João Lopes da Silva
Vice President, Kreston Iberaudit, Spain and Partner, Kreston Iberaudit, Portugal

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João Lopes da Silva, the Vice President of Kreston Iberaudit and a Partner at the Porto and Lisbon offices of Kreston Iberaudit, is a graduate in Administration and Finance from the Instituto Superior de Gestão (1984 – 1989). He is also a Certified Accountant accredited by the Order of Auditors. João had an impressive 29-year journey that started at KPMG and later flourished at Moore Stephens as a partner for 13 years.


Investing in Portugal

January 11, 2024

Investing in Portugal is on the rise, particularly in Lisbon. Outperforming cities like Budapest and Rio in the Cities of Economic Influence Index, Lisbon offers a mix of economic promise and a conducive regulatory landscape. Kreston Iberaudit in Portugal, guided by João Lopes da Silva’s leadership, provides essential services from financial consulting to tax advisories for expatriates. We asked Lopes da Silva to walk us through the essentials of setting up a business in Portugal.

Expanding into Portugal

Silva’s expertise and Kreston’s guidance are invaluable for businesses aiming to thrive in Portugal’s promising market, where understanding the economic, regulatory, and tax environments is crucial for successful expansion. Silva expands,

“Portugal appears among the best countries to invest in. Lisbon is one of the most influential cities in economic terms. It is the only Portuguese destination present in the Cities of Economic Influence Index, ahead of Budapest and Rio de Janeiro. Portugal’s capital city scored 72,4 points in the Economic Power category and 78,86 points in the People and Politics indicator, according to CEOWorld’s magazine. In short, all these reasons make Portugal well placed for the future growth of its economy”

Business structuring in Portugal

However, venturing into the Portuguese market requires careful navigation through various business considerations. Kreston Iberaudit stands at the forefront of this journey, offering expertise in areas ranging from administrative services, and financial consulting, to tax regime advisories for expatriate personnel. Silva warns that the regulatory landscape can be tricky for new businesses to navigate,

“For entrepreneurs, understanding the investment landscape is crucial. Incorporating a Limited Liability Company (Lda.) in Portugal can start with as little as 1 Euro, whereas a Limited Company (S.A.) demands a minimum capital of 50,000 Euros. The process, ranging from 15 to 45 days, is streamlined, but demands adherence to local regulations including obtaining a tax identification number for foreign investors and directors.”

Business structure selection is pivotal, balancing between Limited Companies, which offer limited liability and local business perception, and Establishments, serving as extensions of overseas parent companies without separate legal identities. Each structure bears its unique tax and audit obligations, influencing the decision-making process. Silva recommends following advice from a tax expert before entering the country, where possible,

“The intricacies of tax and regulatory frameworks are equally important. Portugal’s tax landscape encompasses Corporate Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, and Value Added Tax (VAT), with varying rates across the mainland and autonomous regions. The country’s tax regime is nuanced, with specific considerations for social security payments, VAT registrations, and compliance requirements.”


Silva is keen to emphasise that it is not just red tape waiting for investors,

“Beyond taxation, Portugal offers enticing incentives, including the SIFID II for I&D expenses, DLRR and RFAI for technological and industrial investments.” These incentives, coupled with the favourable conditions for setting up holding companies, make Portugal an interesting destination for international businesses.

If you are interested in doing business in Portugal, please get in touch.