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Why expand my UK business to Portugal?

Updated on September 21, 2020

Quality of Life:

 According to the PortugalIN website:

  • Portugal is ranked third worldwide chosen country for expats to live in due to its quality of life and its ease to settle in.
  • For the lovers of sunshine, the country has 290 rain-free days and 2.600 km of coastline.
  • You can choose between several daily activities without getting bored: art, culture, golf, surfing, trekking, cycling, gastronomy, towering mountains, vast plains, wide sandy beaches, and many others.


  • Portugal ranks third as the most peaceful country in the world.
  • The country established in 1143 and her borders never changed since 1297.
  • The success story of the EU recovery with 2,4% GDP growth recorded in 2018, a 1% inflation rate, and 7% unemployment, the lowest since 2005.

 Talent and Education:

  • Known for its skilled labor which ranks eight worldwide.
  • Portuguese can speak different languages which rank them fifth in the world on the language skill level. English was widely spoken from businesses to ordinary people. 
  • Portugal has more than 30 international schools, and universities with two ranked as the top 30 universities in Europe.
  • The labor cost is 55% lower than the UK one. It amounts to 14€/hour which makes it very competitive.
  • The women’s participation in the labor market highly regarded in Portuguese society, which ranks them fifth worldwide.
  • The country is ranked nine in the world for the smooth hiring of foreigners.
  • Sixth in personal freedom.
  • Portugal makes it in the top 30 in the quality of research institutions (26), and the future workforce (23).

 Industries & Regions:

  • Portugal has 15 important industries(link) with a vibrant disruptive ecosystem, enabled by 20 clusters and more than 130 incubators.
  • It has seven main regions(link) with diverse demography, landscape, and economic specialization.

 Infrastructure :

  • According to the European commission, Portugal ranks first in innovation and innovative SMEs.
  • Portugal co-ranks first in the EU in broadband penetration.
  • Fifth worldwide in quality of roads.
  • Portugal ranks in the top 30 on trains efficiency services (23), on seaport efficiency services (26), and in the overall quality of infrastructure (19).
  • Portugal has the best healthcare system in southern Europe.
  • Lisbon ranks sixth worldwide for hosting international events, which makes it win the yearly hosting of the Web Summit event until 2028.


  • Incentives in tax, financing, and job creation.
  • Favorable corporate tax regime with a non-applicable branch remittance and free capitals gain exit.
  • A fast-tracking procedure for eligible project licenses provided by the National Interest qualification (PIN).
  • More than 40 private equity and capital venture companies are available.
  • State-owned IFD for business, Angel SPVs, and venture capital are available for equity and quasi-equity funding.
  • For qualified expats, a special tax regime is given for ten years. It includes a flat tax on domestic income at a 20% rate and a possible exempt on foreign personal income. 
  • Residence permits issuance for people looking to study, invest or work.
  • Portugal ranks 34 worldwide in the simplicity of setting up a business.

 European Gateway:

  • Portugal is a fully committed member of the European Union since 1986. 
  • According to the OECD, Portugal ranks second as the most open country to foreign direct investment. In 2018, the Portuguese government registered a record of 99 FDI projects that created more than 10.700 jobs.
  • Thanks to its geographical position, Portugal is a gateway to America and Africa.
  • Portugal follows the same time zone as the UK. So it won’t disturb your personal or work life. 

 Bilateral Relationship:

  • The Anglo-Portuguese treaty of 1373 is the oldest active alliance in the world.
  • Regular flights between Portugal and UK airports that amount to 682 flights weekly.
  • In 2018, Portugal’s highest number of tourists was from the UK with 2 million visitors, a 15% share of the tourism market, and made a 2.810 M revenue.
  • The UK is also the first foreign investor in Portugal with a total of 896 M investment in 2018.

UK Track Record:

Many UK brands have chosen to open in Portugal and more than 500 Portuguese companies with the UK control 

  • Vodafone
  • Barclays
  • AstraZeneca
  • Sage
  • Easyjet
  • DS Smith

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