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News & Knowledge

Portugal: Start up visa for entrepreneurs

12th March 2018

The Portuguese Government launched the “Start Up Visa for Entrepreneurs” in November 2017, which is specifically designed to attract foreign investment to Portugal. MSI's specialist member Dixcart Management (Madeira) Lda provides further information on the new programme.


The Start Up Visa comprises a residence visa for entrepreneurs, who:

  1. Are willing to develop their project in Portugal, even if a company has not been incorporated; or
  2. Already have an existing start up and are willing to relocate to Portugal.

Under certain circumstances, spouses and children may also apply for residency under the Start Up Visa.

Business minded individuals establishing an innovative company in Portugal will have access to a fast route visa enabling them to establish or move their start up from overseas to Portugal.

In addition to the advantage of being granted a visa, entrepreneurs also have access to a suitably qualified ‘Incubator’ and an innovative environment within Portugal. They can also benefit from the incentives available from the “Start Up Portugal Programme”.

Entrepreneurs applying to the Start Up Visa will need to have an “incubation agreement” with the certified Incubator. This agreement is valid for 12 months and sets the provisions related to the parties’ duties and the value of the agreement.


Individuals taking this route and applying for both a residence and a working visa need to provide evidence of the following:

  • Performance of commercial activities linked and related to the provision of innovative services or production of innovative goods;
  • Establishment or relocation of companies and or projects focused on technology and focused on the development of innovative products;
  • Potential to generate skilled jobs in Portugal;
  • The potential to reach, within 3 years of the incubation period, a minimum profit level of €325,000 per annum, or a minimum turnover of €500,000 per annum.

Requirement’s for Start Up’s Relocating to Portugal

Entrepreneurs relocating their Start Up company to Portugal must provide evidence of the following:

  • That they belong to a Start Up company which has been established for longer than 4 years, in their home country;
  • They organise and run their activity in a Portuguese territory;
  • Have the potential to create at least 5 jobs within a period of 24 months – excluding entrepreneurs.

Application Period

From mid-January to mid-February 2018, the National Agency for the Development (IAPMEI) will be certifying companies and entities wanting to register as “Incubators”. IAPMEI will be publishing a list of certified entities to receive and host the entrepreneurs.

From the second half of February onwards it is anticipated that entrepreneurs from all over the world, wishing to establish themselves in Portugal, will submit their applications for the Start Up Visa through a platform that will be available online. They can subsequently move to Portugal and establish themselves within the premises of their chosen ‘Incubator’.

If approved, applicants will be granted a temporary residence, valid for one year which can be renewed after a period of two years.

How Can Dixcart Help?

Dixcart has extensive experience regarding corporate and individual relocations.

In addition to assisting families and entrepreneurs in selecting the most appropriate legal route for a move to Portugal, Dixcart also provides;

  • a complete range of services related to company incorporation and day-to-day corporate obligations; from bookkeeping through to tax compliance.
  • assisting entrepreneurs and their families in relocating to Portugal and obtaining the necessary residence permits.

Additional Information

If you require additional information regarding the matters above, please speak to your usual Dixcart contact, or to Carlos Santos at the Dixcart office in Portugal.