In recent years, Portugal has become a source of interest for foreign companies wishing to establish their presence in
Europe and for investors looking for market advantages and a favorable business environment, mainly due to Portugal’s strategic location in Europe and easy access to other important markets.
In addition, Portugal maintains good relations with the rest of the European Union and, as a member of the Community, its rules and laws are in accordance with EU trade and import/export issues.
Today, incorporating a company in Portugal is fairly straightforward process.
Necessary documents and costs involved in incorporating a company in Portugal:
1. NIF (Portuguese Tax Identification Number):
The first step to starting a business in Portugal is to obtain the Tax Identification Number (NIF). The Portuguese NIF is an indispensable document for the most diverse activities, including establishing a Portuguese company.
2. Choosing the company name:
Choosing a company name is a very important step. That is because, the company in Portugal can be constituted with a pre-approved name by the National Company Registrar (RNPC) or with a specific name chosen by the interested parties.
As a rule, the specific name depends on the request for a Certificate of Admissibility. This certificate can be issued in about 24 hours or in up to 10 business days, depending on the urgency.
3. Choosing the company type:
Portuguese legislation allows for several types of company models, these being the most common options:
- “Sociedade por quotas” (LDA): is a corporate model composed by two or more partners. In this model, the share capital is divided into quotas and is freely set by the partners. Each social share must be at least € 1.00 (one Euro);
- “Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas” (UNIPESSOAL LDA): is a corporate model constituted by only one partner, who may be a natural or collective person and holds the entirety of the share capital.
- “Sociedada anónima”: As a rule, the joint-stock company (SA) is constituted by at least five partners, called shareholders. Its share capital may not be less than € 50.000,00 (fifty thousand Euros) and is divided into shares.
5. Defining the economic activity of the company:
Another important point when establishing a company in Portugal is the definition of the economic activity that will be exercised. In Portugal, there is a list with the Portuguese classification of economic activities, better known as CAE. Each activity has a specific code that identifies it.
To establish a company in Portugal, it is necessary to identify the CAE codes of the activities that the company will carry out, being possible to define more than one activity for the same company.