What does it take to grow a business? Of course, an idea is important, no doubt it takes a lot of work. But!!! The most important thing is opportunity. Opportunities not so much for the entrepreneur who conceived the idea, but for the city (country) in which the idea will be developed. That’s why business is going so well in Portugal. There are a lot of people who want to get used to these almost ideal conditions in every sense. And the newly minted and already experienced businessmen supplement and support each other with their thoughts, projects, ideas, experience and even opportunities, creating a new world, which just recently, in another country, they couldn’t even dream of. There is nothing difficult in changing the place of residence and citizenship, as well as in business registration. But it’s the unknown that scares the most.
We will fight the unknown, telling what to do who wants to move and “settle” in Portugal, where to start a business, where to register it, etc. The information was collected by bits and pieces from people who have passed the path of emigration, from our former compatriots already living in the country. I was particularly impressed by the real story of a mid-level entrepreneur who moved from a small town in Russia, struggling from deal to deal and literally surviving on the pittance he earned. Read it at the end of the article. Highly recommended for those still pondering.
Business in Portugal. Features, differences from doing business in Russia
To go for permanent residence in Portugal (as, in principle, and in most other countries), we need a reason, a reason, so you can not just come where wanted to, and stay. The easiest and most profitable option – entrepreneurial activity, which will be interesting in the country.
The following business ideas are currently in demand and promising in Portugal:
- Own cafe or restaurant. Ideally without employees. For example, the wife cooks, the children help to receive visitors, and the husband is in charge of finances, purchases, etc. Of course, if you open the institution in places where the flow of people is great, you will have to hire helpers, but still the basis – the family.
- SPA or beauty salon. You can take customers yourself, or you can rent a room and be in charge of the financial side, and hire employees. A huge “plus” inexpensive rental space, but you should understand the specifics of the people of this country. In the salon will go more on the recommendation of a friend, rather than focusing on the advertising or bright signage. Therefore, those who have decided to conquer this particular industry, you need to start with work on his reputation as a master, with the development of a base of customers.
- Real estate agency. The most profitable today option for doing business in Portugal. Yes, it requires investment, yes, you need experience. But if these resources are available, then why not put them in the right direction? Register as a legal entity and hire realtors, if necessary – that’s what you need to do when opening such an agency. One more time. In this industry only with experience and only with a ready-made work plan. Mini car repair shops, ateliers, repair shops for computers, cell phones, etc. These will always be in demand. But. You need a special license. Although it is required for many activities in Portugal, so this is not news. Master of his craft will definitely be able to have a good stable income.Is it profitable to open a business in Portugal? The answer is absolutely. The country has the lowest threshold for investment in the European Union for the purpose of registration of the residence permit, there are no bribery (in fact no, it’s not just words). Madeira and the Azores, in case the choice falls on them, belong to a free economic zone. And to register a company in Portugal, you do not even need to have the citizenship of the country! The registration process takes no more than 48 hours and afterwards the business is subject to minimum tax rates.
Portugal – part of the European Union, so a residence permit or a long-term visa is enough to run a business in the country, citizenship is not required. But the resident status, opening a business, can be obtained in the future.
Applying for Portuguese Residency
There are a lot of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians in Portugal. This creates an impression of the ease of obtaining a residence permit, and then the status of a resident of the country. In fact, there are no special difficulties in obtaining this status. But there are peculiarities, as in any such procedure, so it is worthwhile to review the process in detail.
So, in 2013, Portugal launched a special program aimed at attracting investors Golden Rezident Permit. Participants of this program as a major bonus receive Portugal residence permit in just 2 months without the need to pass the language and history exam, and without the requirement to reside permanently in the country.
The main benefits of the program:
- Golden residency status is granted to all family members of investors (not only the spouse and children, but also parents who have moved with them).
- Citizenship can be obtained not after six years, as before, but after five.
What’s the point of the Golden Rezident Permit program for Portugal?It’s simple. It started on October 8, 2012. Until 2018 it was with its help 5,876 investors have received a residence permit in Portugal, and another 9,861 people came to restore the family. That is, since 2012, 15,737 people have received a residence permit in Portugal.
More than 3.6 billion euros over five years have been attracted to the country thanks to the Golden Rezident Permit program. And the 3.6 billion is the official amount, calculated on real estate investments. And how much was invested in business, in their own development, etc.? So all sides of the process were satisfied.
However, these amounts did not come into being on their own, or because of some lucky event for a country in need of a “breath of fresh air” in the form of massive cash investments from abroad. It was stipulated that everyone wishing to obtain a residence permit in Portugal, must invest in the country not less than 250 thousand euros. The amount is enormous, but this does not mean that the family had to, roughly speaking, stretch it out at the entrance to the country to customs officials.
It is not the money itself that is meant, but the investment! Investments in their own homes, their own businesses and their own needs (car, etc.). That is in themselves. But these investments are very important.
It goes without saying that Portugal is interested in entrepreneurs who will develop business in its territory. But this way went in recent years only nine investors (moved in order to open a business that can be conducted solely in this country). The vast majority go to Portugal with money to buy residential real estate or acquire non-residential buildings to work (just kidding, the entire $3 billion was spent on real estate markets officially! That is, there is a possibility that in fact the amount is several times higher. Yes, even if it is three billion, not more. That’s incredible money for such a small country!). That is, the government of Portugal is doing everything possible to attract those who want to develop it and get their “profit”. A very sensible approach that ends up benefiting all parties in the process.
The most active investors in the country are the Portuguese government.
The most active investors are certainly the Chinese. They represent two thirds of all those who have moved here and of all those who have invested in Portuguese business real estate.
Brazil is second, South Africa is third, Russia is fourth, and the last of the five “leaders” countries is Turkey.
Investments in the business of the country are growing. It is growing steadily. There are some jumps in indicators, but they do not cause excitement. In business, especially in real estate and finance businesses, that’s normal. Now briefly consider the features of opening a business in Portugal.
How to open a business in Portugal
Today, Portugal ranges between 35-39 places out of 190 countries considered in terms of the benefits of starting a business or starting your own production. Not the first positions, we will not argue, but taking into account the other advantages for living (environment, living conditions, level of social security, prices of food and other groups of goods, level of education, etc.) comes out just super! And that’s for today, let’s repeat.
At the same time there is a steady work to attract active investors into the economy of the state, that is, the country continues to develop, it is at the beginning of its journey. And people are given opportunities to grow with it. It really is a chance to start a new path for your family, not only in the present time, but also for future generations. Imagine sitting years later in front of a television set and not understanding that the show she is watching about life in another country is real, not a horror movie. And she could have been the heroine in that show if her grandparents hadn’t decided to move to Portugal. But the future is great; however, it depends on the present. So let’s move on from dreams to reality.
What else good awaits in Portugal? There are no bureaucratic delays as residents of post-Soviet countries are accustomed to. There are no lines, and civil servants greet visitors as if they have met someone they haven’t seen in a long time. Can you imagine that in our tax office an employee came out, offered to help and explained everything in an understandable way, helped, advised? And so in any government agency, you meet only obstacles and pitfalls. And with them it’s exactly the opposite. If there is a “stone” on the road, it means they will help to move it, but not lay a few more large stones on top.
No one will waste your time arguing about how to live your life properly, what to do or just doing other things. There is no such thing in Portugal. Everything is clear, straightforward and understandable.
The conditions for starting a business are also very convenient. Throughout the country there are offices where, using the system Empresa na Hora or Empresa Online (which is through the Internet, without visiting the office), it is possible to open a business in just an hour, passing all the registration and the necessary procedures remotely.
But a foreigner, moreover, without acquaintances in the country, the help of lawyers, notaries and accountants is very necessary. Ideally, immediately contact the consulting agency MoVetosasaсais, which helps with a variety of immigration issues, / the selection of real estate for the opening of the business / provides legal representation, etc. For many types of businesses in Portugal need to issue a special license + to confirm their qualifications and obtain the necessary certificates. Often it is required to document knowledge of the language, and not only knowledge, but also the level of it.
There are no more restrictions in terms of doing business by foreigners in Portugal. And it is not planned. Except for the fact that obtaining a residence permit may cause some difficulties.
SEF (Department of Immigration and Border Control of Portugal) issues a residence permit for one year with the right to renew it later. In order to obtain it the foreigner must register his type of activity in the tax and social security service (these are the basic requirements, it is necessary to clarify the information on the spot, there may be changes).
Golden Investor Visa
People coming to Portugal from the CIS can obtain a residence permit by obtaining a “Golden Visa” in advance. This is an investor visa that can be issued on the condition that:
- investment of at least one million euro in the Portuguese economy
- the purchase of real estate of at least half a million euro (it can be from 250 thousand, but in exceptional cases, this must be discussed in advance and documented);
- open a business that will provide at least 10 jobs.
Complicated conditions? Don’t rush to explore other ways to get a residence permit in Portugal. “Golden visa” has a lot of advantages.
Firstly, its owner has the right to visa-free travel to all Schengen countries. Is it profitable? You bet it does!
As mentioned earlier, in Portugal it is possible to register a company in several ways. In order to choose the most effective option, in accordance with the individual objectives of the visitor will need the advice of local experts.
Empresa na Hora
The Empresa na Hora system is an elementary way to create a business in an hour! No, not a fantasy, not a pitfall, but quite an accessible reality. There are special offices (called Conservatória de Registo Comercial or Centro de Formalidades das Empresas). The condition for opening a business in them – the entire package of documents in the norm and 360 euros payment of public service.
The condition for opening a business in them – the entire package of documents in the norm and 360 euros payment of public service.
It is possible to use the online application Empresa Online. In this case it will take two days to register. To apply, the business owner must have a certificate, a digital signature and proof of identity. If there is no certificate, it will be longer and more complicated, but if you need it for your business in the future anyway, why not do it right away?
Registering a company in Portugal. The main stages
Telling about the rules and features of registration and registration of a business in Portugal can be very long, but there are fewer questions if we consider the procedure on a concrete example.
So, opening a clothing repair shop (the plan is to transform into a full-fledged atelier for sewing all kinds of clothes for men, women and children, mass production).
The first thing to do is to apply for a company name. We choose “Katrina” as an example. In addition to assigning the name and taxpayer code (EDRPOU code) in Portugal, it is mandatory to obtain a certificate of admissibility (Certificado de Admissibilidade) and a temporary identification card Cartão Provisorio de Pessoa Collectiva.
The next step is to register the Company Incorporation Act with a notary. It must be done no later than three months from the date of receipt of the identification card. But there is no point in procrastination, is there? You just have to take the time to do it in advance.
With the original registration certificate and taxpayer code (EDRPOU code), with the certificate of admissibility (Certificado de Admissibilidade) and with the temporary identification card Cartão Provisorio de Pessoa Collectiva, having previously made photocopies, you must go to a notary. As in our country not all notaries have the right to perform the same types of transactions, so it does not hurt to find out in advance if there is a license for the required documents so that you do not waste your time in vain.
Now it’s time for the tax office. Here you need to file an application to start a company. It is important to do this no later than three months from the date of receipt of the certificate of registration, otherwise the tax office may have questions as to why it took so long to register. And this could be the occasion for an unscheduled inspection of activities, which in turn will pull on a whole bunch of worries, excitement and again, delays in opening a business. So provide for such little things in advance. Protect yourself from unnecessary delays, worries, nerves and material losses (any questions, write to the agency, they will help and advise).
The next registration in the commercial registry in Portugal. It is called Conservatórias do Registo Comercial. You also have to do either at the same time as the tax office, or immediately after it. Don’t drag it out.
Social security and accident insurance authorities are a mandatory step to register such a repair shop. And no more than 30 days from the date of the certificate of registration is given to carry out this procedure.
The same period of time is set by the Social Security and Accident Compensation Administration to register a repair shop.
There are a lot of difficulties, time, delays and losses, so we would like to remind you of the proven agency Movetosassais, whose staff will solve all the issues quickly and prevent any trouble arising from the incorrectly executed documents.
Business in Portugal. Forms of ownership
Before starting a business in Portugal, before registering the firm or the chosen type of business activity, it is necessary to determine the form of ownership it will take. Portuguese law gives this choice:
- single owner (Empresário em Nome Individual);
- Society with a SoO (Estabelecimento Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada);
- single shareholder and owner (Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas);
- partner business (Sociedade em Nome Colectivo);
- closed joint stock company (Sociedade por Quotas);
- commercial organization or society (Sociedade em Comandita);
- open type corporation or limited liability company (Sociedade Anónima);
- cooperative (Cooperativa).
This is a basic list of state proposals. People, however, most often choose these forms of business activities:
1. Sociedade por Quotas (first in popularity). The capital (implied statutory capital) is from 1 to 5000 euros. Liability is regulated and limited to deposits. A prerequisite is at least 2 shareholders.
2. Sociedade Anónima. This is already “about big business”.Share capital of 50 thousand! euros, at least 20 shareholders, whose liability is regulated according to the size of the contributions.
There are no questions in this respect? Is everything clear? Then let’s move on to the global: the taxation system. Goosebumps? Don’t be alarmed before you know it. Read carefully.
Tax system in Portugal
Moderate rates and flexible taxation are the main features of the tax system in Portugal.</nbsp;</nbsp
Fact. Portugal has signed an agreement with some developed countries to avoid double taxation by entrepreneurs!
Shock? The hero, whose experience is used to create the material, also initially did not believe it, all waiting for a catch. You’ll read about that in the final part of the article.
For now, check out the size of the major taxes in 2021:
- Income tax (corporate) -21 percent.
- Tax. The main rate is 23 percent, but there are reduced rates of 13, 6 and even zero for some activities (medicine, cargo and passenger transportation, food industry, etc.).</nbsp;
- Tax on interest from investments, on amounts from dividends – 28 percent.
- Income tax. If the annual income is less than 7.1 thousand euros, not more than 48 percent, if the income is more than 80.9 thousand euros per year, the rate can be set higher than 48 percent.
- If citizens do not submit declarations on time, if they evade taxes, they are fined from 200 and up to 55 thousand euros! Liability can be administrative, and may even be criminal. Portugal is a country that is struggling for its development.
- Founder and owner of the company can be a foreigner, even without a residence permit.
- Registration can be done online, takes no more than 48 hours.
- Registration allows you to experience all the benefits of the modern world and the complete absence of bureaucracy
- There is “NO” bribery and corruption.
- It is safe to live, grow and do business.
- The prices in Portugal for services and products correspond to their quality.</nbsp;
The program “Golden Visa” Portugal’s passport can be obtained after five years (in other countries at least 10-12 years). It is not necessary to reside here permanently.
The Real Story of Starting a Business in Portugal
And now the very information that we promised to give you at the end of the information material.
Our former citizens Alexander and Marina and their children left Russia for Portugal. They do not regret it one bit. They visit their relatives in Russia freely, wondering how they ever managed to escape from this web. But that is not what we are talking about. So, our heroes lived an average life, running a small business connected to cell phones and computer equipment. You know, this market is already overcrowded, people are saturated with novelties, and entrepreneurs need to live. Should we switch to another group of goods? We did. To repair. Stable, but little, catastrophically little. Considered the options of hired employees for the shop, to take on the development of the outlet, not gone. It turned out that having all the documents for the workshop of cell phones and computer equipment, you need to trade spare parts (not phones and appliances, namely, spare parts), to be re-registered kind of activity and make out either already service trade center, which will be different products and services, or a second type of activity, aimed at trade. And you have to pay for everything, and the sums are such, as if a person doesn’t plan to earn, but has already earned more than enough and doesn’t know where to put the money.
Working from home? An option. But a paltry income with the constant shudder of knocking on the door while waiting for the IRS didn’t fit at all.
A final blow, if I may say so. For more than a year, saving up for everything, the entrepreneurs had raised an endless amount of money to buy merchandise. They ordered it. They paid for it. The shipment of goods from Germany (used goods, it is important!) was taxed at the customs, after bringing them to the warehouse had not yet had time to disassemble, and already came the inspection from the tax office and as the following expected consequences, fines for improper documents-permits-conditions of work and withdrawal of 60% of all available stock on suspicion of smuggling. Yes, a suspicion that may not be proven years later, but what has been seized by then will either be gone from the warehouse or spoiled is nothing new to the citizens of our country. Shock, nerves, incomprehension, and the refusal of official bodies to give any explanation at all and to respond to what is happening have broken the entrepreneurs. Realizing that this was a collapse, that it was the end and just a dead end, they were on the verge of breaking down. It’s good that they found the strength to talk instead of going their separate ways. It’s good that they supported each other.
Marina still can’t get the shivers out of her voice, remembering how her wise, strong and very experienced Alexander simply settled down, simply refused to fight. There was no strength, no desire, her legs went limp, literally and figuratively.
For some reason at that moment, it was in front of her eyes appeared a sign with the name Movetosassensis, which she stumbled upon, coming out in a semi-foggy state from the prosecutor’s office, where she was going, as the last instance is not to write a statement, and the experienced lawyer to consult. I could not get a consultation, but that’s not the point now.
When Marina came home, she saw a post on FaceBook. Her eyes flashed across the banner: “Portugal,” “Paradise,” “make up your mind,” something along those lines, and a link to the agency’s website.
Why not try to book a consultation? Talked for over two hours. Just talking, discussing, Marina didn’t know how she would look her husband in the eye, how she would tell him this. But after an hour they met and the girl just said – get ready, we deserve a good vacation. And the money? I found money for the trip, and then we’ll figure it out from there.
The following days, like in a fog. Even in Portugal, Marina and Sasha were already in a state of semi-sleep. They could not understand that this was reality. Now they were sure that fate had pushed them to this decision. How they were able to break free? Fantastic. Perhaps if there had been a single delay with paperwork, ticketing, flight delays, etc., they would have turned back. They were in a state of tension. But nothing happened. Nothing disrupted the plans. They are happy now. They don’t have a two-story country house, they don’t have a private pool, but that’s not what they wanted. They were looking for stability and confidence in the future. And they got it. In Portugal they get up in the morning and go to work, not worrying that overnight there was a revolution, the fall of the ruble-dollar, that they have nowhere to go because the place of work was looted, they work without expecting tax inspectors breaking in, acting like racketeers from 90’s, not worrying about problems with documents, visas, with debts of unknown origin, etc. Of course there are delays, breakdowns, personal problems, and problems with documents. But all this is resolved quickly. The tax office in Portugal does not cause trembling in the knees and fainting, and if there is any error, the employees help to solve it, as it is accepted in civilized, normal European countries.
MoVetocasais -it’s not just a consultation. They are experts who literally take you by the hand and, without letting you go, take you across the long, rickety bridge to the other side. The agency solves the issues of emigration, draws up the documents, selects real estate for housing. Advises at the stage of opening a business in Portugal, registration of documents for entrepreneurial activity, assists in resolving issues with the payment of taxes and state fees, helps get resident status of the country, and after a necessary period of time and citizenship of Portugal. It is obligatory that each family is assigned a legal representative.
It really is real! Make up your mind. We will do everything we can to help you through this turning point in your life with as few obstacles as possible. You’ll be happy in Portugal. You already know that, don’t you? We’re waiting for you!