Registering a company in Portugal is a step-by-step process that involves selecting a company type, choosing a name, preparing documentation, and registering with the 'Empresa na Hora' service and Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira. By following this guide and utilizing the provided resources, you should be well on your way to successfully establishing your business in Portugal. Be sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process and a successful start for your company in this vibrant and business-friendly country. Portugal's thriving economy and supportive government policies make it an ideal location to start and grow your business.
Step 1: Choose your company type
The first step in registering a company in Portugal is to choose the type of company you want to register. The most common types are:
- Single-Member Limited Liability Company (Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas - SUQ)
- Limited Liability Company (Sociedade por Quotas - LDA)
- Public Limited Company (Sociedade Anónima - SA)
- Branch of a foreign company
Step 2: Choose a company name
Before registering your company, you'll need to choose a suitable name. The RNPC (National Registry of Collective Persons) has guidelines for acceptable names, which can be found at this link: https://justica.gov.pt/Servicos/Pedir-certidao-de-admissibilidade-de-firma-ou-denominacao
Step 3: Prepare the required documents
Next, prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen company type. The key documents are:
- Articles of Association (for SUQ, LDA, and SA)
- Application for Company Registration (for all types)
These forms can be downloaded from the 'Empresa na Hora' website: https://justica.gov.pt/Servicos/Constituir-uma-empresa
Step 4: Identify company officers and shareholders
You will need to identify at least one director (for SUQ, LDA, and SA) or one representative (for Branch of a foreign company). Directors or representatives must be at least 18 years old. Shareholders can be individuals or corporate entities.
Step 5: Capital requirements
Portugal requires a minimum capital of €1 for SUQs and LDAs, €50,000 for SAs. There is no minimum capital requirement for branches of foreign companies.
Step 6: Register your company
Once your documents are ready, you can submit your application to the 'Empresa na Hora' service. This can be done in person at a local 'Empresa na Hora' office or online via the following link: https://justica.gov.pt/Servicos/Constituir-uma-empresa
The fees for registering a company are as follows:
- SUQ and LDA: €360 (approximately)
- SA: €410 (approximately)
- Branch of a foreign company: €360 (approximately)
Step 7: Register for taxes
After your company is registered, you must register for taxes with the Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira (AT). This can be done in person at the local Tax Office or online via the following link: https://www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt/
Step 8: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Depending on your business activities, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses. Check with the relevant authorities and industry regulators for specific requirements.
The entire registration process, from preparing documents to receiving your Certificate of Incorporation, can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the complexity of your application.