Moving to Portugal: Self Employment in Portugal

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Becoming self employed in Portugal is quite simple as long as you plan things in advance. If your country of origin is a member of the European Union or you have obtained permanent residence card to live in this country, you can then provide specialized services on your own. Non EU citizens need a work permit and a visa from the Portuguese Immigration Office in order to work in this country. Portugal is one of the countries with the highest number of people self employed.

Those who want to become self employed in Portugal have two options. They can either register as an unlimited sole trader or as a sole trader with limited liability. The first option is ideal for people who want to work as freelance photographers, journalists, or part time teachers. The simplest method of becoming a self employed is to register with the local tax office as an unlimited sole trader. In this case, you will have to pay a tax at the end of the year. This tax will be based on the income earned.

As an unlimited sole trader, you have to purchase a Receipt Book from the tax office to issue receipts foe the money earned. At the end of the year, you will have to submit copies for all receipts and pay taxes. If you are planning to offer specialized services (such as engineering), you will have to ensure before registering as a self employed that your qualifications have been recognized by the Portuguese authorities.

Those who want to become self employed in Portugal can also register as a sole trader with limited liability. This system is suitable for individuals will need to buy equipment in order to perform job related activities. Even though you will not be allowed to hire employers, your expenses can be deducted from the total earnings in one year once you have lodged your minimum 5,000 euros capital share. Becoming a sole trader with limited liability in Portugal is easier than registering as an unlimited sole trader. All you have to do is to register at the local Conservatória.

Statistics indicate that the percentage of self-employment in Portugal (25 percent) was higher than the European Union average (14 percent) in 2002. Self employed workers in Portugal include three categories: members of producers cooperatives, own-account workers, and employers. Once you register as a self employed, you will pay between 25.4 and 32 percent per month in social security contributions.

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