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13 most profitable businesses in Portugal for the small entrepreneur

Portugal is a country with many different entrepreneurial opportunities, which is why many Brazilians decide to venture out and start a new business in the different cities of the European country. With an eye on this scenario, Portugal’s economy is increasingly open to new trades, businesses and profitable ideas.

In Europe, Portugal is one of the countries with the most active and lively entrepreneurial ecosystem. The country has improved in recent years in terms of infrastructure, technology and human resources – creating a fertile environment for those looking for new ways to make money.

To open a company in Portugal, you need to gather documents and make sure that all the paperwork is up to date so that your business is in order, such as opening a business bank account. In this other article, you’ll find step-by-step guide to starting a small business in Portugal .

In this context, it’s worth adding a few general tips so that the business actually becomes profitable, i.e. generates profit for the entrepreneur.

How to create a profitable business in Portugal?

In order to run a good business, you need to follow a few steps, not just bureaucratic ones, as we mentioned above, but organizational ones so that you don’t leave any detail out. After all, the more planned and prepared you are to start your business, the greater the chance of getting a better result. Drawing up a business plan can also be essential for visualizing a project.

  • How much do you want to earn per month?
  • How much money do I need to start a business?
  • Who will be the client?
  • Who will be the supplier?

These are some of the questions that need to be asked and analyzed in order to choose the best business to invest in and how to go about making it a reality.

Market analysis should be carried out carefully before choosing a niche to undertake. Below, we’ve listed 13 options for businesses that could be promising for small entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Portugal.

Entrepreneurship in Portugal: which market to invest in?

Healthy eating

Veganism, vegetarianism and healthier ways of eating are becoming increasingly common among people around the world, especially among young people – who are committed to reducing their meat consumption in favor of various social and environmental ideas.

According to an estimate on the Vegan Business website, there are 79 million vegans in the world (data from January 2021). In Portugal, this scenario is no different: in recent years the food sector has been booming and has become a great source of income for those looking for a new venture.

In other words, if you’re looking for something innovative, trendy and money-making, setting up a kitchen and a few tables for alternative food could be a good option.

Brazilian food

It’s no news that there are many Brazilians living in Portugal. Between 2016 and 2020, the country registered a 151% increase in this migratory flow, according to an article in Revista Piauí. In Greater Lisbon alone, for example, there are more than 72,000 Brazilian residents. The Algarve region receives almost 14,000 inhabitants from Brazil.

The Brazilian community in the European country is an important way for this public to feel homesick, so a restaurant or small store selling typical Brazilian food is an opportunity to create a business that generates profits – considering the constant presence of Brazilians in the country. Don’t forget to take a look at the regions that receive the most Brazilians to work and live in Portugal .

Brazilian food


Franchises are great opportunities for those willing to invest in a new venture. The great advantage of this business is the credibility passed on by the brand, the products and all the support of the big companies.

According to data, the sector recorded significant results in the third quarter of 2021, with revenues 8% higher than those recorded in 2020 and is proving to be a venture that, despite the high investment, also promises high returns.

Digital solutions

Your business can range from software and application development to digitalization for companies and businesses. Profitability occurs because technology is present in almost every consumer routine and digital services modernize sales and optimize processes. As the world is immersed in the internet, it may not seem like it, but starting a digital solutions business is one of the best business ideas for 2022.

Digital stores

All over the world, e-commerce has become an increasingly powerful business sector. Online stores have been the perfect way for people to continue their daily shopping during the pandemic. In addition to being a booming business, digital stores have even more potential to become a profitable trade, as they save the costs involved in maintaining a physical space – all you need is a good product, good communication on social media and a reliable and efficient network for delivering products.

What’s more, depending on the structure of your business, it’s possible to expand sales to other European countries, further increasing your income opportunities.


Throughout the European continent, low-cost tourism is very common, due to the ease of traveling between one country and another, whether by train or plane. This “way of traveling” occurs mainly among young people who want to see different places and don’t have such a big budget for more sophisticated trips, which include elegant restaurants, hotels and other amenities.

A great solution for this are hostels, where people share everything: they sleep in shared rooms, can cook their meals in the kitchen and share a bathroom. In return, the cost of each night is much lower.

With an eye on this European tourism scenario, and thinking of Portugal as a country where tourism attracts visitors every year, creating a hostel is also an opportunity for a thriving business.

Hostel or Inn

Beauty clinics

Brazil’s expertise in the aesthetics and beauty market is recognized and valued all over the world. Clinics with Brazilian specialists and techniques have grown a lot and have been conquering an important slice of the market. Another interesting fact is that the male public is also paying more attention and consuming more and more aesthetic procedures, such as laser hair removal.

With their expertise and technological machinery, the European market is surrendering to the know-how of Brazilian professionals, enabling yet another profitable business in the Portuguese country.

Manicure and pedicure services

There are good opportunities for those who provide services in this area in Portugal, because demand tends to remain high regardless of the time of year and it is an excellent business option with a high income. What’s more, the local population loves Brazilian care and the way we develop our techniques.

Another significant point is the way in which it is publicized. With the help of social media, advertisements are easily delivered to customers, allowing you to engage and attract new consumers.

Children’s market

The pandemic has exposed a shortage of entertainment and a children’s market during isolation at home. With children not attending classes, many parents have had to find ways to keep their children entertained in order to find time to work.

In addition to the endless possibilities, businesses aimed at children are highly profitable. Recreational areas, children’s buffets, franchises for the market (for example, tutoring and gyms for children) and e-commerce are great examples of how it’s possible to undertake business in a wide variety of segments, including the internet.

Airport shuttle services

According to the European Best Destinations website, Portugal continues to be one of the must-see places when it comes to traveling in Europe, remaining at the top of tourists’ preferences. The possibility of a transfer service from the airport and also to tourist sites continues to be a lucrative investment, given that you don’t need a large structure to get started.

Initially, all you need to do is contact the airport authorities to find out whether the private company is authorized to operate a shuttle service at the airport and the rules and regulations governing shuttle operators. Depending on the type of permit, the business will need to acquire standardized and comfortable cars for this type of service.

Airport shuttle service

Arenas with physical activities

With gyms still trying to catch their breath due to the closures, outdoor physical activities promise to boost businesses specializing in this area. Building a facility requires a hefty investment, but according to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), the Portuguese population is exhibiting sedentary behavior when compared to 2017 Eurobarometer data.

Therefore, in this post-pandemic moment, physical activity has become a priority for the physical and mental benefits for the entire population. Securing a facility large enough to contain fields for different activities, spectator seating, a changing room, a snack bar and parking means that the business is ready to make a profit – attracting amateurs and athletes from a variety of disciplines who are looking for a training venue.

Decorative items

The idea of investing in this business became popular especially after the lockdown. Confinement and the home office have made people take a fresh look at where they live, which has led to an increase in the sale of decorative items. After all, the home has become a place of work, leisure and study – bringing to the fore the need for comfort and well-being. This area encompasses a series of products, handmade or machine-made, that make work easier.

This demand highlights a new logic of consumption around the world. There is a clear change in consumer needs and desires in this area. Demanding new ventures that take a fresh look with differentiated and innovative products.

Pet market

The pet market is a sector that is increasingly on the rise, as not only is the number of people wanting a pet to share their lives increasing, but pet owners want to provide more sophisticated accessories and care for their routines.

Cities like Lisbon and Porto have many pet stores, with a wide variety of products, from pet food to beds and toys, as well as different price standards. Given the growth of this sector, understanding the complexities of this market in order to set up a pet store, pet food store or even a hotel for dogs and cats can be an idea for making money in Europe.


In addition to entrepreneurship and actually getting a new business off the ground, it’s also worth checking out the professions in Portugal most sought after by Brazilians . By also analyzing these sectors, it is possible to find space to undertake something successful and, of course, profitable.

Finally, it is important to have a team of specialized advisors and lawyers to guide you throughout the process, to clear up any doubts regarding bureaucracy and to carry everything out more safely. Good luck!

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