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How to open a company in Portugal

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On-the-Spot Firm

In a single moment, in a single counter
Time for opening:
less than

1 hour

Service available at

Balcões Empresa na Hora

Standard cost

360 €

Choosing the company name

Choose a name for the company from a set of pre-approved names. which can be consulted online, or obtain a Certificate of Admissibility of a Company Name from the National Registry of Companies.


Choosing a pre-approved articles of association template

Choose one of the pre-approved articles of association templates available online


Making an appointment and going to "On-the-Spot Firm" Desk

The company can be incorporated at any “On-the-Spot Firm” Desk, regardless of its registered office, and all future partners must be present, together with their identification document and tax card. Members may be represented by a duly authenticated proxy.


Preparing the articles of association and filing the commercial register

The certificate of the company articles of association, the access code to the Permanent Company Registration Certificate, the Company Card and the Social Security number of the Company are received immediately.


Appointment of a certified accountant

The Certified Accountant can be indicated immediately or one can be chosen from the list of Accountants available, for non-paper submission of the Declaration of Start of Activity. The Declaration of Start of Activity can also be delivered on the spot, duly filled in and signed by the Accountant.


Online Company

Create a company through the internet
Time for opening
48 hours
Service available at

Standard Cost

220 €

Portal Authentication

Log in in the Portal through the Digital Certificate or the citizen card with digital signature activated and insert the identification data. The access can be made on your behalf by a lawyer, notary or solicitor, who have digital certificates integrated in their respective professional cards.


Choosing a name

Choose the company name from a list of pre-approved names or generate it automatically on the portal, or you can also enter the code from the Company Admissibility Certificate (obtained online through the National Register of Companies) if you already have it.


Selection of a pre-approved articles of association template and inclusion of company information

Choose one of the pre-approved articles of association template available online.


Insertion of information about the participants and the Certified Accountant

Provide a set of information on the future members and indicate a TOC by entering the respective details. A TOC may also be chosen from the available TOC list, or this choice may be made at a later date, at the Tax Authorities, by submitting a Declaration of Start of Activity completed and signed by the TOC.


Joining the Arbitration Centre

Please indicate whether you wish to join an Arbitration Centre for the resolution of any disputes, this being a voluntary option.


Validation and sending of documents

After confirming the Articles of Association, you must print it together with the form for signature certification and the membership form for the Arbitration Centre (if applicable). All documents must be signed by the members or legal representative. The signed versions of all these documents should be uploaded, as well as relevant powers of attorney (if applicable), commercial registration certificate, among others.


Types of companies

Most common types of companies

Public Limited Company

Limited Companies

The choice between the two depends:

The amount of share capital to be allocated;

The type of liability for company debts;

The number of existing members.

Questions you should ask when choosing:

What assets do I want to allocate to the business?

Do I want to be responsible for the risks of my activity?

Do I want to be alone in the project or have partners?

I want confidentiality as to the ownership of the share capital?

Do I have a need for borrowed capital?

Main taxes after the incorporation of the company

  • Social Security Contributions.
  • Refers to the monthly salary of each worker. It amounts to 34.75% of income, of which 23.75% is paid by the employer and 11% is withheld from the worker.
  • It amounts to 34.75% of income, of which 23.75% is paid by the employer and 11% is withheld from the employee.
  • General rate of 21%, to which must be added the municipal surcharge with a rate up to 1.5%, and the state surcharge (for companies with profits above 1.5 million euros). with a rate between 3% and 9%.
  • It is levied on transactions of goods and services.
  • Rate varies between 6% and 23% (depending on the type of goods or services offered by the company}.
Note: The general rules on taxes are applied at national level. The Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira have tax autonomy, which is why the rates of some taxes are lower in these regions compared to the mainland.

IRC rates

1) To this rate may be added the municipal surcharge           (2) To this rate may be added the state surcharge

Municipal Surcharge

The municipal surcharge rate can vary between 0% and 1.5% on taxable profit, as defined by the municipality where the company is located.

State Surcharge

VAT rates

Monthly fixed operating costs:


Insurance contracts

Property taxes


Hygiene and safety at work


Accounting services




Current expenses (electricity, water, telephone, Internet)

Administrative, legal and procedural expenditure

What is the cost of a worker?

The minimum wage in 2021 is € 665.

Autonomous Region of the Azores – € 698.25.

Autonomous Region of Madeira – € 682.

  • The normal working hours of each employee may not exceed 40 hours per week and 8 hours per day.
  • Workers are entitled to 22 working days holiday per year and 13 public holidays per year.
  • The employee is entitled to holiday and Christmas bonus (each one corresponding to a full salary).
  • That’s 14 salaries a year, for 11 months of activity.
  • There are mandatory costs with Social Security (TSU of 23.75%) and with meal allowance (minimum value of 4.77 € in 2020).
  • Add occupational accident insurance (not exceeding 1% of salary) and other mandatory costs for vocational training, occupational medicine and health and safety at work audit.
  • Most of the employment links consist of:
    • fixed-term employment contracts (fixed or uncertain);
    • open-ended employment contracts.
    • 90-day trial period for most employees.

Example of calculation:

– Cost of an employee with a basic salary of € 1 000

Basic Salary: 1 000 € x 14 months = 14 000 € / 12 months = 1 166,66 €

Social charges: 1 000 € x 23.75% = 237.50 € x 14 months = 3 325 € / 12 months = 277.08

Workplace accident insurance: 1 000 € x 1% = 10 € (monthly)

Food allowance: 4.77 euros x 22 working days – 104.94 euros x 11 months = 1 154.34 euros / 12 months = 96.20 euros

Total monthly cost 1 166,66 € + 277,08 € + 10 € + 96,20 € = 1 549,94 €

Total annual cost = 18 599,28 €

Accounting system and audits

  • Portuguese companies must keep their accounting records in Portuguese and must be organised in accordance with the accounting standardisation system.
  • The books shall be kept under the responsibility of a certified accountant.
  • All transactions of Portuguese companies must be reflected in the accounts with original supporting documents.
  • Public limited companies and private companies are required by law to have their accounts audited by a statutory auditor (ROC) whenever two of three conditions are met for two consecutive years:
    • Total net sales and other income exceeding 3 000 000 €:
    • Total balance sheet value above 1 500 000 €:
    • Total number of employees on average during the year exceeds 50.

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