Business structure in Portugal

Incorporating a foreign company

Representation in Portugal
Foreign companies can incorporate an investee company in which they are partners or shareholders, depending on the type of company chosen. This company will be a company under Portuguese law and separate from the foreign company incorporating it, and will have its own legal personality.

They can also incorporate a branch in Portugal or other local forms of representation.

Authorisation for residence for investment business (ARI)
New legislation opens up possibilities for foreign investors to apply for a residence permit for investment business for those regularly entering national territory by performing capital transfers, job creation or real estate acquisition (Visa Gold).

Incorporating a Portuguese entity

The commonest corporate structures in Portugal are the “sociedad por cuotas” (Ltd.) and public limited firms.

Sociedad por cuotas
“Sociedades por cuotas” or limited companies, are the commonest form found. There can be limited companies with a single partner (“sociedad unipersonal por cuotas”) or with two or more, the partners being able to be companies. Each quota has a minimum value of 1 euro.

Public limited company
A public limited company which is not a single-person firm has to have at least 5 partners and 50,000 euros share capital.

Individual limited liability establishment (ERI)
There is also the concept of the individual limited liability establishment.

In this type of structure the entrepreneur answers for debts only with the equity involved in the performance of the business activity.

In the event of the entrepreneur’s insolvency for reasons connected with the business done at this firm he or she could nevertheless be liable with all their assets.