You need to have a Portuguese residence permit (or a Certificate of Registration if an EU/EFTA citizen who has been a Portuguese resident for less than 5 years) to start a business in Portugal.
Non-EU/EFTA nationals wanting to come to Portugal to start a business or work as a freelancer will need to obtain a Portuguese work visa and residence permit.
Non-EU/EFTA nationals interested in investing money into Portugal might qualify for the Golden Visa programme which is designed to attract foreign investment.
Citizens from EU/EEA/Switzerland do not require any Portuguese work visa to live or work in Portugal. However, those who come to work in Portugal for longer than six months with need to obtain a Residence Certificate (Certificado de Registo). See this guide to Portuguese immigration policy for EU nationals.
Most non-EU nationals will need a Portuguese work permit before they can undertake employment in Portugal. In the majority of cases, a Portuguese work permit is only granted to non-EU nationals if a secure job has been offered or if the individual is married to a Portuguese citizen. If approved, they can continue the process of obtaining a Portuguese work visa or residence permit.
For more information on Portuguese work permits and visas for non-Portuguese nationals, look here.
The golden visa in Portugal, designed to encourage investment from non-EU/EFTA nationals, offering a fast-track to obtaining a residency permit in Portugal, alongside other benefits, for non-EU investors who invest a minimum amount as defined by law. Holders of a Portuguese golden visa are given a temporary residence permit in Portugal for one year, which is renewable for two-year periods. After five years, holders of Portuguese golden visa, can apply for a permanent residence permit in Portugal, while after six years they can apply for Portuguese citizenship by investment, if all other legal requirements are met.
Those who hold a Portuguese golden visa are entitled to: live and work in Portugal, provided they reside in Portugal for a minimum of seven days in the first year of residence and 14 days in each subsequent year, among a list of other benefits. For more information, look here.
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