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Types of Company

There are four types of company that may be set up in Portugal. The first two of these are the most common.

  • Private limited liability companies (Sociedade por Quotas, LDA): require at least two partners, although there are Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas, which have a single partner (either an individual or a collective entity). The corporate entity (and not the individual) is responsible for any company liabilities. There is a minimum capital investment of €5,000
  • Public limited companies (Sociedade Anónima SA Corporation): requires at least five shareholders, unless one of the shareholders is the State, in which case only two shareholders are needed. The corporate entity (and not the individual) is responsible for any company liabilities
  • Limited co-partnership companies (Sociedade em Comandita,SC): These businesses have two categories of partners: Dormant partners (Sócios Comanditárias) whose liability is limited to the amount of their shares and Full partners (Sócios Comanditados) who are liable for any company debts
  • General partnership companies (Sociedade em Nome Collectivo, SNC): partners will bear unlimited liability for any company debts

A business set up by a single person must be one of the following:

  • Sole Proprietor (Empresário em Nome Individual)
  • Individual Limited Liability Establishment (Estabelecimento Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada)
  • Single Shareholder (Sociedade Unipessoal por Quotas)