HOW TO START A COMPANY

 
Starting a company in Portugal and creating 10 jobs for the next five years is an option to get a Golden Visa in Portugal. After the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, this option is even more supported by the government. This option is recommended if you already have a concrete business in mind or have experience in your home country and would like to expand/move to Portugal.

We at Pearls of Portugal help our clients to start the company and also guide you through the Golden Visa application process.

Types of Companies

There are 3 types of singular companies with one owner:

  • Individual Entrepreneur (Empresário em Nome Individual)
  • Single Ownership Society (Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas)
  • Individual Limited Liability Establishment (Estabelecimento Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada)

Individual Entrepreneur (Empresário em Nome Individual)

  • Share capital is not necessary because the person responsible for the company’s accounts will always be the same;
  • If the Annual Income is less than 200.000,00€, you can opt for a Simplified Accounting regime, in which it is not mandatory to hire a TOC – Chartered Accountant;
  • When the income is less than 10.000,00€, you can ask for IVA exemption;
  • The name of the company must be related to the partner’s of the company name, with its full or abbreviated name. There can be added, as well, some details about the chosen activity.

Single Ownership Society (Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas)

  • In this type of company, the single owner has total control of the business and all the share capital. Your personal assets do not mix with the company’s responsibility;
    The minimum share capital is 1€;
  • Being taxed in IRC, this type of company requires the hiring of a TOC – Chartered Accountant;
  • “Unipessoal” or “Sociedade Unipessoal” must be part of the company’s name;
  • It will be necessary to deposit the share capital, a constitutive act of the company, open an activity in the Finances, and enrol in Social Security. Opening a company bank account is equally important in these types of companies;
  • For those who want to obtain a higher profit, due to the higher risk;
  • In this type of company, more partners can be added later, changing it to a Private Limited Company (Sociedade por Quotas).

Individual Limited Liability Establishment (Estabelecimento Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada)

  • This type of company has only one responsible partner and there is a division between personal and company assets;
  • Only in the event of insolvency of the company, there may be a combination of assets;
  • For this type of company, the share capital must exceed 5,000.00€ and the cash portion must be more than 3,333.33€. When the registration is requested, the share capital must be fully available in an account in the name of the company’s partner for less than three months.

There are 5 types of companies with more than one owner:

Private Limited Companies (Sociedade por Quotas)

  • This type of company is formed by at least two people in which the company’s assets are divided by all partners. Your liability is limited by the value of the share you hold;
  • The company’s share capital is at least 1€ for each partner;
  • They fit into the same characteristics as a Unipersonal Private Limited Company.

Anonymous Society (Sociedade Anónima)

  • In this format, Share Capital is divided by shares and the company’s profits are distributed through the partners;
  • Shareholders are free to deliver or sell their shares;
  • The minimum number of partners for this type of company is 5 (five);
  • All partners have limited liability for the value of the shares they own, being the financial guarantee of the company;
  • The share capital must be more than 50,000.00€;
  • The company’s name must end with “Sociedade Anónima” or “SA”;
  • For the constitution, it is necessary to celebrate a contract in which all partners or their representatives must be present for the act.

Collective Partnership (Sociedade em nome Coletivo)

  • This company must be formed at least between two partners who are responsible for an unlimited amount. It includes all the assets of both, the company and the staff;
    Regarding the name of the company, at least the name of one of the partners must be used. If it is not possible to use all of the names, “& Company” may also be an option;
  • There is no obstacle to the nationality of the partners, however, the partner cannot be integrated into any type of business with a similar activity, except for the approval of other partners;
  • This type of company is constituted by the traditional method;
  • There is no mandatory share capital and the partners can contribute to the company with assets and not just with money;
  • Obtaining bank credit in this type of company is an easier process due to the partners’ personal assets being collateral in the eventuality of corporate debt.

Limited partnership (Sociedade em Comandita)

  • This type of company is generated by the full responsibility of the partners, the Comanditados only contribute with services, covering eventual debts of the company in an unlimited and equitable way. Comanditários contribute only with money and are liable for any debts depending on the share capital available. Comanditários also manage and establish the direction of the company;
  • The share capital of this type of company is 50,000.00€;
  • It can only be constituted by the traditional method and the constitution process takes longer.

Cooperative (Cooperativa)

  • This type of company aims to satisfy the needs of the partners themselves. It is a non-profit company, but it does not prevent the existence of profit;
  • All partners are essential to make decisions;
  • Based on the Cooperative Code in Portugal, these types of companies operate in areas such as Handicrafts; Credit; Housing and Construction; Agricultural; Culture; Social Solidarity; Commercialisation; Consumers; Teaching; Services; Fisheries; Worker Production;
  • Members are responsible for the value of the capital they invest; 
  • The minimum share capital is 1,500€.

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