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Liaison Office in Portugal

Liaison Office in Portugal

Companies from overseas interested in establishing their presence on the market in business activities in Portugal without carrying out independent commercial activities have the possibility to register liaison offices or representative offices in the country. In other words, such office will represent the major communication channel between the parent enterprise and the clients in Portugal. If you want to open a liaison office in Portugal, we invite you to solicit complete information and guidelines in this matter from our company formation specialists in Portugal. They can also help you register a company in Portugal, where the needed documents must be provided in accordance with the local law.

 Quick Facts  
 The purpose of a liaison office in Portugal For representation of business operations of international companies on the Portuguese market 

 What activities can you undertake with a liaison office in Portugal?

– promoting a foreign company and its activities with the help of dedicated marketing plans,

– searching for investment opportunities,

– acting as a contact point between the liaison office in Portugal and the foreign company.

 How can a representative office be registered in Portugal?

 Presenting a copy of the Articles of Association, tax certificate of the foreign company, documents with information about the registered liaison officer, and opening a bank account in Portugal.

 Can a liaison office in Portugal have commercial activities? (YES/NO) NO 
 Contracting potential clients and partners (YES/NO)


 Local agent required (YES/NO)


 Attributes of a liaison officer

– he/ she represents the interests of the international company,

– negotiate business contracts in Portugal,

– maintain constant communication with the parent company. 

 Bank account for a liaison office in Portugal

Necessary for varied financial operations of the liaison office in Portugal 

 Minimum deposit

 Not solicited

 The institution that authorizes the liaison office in Portugal Portuguese Trade Register 
 The costs of opening a representative office in Portugal

 The foreign company is in charge of the costs of establishing a liaison office in Portugal.

 Travel requirements

 No need to travel to Portugal to open a liaison office

 Licensing requirements

No minimum capital required 

 Time frame for opening a liaison office in Portugal

 Around 3 weeks

Why choose our company formation agents in Portugal? 

 We offer support for:

– local incorporation with the authorities,

– documents preparation,

– provide information on the prices

What are the main responsibilities of a liaison office in Portugal?

liaison office in Portugal strongly relates with the foreign company or business that wants to set up the presence in the Portuguese market. A representative office in Portugal will not make money transactions or activities in this matter, but the accent will be put on promoting the products or the services of the parent company. The marketing activities will also be part of the liaison offices in Portugal, with no restrictions in this matter. Moreover, a liaison office in Portugal will pretty much depend on a local representative, once the office has been registered.

If you want more details about how to set up a liaison office in Portugal, you may ask our company formation agents in Portugal. Our advisors can help you with the registration procedure in Portugal. You can also discover the following infographic we have prepared:

How to set up a liaison office in Portugal

The Portuguese Commercial Registry deals with registering the liaison or representative offices in the country, where the documents of the company from overseas are necessary besides the following:

  •     Articles of Association;
  •     details about the type of business;
  •     the certificates which provide the foreign company is registered for tax purposes;
  •     the name and the address of the liaison office in Portugal;
  •     the name of the representative of the liaison office in Portugal.

The attributes of a liaison office in Portugal

Company owners and investors in Portugal know about the importance and the attributes of a liaison office. This is an important structure in Portugal that allows you to concentrate more on the business market and the ways in which you can get in touch with potential clients. The representative agent of your liaison office in Portugal needs to have residency in this country before commencing any operations.

With a liaison office in Portugal, you can develop numerous marketing strategies, promotional and advertising activities that describe the operations of your business abroad. A representative office in Portugal cannot act like a normal business structure, with financial operations and contracts to sign, but the main advantage is that such structure might represent the proper option to develop a preliminary business plan before thinking of establishing a limited liability company or a partnership, for example.

In most of the cases, a representative office can be an ideal choice for small and medium entrepreneurs from overseas who want to test the Portuguese market before starting a business from scratch. Let one of our company formation agents in Portugal tell you more about how to set up a liaison office in Portugal and about the formalities involved.

We invite you to discover a video presentation about features of a liaison office in Portugal:

Activities that can be undertaken by a representative office in Portugal

A representative office in Portugal has a well-defined definition and responsibilities. This structure is often the option of those who first want to do a market analysis before establishing their business priorities. In this sense, various market analyzes are carried out, with the tools at hand and specialists who know the company they work for. Here are the activities that a liaison office can undertake in Portugal:

  • Representation of the company or group of companies in Portugal.
  • Promoting financial collaborations between foreign companies and the ones in Portugal.
  • A solid and open communication channel between the parent companies and the firms established in Portugal.
  • Import and export activities can also be promoted through a liaison office in Portugal.

It is necessary to obtain approvals for opening a representative office in Portugal before starting the activities. For company formation in Portugal, you are invited to contact one of our local specialists.

On the other hand, if you need accountants in Portugal, our team will be at your disposal with a series of services. Payroll in Portugal, preparation of annual financial statements, bookkeeping in Portugal, audits, and debt monitoring are some of these.

Restrictions of a liaison office in Portugal

As mentioned above in this article, a representative office in Portugal has precise tasks. Thus, it can be said that there are restrictions, and here we refer to:

  • It cannot undertake any business activity. For this, another structure and other approvals are needed.
  • It cannot have economic activities from which to earn income in Portugal.
  • Money transfers cannot be made with a liaison office in Portugal.
  • Invoices cannot be issued because this structure does not allow this.

When an entrepreneur decides that it is necessary to move to another level, he/she can think about company incorporation in Portugal and choose LDA, the most popular business structure. Practically, it can be said that, if after a while, the liaison office in Portugal has completed the tasks, the entrepreneur can develop his desired business, taking into account the economic and financial reports following the market testing. We recommend those interested to talk to our local agents for a liaison office in Portugal or for any other business structure that interests them.

Types of liaison offices that can be found in Portugal

Small businessmen can think about opening a liaison office in Portugal to discover and analyze the competition on the market, the target audience, and consumers. On the other hand, prestigious institutions, such as the European Parliament, have liaison offices all over the world, including in Portugal.

Import and export companies also prefer to open a representative office first to be able to understand the next market development and direction of consumption. In this way, various reports and conclusions can be made on future economic operations, and of course, if they will be profitable.

It can be said that a representative office in Portugal is the way to a successful business, which first prepares the entrepreneur on foreign soil, with well-defined strategies and responsibilities.

Making connections with future clients in Portugal

Foreign company owners who need to be represented in Portugal can think of registering a liaison office in Portugal. This kind of structure can be an excellent choice for creating business connections with local partners or future clients in Portugal. A foreign company will have to create a business plan and agree on the promotion and marketing strategies that can be established and developed with the help of a representative agent and a liaison office in Portugal. Contacting potential clients and collaborators will represent the main step before setting up a traditional office.

In most of the cases, if the liaison office is a success, a limited liability company in Portugal can be taken into consideration as part of the business plan for this country. We remind that our company formation specialists in Portugal can offer support for foreigners who want to set up companies in Portugal, regardless of the chosen structure. We are at your disposal if you want to establish branches and subsidiaries or register a sole proprietorship.

If you are thinking of setting up a business, we recommend you contact our accountants in Portugal. There are a series of procedures that must be implemented for the owned company to align with the requirements in this matter. Thus, you will be able to benefit from payroll services, bookkeeping, audits, preparation, and submission of annual financial statements. We are also ready to provide you with information about tax minimization options for your business.

FAQ about liaison office

Is a liaison office the same thing with a representative office?

Yes, liaison offices are representative offices for foreign companies that need to develop marketing and promotional activities in Portugal.

Who can set up liaison offices in Portugal?

Any foreign entrepreneur or representative of overseas companies with interests in the business field in Portugal can think of opening a liaison office in this country. It would be a lot easier to test the market and create business contacts.

What are the activities of a liaison office in Portugal?

The main activities of a liaison office in Portugal are strictly related to the promotional and marketing strategies, in order to get in touch with potential collaborators and clients. Your company from abroad can be well represented with the help of a liaison office in Portugal.

Are there any financial operations with a liaison office?

No, there cannot be financial operations when having a liaison office in Portugal. This is a simple structure that has strict activities without involving money transfers, invoices, and related operations. One of our agents can tell you more about a representative office in Portugal.

Can I change a liaison office into a company in Portugal?

Yes, if you believe that a liaison office successfully represented your interests in Portugal, you may consider the next business step for your future operations. You can register a company from scratch with the Portuguese Trade Register and the support of our company formation agents.

Making investments in Portugal 

Portugal is an appealing investment destination for a large number of foreign entrepreneurs interested in placing their activities and enlarge their portfolios in this part of Europe. The great connections by air, sea, and land are among the solid advantages of the business climate of this country, alongside prolific sectors like tourism, agriculture, real estate, manufacturing, etc. Here are some facts and numbers that sustain more the business in Portugal:

  1. In the first semester of 2022, the FDI inflows to Portugal totalled around USD 6.1 billion.
  2. Spain is the main investor in Portugal, more than 21% of the total investments being directed in 2022.
  3. Approximately USD 175,5 billion was the total FDI stock for Portugal in 2021.

Any information about how to register a liaison office in Portugal can be obtained from our company incorporation agents in Portugal, so please feel free to contact us.