There are two different approaches to setting up a company in Portugal:

  • It is possible to buy an off-the-shelf company and have it set up in a couple of hours if you are not interested in choosing a company’s name or are just in a hurry. So you can purchase an off-the-self new company, with a pre-approved name, and have it running in 2 hours.
  • Or you may want a tailored company, to be set up by a lawyer or notary and this may take from one to three weeks, depending on the specific situation (and shareholders).

Documents needed for a tailored company

In order to start the process of incorporation of a company in Portugal these are the documents and/or information required to proceed:

  • A list of potential names for the new company to be incorporated;
  • The object of the company to be incorporated;
  • The shareholders of the company;
  • The articles of association that will be applicable to the new company;
  • The directors of the company.

A company can be legally incorporated at a Portuguese lawyer’s office and must be registered at the Commercial Registry afterwards. All companies are required to have, at least, a certified accountant (some companies require an auditor).

Online Services

All the services for obtaining permits can be made online, through the website of the “Portal do Cidadão”.

In this platform it is possible to start permit procedures related with:

  • Permits for local accommodation – “Alojamento local”;
  • Permits for commercial shops, services and restaurants – “Estabelecimentos de comércio, serviços e restauração”, which include permits for different businesses, like restaurants, bars, vehicle repair shops, laundries, tattoo shops, tanning salons, funeral homes, etc.
  • Legal communications related with sales – “Saldos e Liquidações”;
  • Permits for real estate agencies – “Mediação Imobiliária”;
  • Other services, which include permits for very different activities like tourism accommodation, small supermarkets, travel agencies, etc.

The information regarding the documents required for each permit or authorization can be found on the platform, so you collect all documents before filing the process online.

These permits can be obtained entirely online with a Portuguese (electronic) Citizen Card. If you are not a Portuguese citizen, a lawyer will be able to obtain these permits for you, online, by using their professional (electronic) card.

*The process of starting a company in Portugal can be complex. We can help with advice, consultancy and service on this areas. Contact us if you need help.

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