suit small- and medium-size company owners.
Why this bank? This is a simple question to answer: it is the only bank in Switzerland that will easily set up an account for your company remotely. There are possibilities of remote account opening with other Swiss banks too but their procedures are usually much more complicated.
The bank that we are advertising here is listed on the Swiss stock exchange. It operates under the supervision of FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority). It is also a member of Swiss Bankers Association.
This bank specializes in servicing non-resident clients. The only cities where the bank has offices are Genève, Wollerau, and Lugano but its clients come from eighty countries of the world. The bank cooperates with the clients via a wide network of agents who remain in close contact with the head office at all times.
The bank will open accounts to residents of almost any country with the exception of the following national states:
- The USA and Japan;
- Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Yemen, and Syria.
Citizens of the first two states will be unable to receive service from the bank due to stringent tax information transparency requirements imposed by their national government. The second group of states are under international sanctions.
You can set up accounts of the following types with this bank:
- A current account;
- A merchant account that will give you access to all online trading platforms. You will have to open a current account with the bank before you can open a merchant one;
- A joint account that allows its use by several persons;
- An operational account.
The bank has been in existence since 1990 and it offers most advanced online banking services. You will have access to your accounts via the Internet even if you use Steve Jobs products (iPad/ iPhone).
Remote account opening without any bureaucratic hindrances and minimal number of required documents is made possible with the use of web conferences that the bank holds with the prospective clients.
The bank introduced a new client identification system in April 2019 and this is great news indeed. Now non-residents of Switzerland who wish to open an account with this bank do not have to notarize and translate the copies of their passports neither the documents serving as proofs of addresses. Nor do they have to send those to Switzerland with a courier. This new feature allows saving between 100 and 200 euros on the notary, the translator, and the courier services.
Currently, the client identification procedure includes the following steps:
- Scan your foreign passport and any document certifying your residential address.
- Contact the bank and they will send you the password for your temporary personal profile.
- Follow the link to your temporary profile and upload the document scans there.
- At the same webpage, you will find verification instructions. In addition, you will have a short interview with a bank manager (5 to 10 minutes). If you would like the interview to be conducted in any other language rather than English, you have to inform the bank about it.
- After that, you will receive an electronic signature (it is necessary for signing the service agreement with the bank remotely).
- After the compliance department checks your application documents, the bank will send you a temporary IBAN number so that you can make the first deposit there. You will have 30 days to make the deposit.
- On receipt of the money, the bank will make the final decision on providing the services to you.
If their answer is ‘yes’, the money will be transferred to your permanent account. If the answer is ‘no’, the money will return to the account you sent it from.
We have been working with this bank for over seven years now and 99% of applications for services have been approved. We have opened accounts with this bank for clients from a whole range of different countries.
In addition to the simplicity of account opening with this bank, two more nice bonuses are available:
You will have a multicurrency account, which means that you can make an accept payments not only in the major world currencies but also in most exotic ones. Currency conversion happens within seconds.
The second bonus is the possibility to acquire an anonymous debit card in one of the following currencies: CHF/ USD/ EUR. Tell the bank managers what currency you prefer when opening an account with them and they will give you the card!
The costs of opening an account with the Swiss bank
When you open a corporate account with this Swiss bank, you have to make the initial deposit of 20,000 CHF or the equivalent in another currency. If you do it, there will be no additional costs of account opening at all. However, you can also make a smaller initial deposit of 10,000 CHF or the equivalent. In this case, you will have to pay an account opening fee of 150 francs to the bank. You also have to take into consideration the cost of the courier that will deliver your corporate documents to the bank as well as the original of the service agreement that you will have signed. (No document originals are required when you set up a personal account, while they are when you open a corporate one.)
Below please find the main bank commissions and fees applicable to corporate account maintenance:
|Commissions and fees for opening and maintaining a corporate (business) account in the Swiss bank
(in Swiss francs)
|Account opening with 20,000 or larger first deposit||Free of charge|
|Account opening with the first deposit below 20,000||150|
|Corporate account maintenance fee||750 yearly|
|Closing the account||300|
|Internet banking||Free of charge|
|Issuance of one debit card||Free of charge|
|Changes to the bank database||25 – 250|
Please note that in some cases additional fees and commissions will be applied. Please also note that these and all other tariffs are effective on the date this text is written. If you would like to obtain up-to-date information on all commissions and fees, please contact us via email@example.com.
A personal account with the Swiss bank
You can also set up a personal account with this bank. You should expect no additional costs when opening a personal account with them. The minimum initial deposit required is 5,000 CHF and it cannot possibly be any smaller. However, this sum is not going to be ‘frozen’ on your account until you close it: the minimum security deposit is only 1,000 CHF or the equivalent in another currency. The table below shows the main commissions and fees associated with a personal account in this bank.
|Commissions and fees for opening and maintaining a personal account in the Swiss bank (in Swiss francs)|
|Personal account opening||Free of charge|
|Personal account maintenance||90 quarterly|
|Internet banking||Free of charge|
|Issuance of one debit card||Free of charge|
|Closing the account||300|
In certain cases, some additional costs will have to be incurred as well. In particular, you may have postage expenses as you may need to send some documents to the bank. But these should be within 100 CHF a year anyway.
Plastic cards from the Swiss bank
When you set up an account with this bank, – a personal or a corporate one – you are entitled to obtaining several MasterCard plastic cards that do not carry the holder’s name. The bank, however, will know whose cards are those. If you want to give these cards to your relatives or employees (partners), they will be able to check the card balance online but they will not be able to telephone the bank. If they want to do so, they will have to supply their passport details to the bank administration.
As you have seen above, one card comes free to the account owner. Recharging the card will cost you 1% of the sum plus 8 francs if you do it via the e-banking service and 1% plus 25 francs if you call the bank or send them an e-mail asking to put some money on your card account.
You cannot make purchases via the Internet with this card, as it is anonymous. Card activation costs 45 francs. It can be a US dollar, a Euro, or a Swiss Franc card.
Cash withdrawal from ATM’s with this card:
EUR 4 + conversion into local currency;
USD 5 + conversion into local currency;
CHF 5 + conversion into local currency.
Payments for purchases in stores with the anonymous card (caution: some stores will link their client databases with the cards that the clients use):
Maximum three cards can be obtained for a single account holder with this Swiss bank.
Maximum yearly amount per card is 100,000 euros, US dollars, or Swiss francs. Maximum yearly amount per bank account holder is 300,000 in the currencies given above. The bank cannot issue three cards at a time. However, as soon as the first card is exhausted, it will immediately issue the second one to the account holder. You can acquire three cards in one go but in this case, you will have to supply to the bank administration passport details of the people to whom you are giving the cards.
Monthly limit is 30,000 per card per account holder. As euro is (currently) the most expensive of the three currencies specified above, it makes good sense to order a euro card from the bank. However, there cannot be more than 10,000 euros on the card at any given point in time. Thus, you will have to spend the first 10,000 in a month before you can put another 10,000 on your card.
The minimum amount that you can put on the card is 100 EUR/ USD/ CHF.
The procedure of establishing a company in Portugal with a bank account in Switzerland
Portugal is arguably the most convenient gateway to Western Europe for contemporary business people who reside in other parts of the world. Besides, Swiss banks reputation is beyond any criticism. If you accept the offer that we are making, you stand a very good chance to increase your profits and upgrade your lifestyle considerably.
A very pleasant thing is that you do not have to travel anywhere in order to accomplish these tasks. All you have to do is supply the necessary documents to us and we will act on your behalf in setting up both the company in Portugal and the corporate bank account in Switzerland for you. Without doubt, some red tape will be involved in these processes but we are true professionals in dealing with it.
We will be happy if you apply for the combined service that we offer straight away. Please mind, however, that before we charge you for the service, we will want to make sure that we are able to provide it to you without any reservations. Personal situations can be different and if there is a valid reason why we cannot be of assistance to you, we will tell you about it without billing you for the consultation.
Now, if prior to making the decision to apply for our services you would like to make some queries, please do so without hesitation! We can be reached via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to answer all your questions.