Why Starting a Business in Portugal Makes Sense

Portugal, often hailed for its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is also gaining recognition as a thriving hub for entrepreneurs and startups. With its welcoming business environment, strategic location in Europe, and a favorable tax regime, Portugal has emerged as an attractive destination for those looking to establish a business. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why starting a business in Portugal may be more suitable than in other countries, and provide a guide on how to start a business in Portugal as a foreigner.

  1. Strategic Location and Access to European Markets

One of the key advantages of starting a business in Portugal is its strategic location within Europe. Situated on the western edge of the continent, Portugal provides easy access to European markets, making it an ideal base for companies looking to expand their operations across the EU and beyond. The country’s well-developed transportation infrastructure, including ports, airports, and highways, further facilitates seamless connectivity.

  1. Favorable Business Environment

Portugal has made significant strides in creating a business-friendly environment. The government has implemented various measures to streamline administrative processes, reduce bureaucracy, and foster innovation. Additionally, Portugal consistently ranks high in global indices for ease of doing business, highlighting the efficiency and effectiveness of its regulatory framework.

  1. Supportive Ecosystem for Startups

Portugal boasts a vibrant and growing startup ecosystem. Cities like Lisbon and Porto have witnessed a surge in co-working spaces, accelerators, and incubators, providing a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs. The presence of a thriving community of like-minded individuals, access to mentorship, and networking opportunities contribute to the overall success of startups in Portugal.

  1. How to Start a Business in Portugal as a Foreigner?

How to start a business in Portugal as a foreigner? For foreigners looking to establish a business in Portugal, there are several key steps to follow:

a. Legal Structure: Determine the legal structure of your business, whether it will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or other legal entity.

b. Business Plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, target market, revenue projections, and operational strategy. This plan will be crucial for obtaining financing and guiding your business forward.

c. Register Your Business: Register your business with the Commercial Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Comercial) and obtain a fiscal number (Número de Identificação Fiscal, or NIF) for tax purposes.

d. Visa and Residency: If you are a non-European Union citizen, you will need to secure the appropriate visa or residency permit to legally reside and conduct business in Portugal.

e. Bank Account: Open a local bank account to manage your business finances and transactions. This is a prerequisite for many business activities.

f. Taxation and Licensing: Familiarize yourself with the Portuguese tax system and obtain any necessary licenses or permits specific to your industry.

g. Hire Employees (if applicable): If your business requires employees, ensure compliance with labor laws and consider hiring an accountant or payroll service for proper documentation and taxation.

h. Seek Professional Assistance: Consider enlisting the services of a local accountant, lawyer, or business advisor with expertise in Portuguese regulations and business practices. They can provide invaluable guidance throughout the process.

When starting a business in Portugal as a foreigner, it’s imperative to follow the legal procedures and seek professional advice to navigate the specific requirements for non-resident entrepreneurs. Engaging with local experts who understand the nuances of Portuguese business regulations can significantly streamline the process and increase the likelihood of a successful venture.


Portugal’s favorable business environment, strategic location, and supportive startup ecosystem make it an appealing destination for entrepreneurs and foreign investors. By understanding the steps involved in starting a business in Portugal and seeking the necessary professional guidance, individuals can tap into the opportunities that this dynamic and welcoming country has to offer.

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