Despite leaving the European Union in 2020, the number of British citizens continuing to work overseas has not diminished; there has been a consecutive rise in the number of British citizens choosing residency in Portugal. In 2022, the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) reports that the total number of British nationals in Portugal was approximately 714,123, which is a 7.8% increase from the previous year.
There are many reasons that British nationals choose to live in Portugal, including a high percentage of people who move to Portugal to set up a new business or expand their existing company overseas. However, before making any decisions, it is important to understand the steps you will have to take including the documents that are required for company registration.
Click on the links below to jump to that section:
The different reasons why foreign nationals decide to set up a business in Portugal.
The documentation you will need for company registration in Portugal.
Giambrone & Partners can provide services for Portuguese company formation.
The most frequently asked questions on forming a company in Portugal.
Portugal has remained one of the most favoured European destinations for holiday-seekers due to its good weather and vibrant culture. It is also considered a key European country for expanding a business or setting up an international business. The benefits of setting up a country in Portugal include:
There are a range of tax benefits that are attractive for business owners planning to start a company in Portugal. In the past ten years, the Portuguese government has developed tax incentives and has lowered VAT rates in an attempt to entice foreign investment to its shores; thereby creating jobs in Portugal. This includes tax schemes for non-habitual residents, an investment support tax scheme, and deductions for retained and reinvested profits in the Portuguese market.
The Portuguese government once included the Golden Visa, a scheme that grants residency to non-Portuguese citizens in exchange for investment. This option has now been withdrawn in March 2023, however, this does not mean that there are no opportunities for British nationals to invest in Portuguese business.
Contact Giambrone & Partners to find out more about what investment schemes are available
The process of setting up a business in Portugal is relatively easy, but certain documentation is required. Documentary evidence of the company name and its business bank account are required. Also, regardless of whether you are an EU or a non-EU citizen, the following documents are required:
A social security number is available for both Portuguese citizens and other nationals who make the appropriate contributions. Those individuals who were not born in Portugal will need to apply for a social security identification number. To apply for this, you will need valid identity documents and proof of your Portuguese address.
Regardless of whether you are a Portuguese resident or not, you will need a Número de Indentificação Fiscal (NIF) to carry out any commercial activities legally in the country. NIF is the unique tax identification number for all Portuguese citizens and is required for a variety of transactions in Portugal, including buying and selling real estate, inheriting assets from a last will, and setting up a business in Portugal.
Both EU and non-EU citizens can also apply for a NIF if they are aiming to live and work in Portugal. To do this, they will need valid identity documentation and proof of Portuguese address.
It is recommended to seek advice from international solicitors who understand Portuguese law and speak the language. Contact Giambrone & Partners today for more information.
For Portuguese nationals or EU citizens, you must also provide a registration certificate, which can be requested after three months of living in the country. However, for non-EU nationals, such as British citizens, this step is slightly more complicated.
To set up a company in Portugal, non-EU citizens will need to apply for a visa. This includes a Portuguese work permit and a residence permit. If you would like to obtain Portuguese citizenship it can be acquired in various ways; for example, if you have lived in Portugal for five or more consecutive years you can apply for permanent residency.
For the work visa, you must provide documentation of a solid business plan, proof that your idea is economically viable and relevant to Portugal, and that you have experience in the field you have chosen.
Giambrone & Partners is a team of international solicitors who understand both England and Wales laws and Portuguese laws. Also as our lawyers speak various languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese, communication is not an issue and we can assist you in setting up a company.
Find out more about setting up a company in Portugal here.
Our international and multilingual solicitors assist in various cases, including family law and real estate matters; whilst we also provide commercial services such as debt collections and banking enquiries. We can assist your company incorporation in setting up a bank account, shareholder and company name.
Once all legal documentation has been collated, you will need to register your company name. The Validation Certificate is known as a Certificado de Admissibilidade, and costs €75.
Whether you are a Portuguese national or a non-resident, it is fairly easy to set up a business in Portugal. To ensure the process runs smoothly, it is advisable to instruct bilingual lawyers. international solicitors, or Advogados, who understand Portuguese law and can speak the language to help with communication.