Portugal Company Formation

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Company Formation and Related Services



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Set up a Company in Portugal

January 28, 2013, 10:07 pm

Portugal is considered a fruitful place to start a business, having a stable and moreover growing economy. It is a profitable choice for both domestic and foreign investors to set up a company in Portugal, due to low taxes and a simplified procedure for incorporation. Moreover, the procedure for setting up a company in Portugal doesn’t require much time or effort.

Preliminary activities before registering a public and private limited company in Portugal

The founder for both types of companies must firstly choose a name for the new business and check for its uniqueness, as they must ensure that the company's name isn't used by another firm. This procedure can be done through a search conducted at the National Registry of Collective Entities (Registro Nacional de Pessoas Colectivas, RNPC). The uniqueness of the name is validated by the issuance of a certificate of approval and the name can be reserved for 48 h in exchange of a fee. The founders also have the option to choose one of the pre-approved names, from the ones available on the RNPC website.

Registering the public and private limited company at the one-stop shop in Portugal

In order to set up a company in Portugal, the founders must also register with the Commercial Registry. In order to obtain the certificate, the founders must submit an application along with the articles of association and the certificate of the name approval. The shareholders must also submit a declaration of commencement of activities, within 15 days of incorporation.

An entrepreneur has two options in order to complete the registration:

- either by the one-stop shop (“On the Stop Firm”), available throughout the country by representative offices. In this sense the founders must provide the corporate tax identification, the minutes of the Inaugural meeting of the incorporated and also an extract proving the entrance into the Commercial Registry. By this simplified procedure, available since 2005, the founders will obtain in the same place, by a single procedure, the certificate of incorporation, the corporate ID, the number for the Social Security and the business registration certificate. For this action a fee of EUR 360 is charged, included in the start-up costs involved.

 - either by an online platform, where the founders attach the required documentation. A fee of EUR 360 is also charged for setting up a company in Portugal by an online proceeding.

Registering with the Social Security Regional Center in Portugal

When the company hires personnel, these employees must be registered for social security within 24 hours before they start their activity or no latter than 10 days after the declaration of commencing the business. This application is submitted at the Centros de Formalidades das Empresas or at the Business Registry Offices and it must contain the tax identification card, minutes of company and a copy of the declaration of commencement business activities.

Notifying the Labor Inspectorate

The Labor Inspectorate must be noticed on the existence of the new company. In this sense, the founders must provide the company’s name and its tax number, a copy of the published announcement regarding the company incorporation, the company's object of activity and other identification data, such as the office address. The declaration of commencement of activities can be also submitted at the one stop shop. In this case, the Registry will inform the Work Inspection Agency.

Register for the workmen's accident compensation insurance at a private insurer

For each employee, the company must provide insurance for accident compensation at a private insurer. However, this insurance cannot cover the occupational accident or injuries suffered by it. Only the individual which receives a salary can be registered. The registration is completed in a short period of time and can be performed online.

Setting up a Portuguese company from abroad

Portugal welcomes foreign investors willing to set up a company in Portugal and grants the same rules and regulations as for a domestic entrepreneur. The Institute of Foreign Investment, which supervises foreign business activities, permits foreign involvement in any sectors. However, there are certain fields where there can no be developed any new businesses: power production, transport services and the arms industry. A foreign investor can set up a company in Portugal by designating an authorized representative to incorporate the company. A foreign entrepreneur must be aware that the entire documentation must be translations in Portuguese language.

How long does it take to incorporate a Portuguese company?

The procedure of setting up a company in Portugal requires a short period of time and simple action, due to the available simplified procedures. Each procedure can be completed in an average period of one day and a Portuguese company is established and ready to function is 5 working days. The estimated period of time may vary, as there may be some other aspects for each particular case.


BridgeWest offers company formation in Portugal, including virtual office and other related services.


Open Business in Portugal
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Company Formation in Portugal



BridgeWest provides company formation services in Portugal. Our assistance includes: ... [More]

Lawyers in Portugal


BridgeWest provides a wide range of legal services in Portugal through our affiliated Portuguese lawyers and Law Firms in Lisbon and other major cities in Portugal. We are mainly specialized in the main aspects of Portuguese Commercial Law, includ ... [More]