FAQ about Developing a Business in Portugal

In this article, we answer our clients' most frequently asked questions regarding the development of a business in Portugal.

Last Updated on July 21, 2022 by Victor Queiroz

Welcome to our FAQ about Developing a Business in Portugal.

Developing a business is an art.

Entrepreneurs tend to see the world with “business eyes”.

Everything can be an opportunity and everyone can be a customer, depending on how the business is structured.

This FAQ will answer some common questions about developing a business in Portugal.

If you are an entrepreneur and plan to develop your business in the land of Pastel de Belém, you cannot miss this information.

How to choose a business area in Portugal?

Choosing a business is complex, no matter where you’re planning to undertake. Portugal is no exception.

But, of course, some activities can help you in this challenging task, such as:

  • Getting to know your audience. Depending on where you plan to undertake, different types of customers will be your focus, and you should consider this situation.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the location where you intend to undertake, consider hiring professionals to do marketing research so that you have data to decide whether the venture is viable.
  • Consider developing in an area where you have the expertise, even if it’s not essential to the business’s success.
  • Building a Business Plan is extremely important. When you put your thoughts on paper, you can see the “big picture” and make better choices.
  • Knowing the local rules related to business, as you can be punished for not following local procedures and even having your business ruined.

If you need guidance on developing a business in Portugal, whether by building a Business Plan, creating your company, or any other related task, Viv Europe can help you manage these activities.

How to make sure my business will be successful in Portugal?

There is no way we can ensure that our business will succeed, no matter where it is developed.

But you can certainly increase the chances of a success by doing some simple activities by:

  • Following the steps mentioned at the previous answer.
  • Taking your time to develop a well-structured Business Plan. Many people say that the secret of success is not so much related to the idea itself, but in how it is put into practice.
  • Considering searching for expert advice. In this first phase of the business, this will be a very important task.

If the country where you plan to develop your country is “business-friendly,” the chances of a successful business increase. This is the case in Portugal.

Do I have to apply for a visa to reside in Portugal as an entrepreneur?

Yes, if you’re not an EU citizen, you’ll need to apply for the D2 Visa, also known as the Portuguese business visa.

It’s important to emphasize that the initial activities to develop the business, such as the creation of the business plan, the incorporation of the company, and the opening of the bank account, must be carried out before the visa application.

Therefore, you will need a representative in Portugal to manage these tasks before starting the process.

To learn about the D2 Visa, we strongly suggest reading our article: “All About Starting a Business in Portugal and Obtaining a D2 Visa“.

What are the most important documents to apply for a D2 Visa?

It’s hard to point out the most relevant documents for the D2 Visa application.

Those mentioned below are certainly important and must be obtained before the application:

  • Shareholder’s Tax Number (NIF)
  • Shareholder’s Social Security number
  • Well-structured Business Plan
  • Incorporated Portuguese company
  • Portuguese bank account
  • Company’s registry number

These are some documents that will be requested for your application.

What are the most important obligations for developing a business in Portugal?

There are some obligations that the entrepreneur must carry out before starting a business in Portugal; some of them are:

  • Creating a Portuguese company
  • Creating a personal and company’s bank account
  • Transferring the share capital
  • Hiring a local accountant
  • Paying Social Security as a manager
  • Dealing with the Corporate Income Tax annually
  • Paying employees salaries

All of these costs can impact the business treasury, so be aware.

How can I create my Portuguese company?

Creating a company is not an easy task.

Some business information is very relevant in this field and can influence the business and shareholders’ obligations, such as:

  • The extent of shareholder’s liability
  • The approvals that are required to conduct business
  • The obligations related to the company itself
  • The accounting obligations

Therefore, we strongly recommend assistance of a lawyer to assist you with this service.

Below you can find some information that needs to be addressed in the Social Pact for the creation of a company in Portugal:

  • Company’s name
  • Social capital value
  • Social capital shares
  • Company’s object
  • Shareholders’ obligations

How can I register my brand in Portugal?

The brand must be registered at the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI).

A lawyer or solicitor must initiate this procedure.

After the approval of this process, the company can use its brand without breaking any laws.

But remember that this is not a mandatory procedure, not even to apply for a Business Visa.

Renting (or acquiring) a place is needed as you’ll need to appoint the company’s headquarter.

You’ll need to provide an address even if you have a digital business.

Many obligations may arise depending on where the business is located (such as inside a shopping center, in a public space, etc.).

Also, your Rental Agreement needs to be carefully analyzed to avoid the need to pay extra costs.

Therefore, the obligations related to where the business is located can vary greatly.

As a rule, payment of condominium, water, gas, and energy expenses is mandatory.

If you want more information about expenses related to a property, check out our article: “Complete Guide to Real Estate Market in Portugal.”

How can I hire my staff in Portugal?

Hiring employees is one of the most critical tasks for the business’s success.

Luckily many companies in Portugal can assist in the hiring process, such as AdeccoMichael PageHays, and others.

Also, there are many online solutions if you want to do this task yourself. Recruitee is one of them.

To give you a hint, here are the most relevant costs related to the staff for the employer:

  • 14x Salaries per year
  • Social Security (11%)
  • Employees vacation period
  • Food voucher
  • Transportation voucher

An accountant must conduct the hiring procedure.

What are the advantages of developing a business in the European Union?

The development of a business in a country member of the European Union can be a big deal if you intend to expand its activities to other countries in Europe.

Therefore, buying and selling products within EU countries can be easier, as in most cases, no bureaucracy or tax-related costs will be considered.

That’s why importing beer from Germany or bringing cheese from Italy can become manageable.

You may face some struggles during this process, such as dealing with the language barrier, but the willingness to overcome them depends on your willpower.

How much money should I have to spend on this process?

Let’s face it; a Business Visa isn’t the cheapest way to obtain the Portuguese Residence Permit.

Those who apply for this visa are not so concerned with the cost of the procedure but with the chances for the business to succeed.

See below the approximate costs you’ll have to face if you decide to go for this route:

  • Create a company in Portugal – from 220€ to 400€
  • Funds to be transferred to your personal Portuguese bank account – around 8,500€
  • Hire an accountant – 150 to 250€/monthly
  • Pay company’s Social Security – around 250€/monthly
  • Hire the assistance firm to apply for the D2 Visa – can vary
  • Rent the business address – can vary
  • Costs related to the development of the business – can vary
  • Employee costs – can vary
  • Public agencies fees to start the business – around 400€

Yes, there are some costs related to the development of the business. Still, depending on how you manage the company, the return on investment can be exciting, not to mention that in the end, you will receive your Portuguese Residence Permit.

What are the challenges to apply for the D2 Visa?

As you may already know, Portugal is a very bureaucratic country; therefore, you may face difficulty complying with some procedures.

Therefore, to create a company remotely you may need to come to Portugal, as your lawyer or solicitor must recognize your signatures in person, as stated in the law.

It is a pity that professionals have not been able to recognize signatures remotely until now.

In addition, opening your company’s bank account without being in Portugal can be a significant challenge.

Last but not least, developing a business in another country is always a big deal, so be prepared to gather as much information as possible to get started with this process.

Conclusion

This FAQ answered common questions about developing a business in Portugal.

If you want a broader analysis of the procedure for developing a business in Portugal, check our article: All About Starting a Business in Portugal and Obtaining a D2 Visa.

Viv Europe also has a Facebook group focused on helping expats willing to move to Portugal. To access it, just click here.

You can always count on Viv Europe to assist you with your business in Portugal.

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