Immigration consultant's notes. Startup in Portugal.
The Portuguese startup movement was officially recognized in 2016 after the government adopted the Startup Portugal program, aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem and establishing Portugal as an open country for doing business.
To answer the important question of why entrepreneurs should choose just Portugal, the creators of the program preferred to say: "although we are not perfect in everything and not always, but now we are quick with implementation, ready for innovation and unprecedented growth."
As part of the program, along with other incentives, a long-term Startup Visa was proposed, the purpose of which is to attract talented third-country entrepreneurs to Portugal; investing in and creating favorable conditions for the development of innovative projects.
Startup Visa applicants (equivalent to a residence permit with the right to work) must meet the following criteria:
- development of business activity in the production of innovative goods and services;
- willingness to open a company focused on the creation of technology & knowledge, with the prospect of developing innovative products;
- job creation for qualified personnel;
- willingness to achieve in 5 years (incubation period) an annual turnover of more than 325,000 euro per year and / or acquisition of assets worth more than 325,000 euro per year.
The visa process takes place in two stages:
- at the first - personal documents, a letter of motivation and a presentation of the project are provided, which are sent to one of the selected incubators for authorization,
- on the second (in case of successful authorization) - the application is sent for consideration to the authorities responsible directly for issuing Startup Visa.
Visa applicants can be either a single author of the project or a group of co-authors in the amount of up to 5 people.
The presentation of the project (business plan) should determine the target market segments, their potential, estimated market share, price positioning, etc., and, in the end, answer the question of how the condition for achieving an annual turnover of 325,000 euro can be fulfilled within 5 years.
Each of the visa applicants must provide documents confirming the availability of finances in the amount of 5,146.08 euros, as the minimum means necessary for living in Portugal for 12 months.
In the case of authorization by the incubator, the period for consideration of the application by the authorities should not exceed 30 days.
Initially, a visa is issued for 12 months, it is possible to renew it, as well as the procedure for family reunification.
Despite the fact that Portugal cannot be called a “tax haven”, the standard corporate tax rate is 21%, which is preferable in comparison with many EU countries. Under certain conditions, you can take advantage of a tax credit of 32.5% for investments in research and development and 0% - corporate tax rate on the income of a resident company outside Portugal.
For questions about organizing Startup projects in Portugal, obtaining visas, arranging financing, optimizing taxation, please contact our specialists.