European bankers are increasingly wary of potential non-resident clients. “Islands of hospitality” can already be counted on the fingers. Portugal is also one of them, where foreigners can still open accounts, both for personal needs and for business, subject to a number of conditions.

 

If you need to open an account in Portugal, please contact Lawrange Lawyers – we will help you solve this problem. And so that you better understand the features of this procedure, we have prepared this review. Read and ask questions!

 

 

A bank account in Portugal is a popular solution

 

You can’t do without opening a bank account under certain circumstances:

  1. In case of registration of the company for the contribution of the authorized capital. Initially, the account will be temporary, then it will turn into a permanent one. This will happen after the business is registered in the Portuguese state. authorities, licenses and permits will be issued for it.
  2. To participate in the Golden Visa program, you will need an account to invest funds. We remind you that in order to apply for participation in the program, you should invest in starting a business or buying real estate from 500,000 euros, for which you can get a residence permit.

 

Notice! The Golden Visa program provides foreign investors with a number of benefits, such as benefits and low taxes, but under certain conditions that must be met.

 

***Important: As of February 27, 2022, Portugal is no longer issuing golden visas to Russian citizens due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As of September 12, 2022, ten Russian citizens have tried to apply, but all requests have been rejected.

 

 

What banks exist in Portugal?

 

There are more than 150 banking institutions in the country, including international and local, public and private. The legislation of Portugal, which regulates the banking system, is fully consistent with European and international legal norms in this area. The role of the regulator of financial services is performed by the Central Bank of Portugal – it sets the “rules of the game” and controls the work of banks, financial companies and credit institutions. At the same time, the functioning of the banking system in the country is supervised by the European Central Bank.

 

Unlike the financial institutions of most EU countries, Portuguese banks still left the possibility of opening accounts for business by non-residents without confirming economic ties with the country. However, this does not apply to immigrants from the CIS countries. If the founders of a legal entity include citizens of any CIS state, it will inevitably be necessary to prove the existence of economic ties with Portugal. And this means, most likely, one cannot do without registering a business, which entails business relationships with local counterparties.

 

 

What types of accounts do Portuguese banks open?

 

Most banking institutions in the country offer services for both individuals and corporate clients (business representatives). At the same time, administrative fees for servicing corporate accounts are generally higher than the costs of maintaining the activity of an individual account. But bankers are ready to adapt services to the specifics and scale of the business. For example, start-up and small business owners can count on special offers in some banks.

 

For those who are considering the idea of ​​how to open a bank account in Portugal, it is useful to know about the features of different types of accounts:

  • current – suitable for everyday banking operations, maintenance of accounts of this type is often free, only some banks may charge a commission of about 5 euros per month, and also ask for a minimum deposit;
  • term deposit – is a savings account in which funds must remain for a certain time, for which an increased interest rate is offered;
  • standard savings – provides instant access to funds, but interest rates are lower than fixed-term.

 

Notice! In some banks, the client can use the option of combining a current account with a savings account. If a certain set balance is exceeded, funds from the current balance are automatically transferred to a savings account.

 

 

Benefits of Portuguese banks: SEPA and Multibanco

 

Portugal is part of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA), which provides entrepreneurs with the convenience of working with suppliers, partners and customers from the EU. The transfer of funds in euros between EU countries is mostly cost-free and carried out at the speed of local transactions. From this it emerges that having an account in Portugal means having an account in the European Union with all the benefits.

 

Many advantages of Portugal as a financial jurisdiction are added by the presence of Multibanco – an interbank system that connects all banking institutions in the country into a network. Without additional commissions, you can withdraw money, pay bills or taxes, and make money transfers. In total, the system covers more than 12 thousand ATMs. With a Portuguese bank card, almost any ATM is suitable for withdrawing cash in the country.

 

Notice! Multibanco is far from the only technological advantage of the country’s banks. A number of conveniences provide the use of the MBWay smart system, with which you can instantly transfer funds to other users using only their mobile phone number.

 

 

Benefits of opening accounts for non-residents

 

Foreign entrepreneurs consider Portugal as a “golden mean” among the states of the European Union. Although the country is not among the leaders in economic development, this is offset by a favorable investment climate, as well as the stability of the financial system. Even in the current difficult conditions of international relations, Portugal is trying as much as possible to maintain loyalty to non-residents.

 

Against the background of the fact that European banks set excessive or even impossible requirements for opening an account by a non-resident, this procedure in Portugal usually goes without complications. A standard package of documents and answers to standard questions are required.

 

Important! The only serious condition that should be met in order to acquire a corporate account is to make a personal visit to the bank branch to sign documents. The procedure for opening accounts remotely is currently not practiced. An exception are online banks. It is a good alternative to traditional financial institutions that provides the ability for businesses to make money transfers.

 

 

The best banks in Portugal

 

The phrase “best bank” is often used in the context of subjective assessments. If an institution has collected a lot of good reviews, it cannot be considered suitable for absolutely all entrepreneurs. When thinking about how to open a bank account in Portugal, you must first clearly articulate your requirements for this account. Then it is already possible to compare the proposals of different institutions, as well as take into account the recommendations of experts.

 

Lawrange law firm team offers TOP 3 banks in Portugal for representatives of international business. Institutions were included in this list based on our expert findings and experience in providing legal support to businessmen in Portugal.

 

Caixa Geral de Depositos

Portugal’s leading public banking institution with branches in 23 countries, including Latin America, China and India. In Portugal itself, there are about five and a half hundred branches. Feature – universal banking service. Services include commercial and investment banking, lending, venture and brokerage capital, and asset management.

 

Terms of Service:

  • to open an account, a minimum deposit of 500 euros is required;
  • maintenance cost – 10 euros per month.

 

***Notice: If the average monthly balance is more than 7,500 euros, the maintenance fee is reduced to 5 euros per month. If the average monthly turnover exceeds 250,000, the account is serviced free of charge.

 

To optimize the cost of servicing the account, the bank offers package services. For example, in the annual service package for 84 euros: current account, 50 free SEPA transfers per month, issue of one debit card, online banking. In the annual package for 150 euros: in addition to what is mentioned above, the issuance of one more debit card, as well as two credit cards.

 

 

Banco Comercial Portugues

A large and very popular commercial bank, whose shares are listed in the Euronext 100 stock index. It entered the financial services market in 1985, and since 2004, after rebranding, it is called Millennium BCP. The conditions for issuing an account for enterprises provide for: a) mandatory registration of a company in one of the EU countries; b) the presence of a legal address in Portugal.

 

Notice! For legal entities, Millennium BCP provides factoring services, Internet banking, and issues guarantees. Companies that sell goods and provide services with deferred payments may assign receivables to the bank. The minimum factoring rate is 5.7%.

 

Terms of Service:

  • maintenance cost – 18 euros per quarter;
  • the first 50,000 euros for SEPA transfers are included in the price, in addition – a commission from 1 to 19.5 euros (based on the amount);
  • SEPA urgent payment – ​​EUR 19;
  • commissions for SWIFT – 0.2%, but not less than 19.23 euros and not more than 105.77 euros;
  • urgent payment SWIFT – 25 euros.

 

 

Banco Santander Totta S.A.

One of the five largest banks in the country. This institution operates through business segments such as retail business, global banking and commercial banking. The banking network includes 600 branches throughout the country, including in the Autonomous Region of Madeira (International Business Center of Madeira – IBCM). The conditions for issuing an account for businesses are similar to those specified for Millennium BCP.

 

Terms of Service:

a corporate account can be opened free of charge;

maintenance cost – 14.5 euros per month;

commission for outgoing payments – 1.2 euros;

commission for SEPA transfers – 25 euros.

 

***Notice: Bank fees are subject to change. To get accurate information about the cost of servicing an account and commissions, you need to go to the page of the selected bank.

 

 

How to open a bank account in Portugal with Lawrange?

 

Due to the global trend of deoffshorization and the latest changes in Portuguese legislation, opening an account for a non-resident is becoming a laborious process. Since banks are ready to work only with companies registered in the country or in the EU, this process includes business registration.

 

However, the involvement of professionals in solving the problem allows the entrepreneur to participate in all this minimally. If necessary, a power of attorney is issued to the representative of Lawrange law firm. As a result, the client receives a set of documents for the full-fledged business, as well as an open bank account.

 

 

What services can be obtained in the banks of Portugal?

 

The range of services offered by Portuguese banks is comparable to those offered by bankers in other EU countries. In addition to different types of accounts, the following are available:

  • credit (consumer, corporate) and overdraft;
  • investments (including shares);
  • credit and debit cards;
  • insurance service;
  • factoring;
  • trust management of securities;
  • brokerage services.

 

Online banking is well developed in the country – most financial transactions can be completed without visiting a branch (including money transfers, currency exchange, balance checks, payments). At the same time, banks guarantee complete security of transactions. Customers can request special banking services such as setting a withdrawal limit or a certain type of card.

 

 

What documents are needed to open an account?

 

Banks’ requirements for documents will depend on the legal status of the business. For example, limited liability companies must submit official registration as well as documents of owners and directors. Also, a document confirming the foreign address should be added to the kit.

 

Important! To open an account, you will definitely need a fiscal identification number (Número de Identificação Fiscal, NIF) for each owner and director of the company. Only residents of Portugal can receive such numbers. Therefore, Lawrange specialists provide the client with a tax representative (representante fiscal), who is a citizen of Portugal or a legal resident.

 

 

Is it possible to open a bank account in Portugal remotely by proxy?

Yes, by contacting our specialists, we will help you open an account for a company in a bank in Portugal remotely, without a personal visit by proxy.

 

 

What is the procedure for opening an account in Portugal for a non-resident legal entity?

The procedure for opening an account in Portugal for a non-resident legal entity is as follows:

 

Stage 1: signing a power of attorney from the director and all shareholders of the company to receive NIF.

The power of attorney must be signed by a notary at the place of registration of the director and shareholders, put in an apostille.

Together with the power of attorney, it is necessary to notarize the passport of the director and shareholders and put an apostille on them too.

The originals of these documents are sent to us in Portugal.

 

Stage 2: signing bank forms and entering information about the company in the register of beneficiaries in Portugal (RCBE).

 

Stage 3: obtaining access to client banking and account details by the client.

 

 

Conclusions

 

If you are interested in questions about how to do business in Portugal and how to open a bank account, then in this review you have probably received many necessary answers. For more information, as well as answers to personal questions, you can get a consultation at Lawrange Lawyers. As usual, we make a feasible contribution to improving the legal literacy of entrepreneurs. At the same time, effective business management requires unique and purely individual solutions.

 

 

 

 

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