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Company Formation Portugal



Set up a Foundation in Portugal

Updated on Wednesday 14th December 2022

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set-up-a-foundation-in-portugal.jpgForeign investors can direct their attention to non-profit organizations or foundations in Portugal if they want to collect funds and invest them in science, education, or research in varied areas of interest. A foundation deals with donations made by companies or citizens and it is obliged to act in a transparent manner. Our company formation specialists in Portugal can help individuals set up foundations in Portugal and, even more, the same team can offer support when registering a company in Portugal.

Documents preparation for a foundation in Portugal

Foundations in Portugal are registered as associations with the IRN (Instituto dos Registros e Notariado) in the country, where several documents are solicited, among which we mention:
  • •    the names of the owners of the foundation in Portugal with ID copies and details about the business address;
  • •    documents mentioning the purpose of the charity and where the funds will be directed;
  • •    a document which comprises the rules of the association in Portugal;
  • •    the lease contract of the charity. 
A foundation in Portugal can be set up with a fee of about EUR300, and choosing the name of the charity might be subject to a different fee. We mention that a foundation or a non-profit organization in Portugal will receive a fiscal ID, will have a bank account for future transactions and will be supervised by a board of managers as soon as it is established. In matters of company registration in Portugal and the documents which need to be prepared, we suggest you to ask for support from our specialists in company incorporation in Portugal.

Accounting services for foundations in Portugal

Even if it is a non-governmental organization (NGO), there is still a need for an accountant who can take care of the financial aspect of the charity, especially if the owner plans gathering funds of about EUR 100,000 per year. Furthermore, the association will have employees, therefore, payroll services are necessary. The bookkeeper of your charity in Portugal will take care of each transaction in matters of documents and will explain each detail regarding the taxes imposed in this matter, if any.

What kind of activities are linked to an NGO in Portugal?

The main activity of a foundation in Portugal is to raise funds and direct them to different social projects and get involved in varied activities, in a very transparent manner. Charities established in Portugal are not subject to taxation, however, the support of an accounting firm is needed.

Is it hard to establish a foundation in Portugal?

No, there are no complicated requirements for opening a charity in Portugal, however, there are a few requirements to take care of, with complete help provided by our team of company formation representatives in Portugal. Here are a few steps to consider when opening a charity in Portugal:
  1. It is important to look for sponsors in the first place, at the time the foundation is set up.
  2. A business plan is recommended, even if you establish an NGO in Portugal.
  3. The paperwork for opening a charity in Portugal is the next thing to consider and prepare.
  4. A board of managers and a representative need to be appointed for a charity.
The process of opening a foundation in Portugal is not complicated or time-consuming, nevertheless, there are a few steps and formalities to focus on. Besides the above-mentioned procedures for opening a foundation in Portugal, it is necessary to request a certificate of admissibility at the National Register of Legal Persons for which the preparation of the minutes of the general meeting is needed. Additionally, if you need support in this matter, feel free to get in touch with one of our company formation experts in Portugal.
Those who want to develop their businesses in Portugal can benefit from the support and complete services offered by our accountants in Portugal. Thus, you will be up to date with all procedures and measures imposed by law, regarding payroll, audits, annual financial statements, tax advice, and compliance. We can also help you with the preparation and submission of annual tax declarations because we collaborate with the relevant financial institutions.

Charitable purposes of foundations in Portugal

Promoting education and learning, community communication, volunteering, or supporting human rights and the environment are only a few of the targets and responsibilities of charities in Portugal, or anywhere in the world. Foundations in Portugal can also support social and medical research, or address and assist persons who are looking for jobs in the country. 

How do I promote a foundation in Portugal?

Most charities have their activities presented on the internet through varied channels like websites, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, Google ads, etc., or offline with the help of radio and television, social communities, social projects, and related activities. Numerous foreigners have a business background and who decide on opening charities in Portugal, using the previous experience and marketing methods among other things.  

Pros and cons of foundations in Portugal

Charities are exempt from taxation, they have a good level of public trust and have correct purposes as they act only for the best interest of the public. Among the cons of foundations in Portugal, we mention that charities cannot be involved in political activities, cannot work for a groups’ interest and cannot involve family members, or offer work to a trustee’s family company, for example.  

Additional details about NGOs in Portugal

The documents of the charity need to comprise information about the founding members, the rights and liabilities, details about the administration and the management of the organization. It is important to know that the first general meeting needs to take place in no more than 15 days from the date the foundation was established in Portugal. The supervisory board, the general assembly and the board of directors are normally elected at the time the general meeting takes place. Founders can also request the incorporation card which contains the Fiscal Identification Number, and then submit the Declaration of Opening of Activity on the internet, as proof you have been registered for tax obligation. NGOs in Portugal can be established for many reasons, but the first thing to consider is the charitable purpose.
In terms of business in Portugal, the following information can be in the attention of foreign entrepreneurs wanting to set up their operations and companies in the Iberic Peninsula:
  • In 2018, out of Portugal's total rate of investments, 21.5% came from Spain;
  • In the same year, 19.3% of the country's total stock of investments came from Luxembourg.
  • •    there have been numerous companies revitalized with the help of Golden Visa Programmes and investments of EUR 350,000;
  • •    Portugal ranks 34th out of 190 countries in terms of economy, mentioned by 2019 Doing Business report;
  • •    8.9% is the unemployment rate in Portugal registered in 2018, the lowest in the past decades.
If you are interested in more details about how you can establish a foundation in Portugal, you are invited to talk to one of our company formation representatives in Portugal. Additional information about how to set a company in Portugal or about how to register your business can be solicited from our team of company incorporation consultants in Portugal, so please feel free to contact us.

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