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Expanding a Business in Portugal


Expanding a Business in Portugal

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Why Expand to Portugal?

It is very easy to fall in love with Portugal. The country is rich of breathtaking scenery, lovely historical towns and tourism facilities. It is famous for the food and wine, the music and the wind. Portugal has a generally high standard of living thanks to a healthy level of growth in the economy. Home to almost 11 million people, Portugal can be an excellent base of operations for business seeking for expansion overseas. Moreover, expanding a business in Portugal means gaining good base to penetrate markets in Brazil and Africa.

Before 1755, when an earthquake literally destroyed the capital Lisbon, Portugal was considered the centre of the world. Advanced in the arts as New York is today and commercially leading as London is, Lisbon leaded a country that was an international superpower, owning an empire stretching from Latin America to Asia. The global maritime power of 15th and 16th centuries has gone, as it is most of Portugal's wealth and status. Proud of its cultural heritage, Portugal today is relatively small country on the Western edge of Europe on the Atlantic Ocean. US businesses consider it the door to Europe. Europe looks at it as a promising son that needs a lot of encouragement.

Traditional industries are textiles, clothing, footwear, cork, wood products, wine production and fisheries. However, in the last two decades high-tech industry such as aerospace and automotive have performed very well. In 2008, up to 43% of the electricity consumed in the country had been produced through renewable energies, in particular solar, wave and hydroelectric.

Portuguese labour force is known for its motivation, adaptability and willingness to work. Despite the raise of the skills of the work force, necessary to shift towards higher value-added and more competitive products, wages continue to be comparatively low. Therefore, licensing or incorporating a business in Portugal are valuable options.

Attraction for UK business

Links between the countries have always been strong and Britain is one of the largest investors in Portugal, being the 4th largest investor after Spain, Germany and France. Portuguese people have a special admiration towards UK and this popular feeling is confirmed in business environments. Portugal's English-speaking partners in Europe often have preference over other countries companies. You will feel more than welcome when starting up a business in Portugal. Strategic location, advanced infrastructures and quality of life are also major attractions.

The UK's historical and cultural links, the easy use of English as business language and the common EU legal framework, makes Portugal an open market and easy to trade with. Due to Portugal's strong political and trading links with Brazil and the Portuguese-speaking African countries, it is a natural hub and springboard into these markets.

Business opportunities

  • Airports - An international public call for tender that includes the privatisation of the Portuguese Airports Authority, the management of all airport infrastructures currently under the responsibility of ANA, and the construction and funding of the New Lisbon Airport. The most important airports are in Lisbon, Porto, Fuchal (Madeira) and Ponta Delgada (Azores).

  • Healthcare (€5.6bn earmarked for public-private partnership projects, increasing demand on high quality and up to date healthcare services and the increasing rely on private providers)

  • Railways (high-speed rail link and new rail connections to main ports)

  • Financial Services

  • Education and training (equipment and refurbishment for educational establishments, ICT equipment and furniture, bio-climatic applications, energy saving and recycling solutions, e-study books and distance learning, interactive whiteboards and all kind of innovative technologies, English language courses and qualifications, English teachers, summer school language courses in UK, Special Education Needs products, vocational courses in particular in leadership and management, sales strategies, IT skills and foreign languages, training for 1st cycle teachers)

  • Renewable Energy (estimated €8bn investment: technologies, equipment and solutions for almost all the renewable sources of energy, inshore and offshore: biomass centrals, construction of the World largest photovoltaic central, in Moura, solar thermal pre installation in all the new constructions, biofuel and biogas technologies, creation of units for anaerobic treatment of residues, installation of prototypes in emerging technologies.)

  • Ports ports redevelopment projects

  • Security

  • Tourism (visitor numbers forecast to increase over the next 5 years, as the traditional market is quite saturated, niche attraction such as health, nature and rural tourism are more attractive, in particular in the Douro Valley and Alentejo)


It is not long time ago that the Economist, the most authoritative business magazine, dubbed Portugal as the sick man of Europe. The reason is that the country has often economically performed badly, which is something few analysts are able to explain, at the point that Portugal's situation has been also described as an enigma. The most probable reasons are also the challenges an expanding business in Portugal will face once there: bureaucracy (even if a lot has been done to simplify procedures), a slow judicial system, corruption and operations pace which is not in step with the bustle of modern business.

However, it would a mistake to describe the situation as gloomy. There is the willing to keep being on the right track and recession indexes aside there are signals of improvements.

Click here to Ask an Expert about Expanding a Business in Portugal

Organisations that can assist with Entering the Market

  • > Blue Marble Global Payroll

    Simplified Global Payroll Managing payroll in multiple countries is complicated with different systems, deadlines, and languages in each country, lack of reporting, and constantly changing laws and regulations. Trying to manage global payroll via fax and email with excel spreadsheets leads to data security issues, fines, and penalties for non-compliance. Blue Marble has solved global payroll challenges with cloud-based technology, customized aggregated monthly reporting, and a hybrid service model in 150+ countries around the world.

    More Details Visit Website

    Business Information is presently a key word that will strongly affects your future . Our Service intends to provide information for management necessary to Create, Maintain and Develop businesses.

    More Details Visit Website
  • > TopSource Worldwide

    TopSource Worldwide offers a complete range of employer services that allows you to employ and pay people promptly, consistently and compliantly — locally and internationally to suit your business needs. Our systems and processes are designed to work with your technology, and we bring decades of experience and a track record of success to our operations.

    More Details Visit Website
  • > Company formation services.

    Need to register a company or setting up a company?

    More Details Visit Website
  • > Sovereign Group

    Sovereign offers a range of advisory and support services to assist companies of all sizes to establish successful business operations in foreign markets.

    More Details Visit Website
  • >

    When expanding your business to Portugal, don’t forget to protect your brand. We provide Trademark Registration Services in Portugal and in the entire European Union.

    More Details Visit Website
  • > Accounting Advantage Lda

    A complete service with everything you need to start and develop your business

    More Details Visit Website
  • > Business Consultancy Services.

    Do you need advice from an expert in your field, on the ground? Need help finding the best route to market for your product or service?

    More Details Visit Website

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