Starting a business in Portugal

Starting a business in Portugal To start up a new enterprise aiming at the Portuguese market is a difficult task at this point in time. The Portuguese economy is struggling; the new Government has raised taxes including the rate of VAT to 21%, hoping to close the gap in the budget, bringing it in line to comply with the European directive. The increasing number of people from different European countries moving to Portugal opens up new opportunities when one looks at the market the foreign community represents. The majority of ex pats do live in the Algarve Region of Portugal. So if one is considering staring a business or buying an existing one that's the place to do it. Let us look at some figures; According to the latest official count there are around 30,000 British people living in the Algarve followed by 20,000 Germans and a further 15,000 is made up of smaller groups of people, coming from Holland, Belgian and France. In total the Algarve has a total ex pat population of almost 65,000 and that is just the official figure. The number of different nationalities living in this melting pot of different cultures is believed to be close to 87. There is no doubt, that the influx of different people from all over Europe has enriched the Region in more ways than one. It is quite a sizable market to tap into, providing, one has the right idea how to market ones services or products. In my opinion, there is a need and use for a lot of things. Since almost everyone amongst the foreign residents speaks English the language hurdle is not so serious, and that is in it's self an advantage if one speaks only one language. There is more to business life in Portugal or the Algarve for that matter, than to open a bar or Restaurant. I would challenge anyone who tells me that a Bar or Restaurant in the Algarve makes good money. I am not trying to talk down or belittle the owners of Bars or Restaurants. All I try to say; be careful if you are considering getting into that line of work. Yes, there are always the exceptions, and there are establishments which are running well. But on the whole this particular trade does not offer a great deal of return on the investment. Most people have a skill or a profession, with which they earned their money in their home country and it is quite likely, that your "old" skills can be used in your host country. The difficulty is that one may have to apply them in a slightly different way. Don't forget it is a different country and what worked in the UK or Germany or Holland may not work here in the same way. If you are thinking of buying or starting a business, just give us a call and have a chat with us. We are confident that we can give you some helpful advice or even some good ideas, or at least point you in the right direction where to get the information you need. If you look at our web site you will see that we provide a free information service for anyone with questions on just about anything concerning Portugal in general and the Algarve in particular. Good luck