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To invest in Portugal is becoming a top choice for many foreigners. You’re probably also thinking about that. Find here the best options.

Here you can find, among the various options to invest in Portugal, the best where many have invested their money.

Why invest in Portugal?

Portugal is endowed with a multitude of competitive factors that make it desirable from an investment perspective.

Firstly, it has an excellent location for accessing relevant markets, notably the European. It is also endowed with beautiful infrastructure as regards the quality of its roads, maritime and rail infrastructure. Another competitive advantage is its skilled workforce and ability to express itself in other languages, especially English.

There are also support and incentives to invest in Portugal.

In addition, we highlight the quality of life that can be achieved in Portugal. For example the climate is mild and sunny, the country is one of the safest in the world and its cost of living is lower than the European average.

Belem Garden in Lisbon. People sitting on the grass enjoying winter sun. Quality of life in Portugal.
Belem Garden in Winter, Lisbon

Finally, the economic recovery that has been felt in Portugal has created multiple investment opportunities. This favorable cycle has largely been the result of the housing market rebound and the tourism boom. These markets have proven to be real trigger for foreign investment.  

Investment Opportunities in Portugal 

There are several expanding sectors in Portugal, where it’s well worth investing in, such as Real Estate, Tourism, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and many others.

Invest in Real Estate in Portugal

According to various experts, currently the best way to invest in Portugal is to buy real estate for residential use (housing). Buying property in the office, retail, industrial, logistics and tourism areas may also be an option to consider.

View of Alfama and boats on the Tagus River. Invest in Portugal in real estate
Alfama, Lisbon

One thing that has been profitable for many investors is buying old properties (even in poor condition), then remodeling it and ultimately selling or renting it.

Portugal is one of the best destinations in the world to invest in real estate. Several reputable international media, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Globo, El País, have written very favorable articles about the real estate market in Portugal. As such, many foreigners have invested in real estate with incentives (Golden Visa).

Buy and Sell Real Estate in Portugal 

In general, real estate has been appreciating in recent years in Portugal, given the increasing demand for houses. So if you buy at a good price and incorporate the value of the construction works into it, you can ultimately make good money from it (ie, make real estate gains). Moreover, property prices in Portugal tend to be lower than in many European countries.

Buy and Rent Real Estate in Portugal 

Property leasing has also been lucrative. Rents have increased significantly in recent years, especially in urban centres. While demand for houses for rent has not been matched by supply, which has boosted rent values.

Invest in Tourism in Portugal

Investors have made a good return by investing in tourism, taking advantage of the boom in the sector in Portugal. The country is increasingly sought after by tourists, and surprisingly, in 2018, exceeded 21 million visitors. 

View of Belém Tower from the Tagus River. Lisbon city in the background. Investing in Tourism in Portugal
View of Belém Tower from the Tagus River, Lisbon

Therefore, investment in tourism-related real estate projects or local housing (in apartments or villas) is a good investment option.

Other Investment Opportunities in Portugal

Invest in Agriculture

Agriculture is at its peak in Portugal, with several products reaching record volume productions such as wine, olive oil, milk, fruit and vegetables, taking advantage of the country’s favorable conditions. At this rate, Portugal will soon have a food surplus.

Currently, Portugal has a generation of new farmers, more dynamic, that bet on new methods and technologies. Many foreigners (Spanish, American, Dutch, Belgian and others) are also investing significantly in agriculture. This is changing the future of national agriculture. 

There is a strong commitment to more innovative and differentiated productions, from organic farming to exotic fruits, exported worldwide. While the implementation of structuring projects such as irrigation in Alqueva (Alentejo) has allowed the extensive production of traditional and new products. 

Invest in Fisheries

Seeking to develop the fishing industry in Portugal several public and private investments have been made. In this way, it has been sought to take fuller advantage of the extensive exclusive economic zone of the country, where the fish is of excellent quality and considered the best in the world.

Orange boat in Cascais Bay, Investing in Portugal, Fisheries

Invest in Forestry

Portugal forest has been receiving investment, since it’s a country where a third of the territory is covered with it. As a result, pine, eucalyptus, resin and cork production is growing. With regard to the latter, Portugal is the world’s largest producer.

Lawned garden in the foreground. Saw full of trees in the background. Invest in Portugal in forestry

In these areas there has been Community support to finance various projects, such as Portugal 2020.

Invest in Renewable Energy

Demand for clean energy sources has led to the growth of the renewable energy market in Portugal. Investing in renewable energies has been attractive for investors in a country with good conditions (sun, wind and sea waves). As a result, many produce electricity on a small scale (through photovoltaic panels) and sell it to electricity distributors in Portugal.

Invest in Technology, Media and Telecommunications and Services

Taking advantage, among others, of the qualification and costs of labor in Portugal and its easy connection to Europe and other places in the world, several companies have been established in Portugal, mainly in the areas of TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) , shared services, call centers, banks, finance, co-working spaces, etc. 

Invest in Other Areas

In Portugal, many businesses currently thrive, such as healthy eating, natural and organic cosmetics (environmentally friendly products), support for the elderly (taking advantage of the aging population), etc.

Investment Support and Incentives in Portugal

In Portugal there are financial supports and incentives for productive investment projects (and in some cases that create jobs), carried out throughout the country or specifically in certain regions. 

Thus, companies that invest in Portugal are supported with a credit or a lower corporate tax (IRC) rate and/or exempt from Stamp Duty, real estate transfer tax (IMT) and property tax (IMI). Among the main supports we highlight:

  • “Benefícios Fiscais Contratuais ao Investimento Produtivo” (Contractual Tax Benefits on Productive Investment) that support investment projects in certain economic activities that are relevant to the strategic development of the national economy or to the reduction of regional asymmetries. These benefits may be valid for 10 years;
  • The “Regime Fiscal de Apoio ao Investimento” – RFAI (Investment Support Tax Regime) which supports relevant investments that provide job creation;
  • The “Incentivos Financeiros ao Investimento em I&D” (Financial Incentives for R&D Investment) and the “Sistema de Incentivos Fiscais em Investigação e Desenvolvimento Empresarial” – SIFIDE II (Tax Incentives for Business Research and Development), in R&D activities of new products and services or of new processes or production methods;
  • “Dedução por Lucros Retidos e Reinvestidos” (Deduction for Retained and Reinvested Earnings) in investments considered relevant;
  • The “Instalação de Empresas em Territórios do Interior” (Establishment of Companies in the Interior Territories) of the Country

Note: For more details and since more up-to-date information may appear in the meantime, please refer to the IAPMEI website.

Investing in Portugal for Residence / Citizenship

Third country nationals not belonging to the European Union, who invest in Portugal, can apply for Golden Visa. 

The main benefits of this system are: the ability to enter Portugal, traveling freely within the Schengen Area, live and work in Portugal, apply for a temporary (and later permanent) residence permit, benefit from family reunification and apply for Portuguese citizenship. 

To learn more about how you can apply and what are the requirements see the post Invest in Portugal: Find out what is the Golden Visa.

Live and Invest in Portugal

Portugal offers tax incentives, ie more favorable income taxation, to enjoy retirement or work in Portugal under the Tax system for Non-Regular Resident.

This scheme is aimed at foreigners and Portuguese emigrants who are beneficiaries of pensions schemes granted abroad. As well as for non-resident professionals qualified for activities with high added value intellectual, industrial property or know-how. 

To learn more about the benefits of this tax regime see the post Move to Portugal: to work or to enjoy life after retirement.

In addition to more favorable taxation, many foreigners have come to live in Portugal for other very strong reasons, see which ones in the post Top Reasons for Living in Portugal.

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