How can you guarantee security for yourself and your family? This is a question that many successful entrepreneurs are asking these days. Sure, you can cut yourself off from the society you live in and try to build your ecosystem, but why would you want to live in that society at all?
The same questions were asked by Anton, the creator of a successful startup from Krasnodar, who refused to put up with this problem and decided to move his business to Portugal and move to startup visa Portugal.
How to start a successful startup in Russia and decide to take it to Europe
My journey to move to Portugal started back in Krasnodar, where I was born, grew up, and lived for the first 30 years of my life. There, together with two classmates, we first decided to try and open our little startup. The project was a complex software solution for agrarian enterprises, written and designed individually for the client. We were lucky and a small startup for three people began to bring in a tangible profit after just one year. A year later my family and I and my partner decided to expand and moved to Moscow.
We lived in Moscow for three years, and it was not a good time. Don’t get me wrong – the city is great, with a rich history and a lot of prospects, but it was just impossible to live there. The final straw that influenced our decision to move to another country was the safety of our family.
Startup visa Portugal. How does a businessman get a residence permit in Portugal?
Let’s digress from Anton’s story and talk about Portugal’s startup visa in a little more detail. This unique program was launched by the Portuguese Ministry of Economy in early 2018. Thanks to the startup visa, businessmen from all over the world have the opportunity to create their startup in Portugal and, in addition, to obtain resident status and, subsequently, EU citizenship.
One of the prerequisites is to have enough financial resources to start a startup. Financial assistance in Portugal can be provided by business angels, investors, venture capital funds, and government grants.
Who can get a startup visa in Portugal?
- businessman intending to open a startup in Portugal or to transfer his startup from another country there;
- an entrepreneur who is over 18 years old;
- not an EU or Schengen nationality;
- no criminal record;
- fulfill their tax obligations;
- those who do not have to fulfill their tax obligation;
- those having sufficient funds in the account – 5,146 euros per person;
- at least five people and family members can participate in the application.
What should a startup be?
- The business must be innovative and useful to the country’s economy.
- In the case of transferring an existing business from abroad, the company must be profitable and no older than 4 years.
- The project must interest at least one of the certified incubators.
- The startup can achieve a capitalization or turnover of 325,000 euros within 5 years.
- The startup has the potential to create 5 jobs in 2 years.
- The business immigrant must lead the startup team.
Steps to apply for Portugal’s startup visa program
You can apply for Portugal’s startup visa program through the official IAPMEI SME support website. The entire application process can be divided into two steps. First, you need to fill out an identification form where you describe your future project and upload a package of documents to the system, which includes:
- a letter of motivation explaining your desire to develop an innovative project in Portugal;
- copy of passport;
- a certificate confirming the receipt of a tax number or social security number in Portugal;
- a certificate of criminal record obtained in the country of residence;
- statement from a bank confirming that you have sufficient financial means to live in Portugal;
- resume detailing work experience;
- project presentation.
In the second stage, the startup needs to get positive feedback from at least one of the 78 incubators. After filling out an application online and providing documents, the entrepreneur sends a request to the incubators to receive a declaration of interest.
The incubator evaluates the startup’s project on several criteria:
- innovativeness of the project;
- potential for growth;
- business scalability in the market;
- project prospects in Portugal after the end of the program.
The Portugal startup visa is a truly unique opportunity, which more and more of our compatriots use every year.
First thoughts about moving and Portugal’s startup visa
The startup visa for Portugal seemed like a great option. It solved the main problem: I would not have to leave my business, which had already been excellently showing itself for three years. In addition, the idea of the project itself is perfectly applicable in Portugal – the agricultural industry in the country is growing every year.
I was, of course, still intimidated by the prospect of moving, but with the new opportunities, everything seemed doable. True, the application requirements quickly knocked the snot out of me. Somewhere I had to get a tax identification number, open an account at a local bank, and apply for membership… I decided then that I would do it on my own.
Collaboration with MoveToCascais and first visit to Portugal
Portugal just struck me. I’ve been to Spain and Poland before, but I’ve never seen such amazing colors anywhere. The narrow streets with cozy and homely warm coffee houses and family restaurants, the old architecture blends in nicely with the modern metropolis and of course the endless ocean, which can be seen from any observation point in the city.
And it all goes hand in hand with constant progress. The country is evolving, and every year there are hundreds of new projects that are truly changing cities. And not only in the capital as it was in Russia.
I spent a month in Lisbon, but it flew by in a second. When I flew back home I had no doubt that I would return soon and hopefully forever.
New life in Portugal and new projects
It’s been two years since then and I haven’t regretted for a second that I decided to move. Portugal gave me something that I couldn’t get in Russia – a feeling of security and confidence the next day.
The format of the business, as I expected, was perfect for Portugal. The project, which was also in demand in Russia, reached the required capitalization under the terms of the program in just two years. In addition, I met some very promising guys here, and together we are preparing a new project. Right now everything is only at the development stage and quarantine affected our plans a bit, but by next year we plan to reach the finish line.
Living in Portugal has been a real breath of air for me. And no wonder – we are very dependent on the environment in which we live. The climate here is wonderful – warm, sunny all year round.
How to start a successful business and get a residence permit in Portugal today
This is the end of Anton’s story. One would think, what conclusions can be drawn?
Portugal is not only an ideal climate, with excellent ecology and high quality of life. Portugal is above all a country of new opportunities where everyone can realize their wildest ideas. It is your ambition that counts.
The Portugal startup visa is a unique opportunity for you, right now, to start building a new life in one of the most promising countries in Europe. All you have to do is take the first step and don’t put your dream on hold.