A Free Market Economy
Foreigners are welcome and no special restrictions apply to foreign shareholders or directors in Portugal. This country has agreements with 48 other countries for the reciprocal protection and promotion of investments, and agreements with 64 countries for the avoidance of double taxation.
Portugal also offers low operating costs, including a highly educated population (42% of which speak at least one foreign language), a skilled but cheap labour force (50% of the EU average cost), and highly developed infrastructure and communications networks. Last but not the least, the country is a potential gateway to a market of about 250m people in the Portuguese speaking countries and communities.
For an overview of Portuguese business formats, click here. The most popular formats used by non-resident investors are the sociedade por quotas (Lda), a private company limited by shares (called "quotas") and having no minimum capital requirements, and the sucursal, a branch of a non-resident business, having no separate legal personality. The branch is treated in practice like a domestic company as regards taxation and compliance; but there is no requirement to file the “parent’s” accounts in Portugal and, unlike a domestic company, the distribution of profits by the branch to the “parent” is not subject to taxation, which accounts for its popularity for some types of investment, such as in real estate (see this article).
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