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Step by step to open a small business in Portugal

Starting a business in any country requires a great deal of planning to make it a success. The challenges include not only bureaucratic or financial issues, but also the extent to which the entrepreneur is ready to meet their demands. Logically, however, everything can seem even more delicate when the citizen is investing in a territory other than that of their nationality.

For Brazilians, one of the main destinations is Portugal – the process in the country requires a little more attention to documentation, but can be considered simple.

Gathering all the necessary documents and structuring costs and taxes are among the first steps to start the experience of opening a business in the country. It is even being seen as fertile ground for new ventures. It may seem challenging, but organization is the key to a good end result.

Correct visa to open a business in Portugal?

Called the D2, the visa is intended for all foreigners who intend to make some kind of “lower” investment in Portugal. This is because this model does not require a minimum share capital to be proven during the application process.

Another of its benefits is the possibility of family reunification for spouses and children – minors, adults who are single, students in Portugal or considered incapable. In other words, if you start a business in the country, you can extend your residence permit to other family members.

What is the difference in the process for Brazilians to open a company in Portugal?

The whole process for Brazilians is very similar to the structure presented to the Portuguese themselves – there is no difference between nationalities when starting the investment. Of course, as long as the citizen has the correct visa, Portuguese citizenship or citizenship of any other European Union country.

The biggest challenge for foreigners who have pooled their money in a country with a devalued currency against the euro, such as the real in Brazil, is getting the necessary capital to start the business, as you need to have the funds to become an entrepreneur in your new destination.

Step by step for Brazilians to open a small business in Portugal

The first step, and one of the most important, is to draw up a good business plan. Through planning, the entrepreneur will be able to structure his proposal and all the mechanics of the company to know how to sell the idea and generate good revenue.

According to the Institute for the Support of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Innovation (IAPMEI), the project must present the objectives and characteristics of the venture, market analysis, business strategy, financial model and type of company.

Once you’ve put together your business plan and chosen your category of services and models, you’ll need to gather all the documentation required to start the process of opening your company. At this stage, the citizen should hire a consultancy specializing in bureaucratic processes for foreigners, so as to avoid possible mistakes and setbacks.

When it comes to opening a business, the process starts online at the Citizen’s Portal. In person, it takes place at the Empresa na Hora counters or at the Registry Offices, depending on the type of company. Every city has an address, you just have to look it up on digital. And, just like in Brazil, in Portugal you also need to open a business bank account – here, the tip is to analyze and compare the monthly fees and the benefits that each one can offer. Once you have the NIB, the bank number, the company is legal and you just have to start your business.

How to open a barbershop in Portugal

And what is the process when you go to Empresa na Hora?

The system was developed to make it easier to start a business in Portugal. Once there, the entrepreneur must choose one of the pre-approved firms online and indicate the name of a Chartered Accountant. Then choose one of the available TOC grants or submit a declaration of commencement of activity at one of the tax offices. Next, prove that the share capital has been deposited or declare that it will be deposited and, finally, draw up the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and commercial registration.

In this way, an access code will be given to the Permanent Commercial Certificate, the electronic card and also the social security number of the enterprise. At this point, it will also be necessary to carry out the Central Register of Beneficial Owners to identify all the people who control a company. The RCBE can be carried out by a lawyer on your behalf.

Business bank account

Once the process has begun, you will need to open a bank account in the company’s name, where the amount of share capital must be deposited within five working days of the business opening.

Documents needed to open a company in Portugal

  • Identification (ID card, passport or residence permit);
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN);
  • Declaration of commencement of activity – this can be annulled if the name of a Chartered Accountant (TOC) is presented.

Categories of companies in Portugal

One of the starting points for opening a business is to determine its category and whether it will be individual or a partnership. In either case, citizens will be able to choose between two models, giving them four final patterns.

How much does it cost to start a business in Portugal?

There are two direct costs for starting a business in Portugal. In 2022, the company registration fee is 360 euros. The authorization of a specific name for the establishment, on the other hand, costs 70 euros for normal deadlines or 150 euros for urgent cases.

In other words, starting a business directly can cost between 430 euros and 510 euros, depending on the urgency. However, other expenses can be added depending on the type of business. One of them is the need to register a property or equity, for example.

How do taxes work for entrepreneurs in Portugal?

There are at least four taxes levied on companies in Portugal, not only when they first open, but for the entire duration of their existence.

  • Municipal surcharge: levied on company profits, the tax cannot exceed 1.5%, but varies according to the city;
  • TSU – Taxa Social Única (Single Social Tax): contribution paid to Social Security by each employee, representing 23.75% of their salary;
  • IRC – Corporate Income Tax: levied on business profits at a rate of 21%;
  • VAT: this varies according to the segment and can be 6%, 13% or 23%.

And what is the best area to invest in Portugal?

When choosing an area to invest in, several factors must be evaluated. There is no ideal business, but Portugal has some more lucrative areas, such as tourism. This is one of the most promising industries in the country, but as a negative, the economy in this segment has been severely affected by the pandemic, and investing without good planning can be an additional challenge.

Franchising is another option that is viewed with favor, because there are many profitable businesses, such as small markets – one of the sectors least affected by social isolation and the closing of borders.

Finally, if you have any doubts or even if you want to carry out the process more safely, the advice is to turn to a specialized consultancy and lawyers who can help you through all the steps listed above!

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