“Despite being a Latin country, Portugal has been registering a bureaucracy reduction that brings benefit to the foreign investors. Services such as “Company in a hour” (Empresa na hora) and “Entrepreneur Desk” (Balcão do Empreendedor) make a considerable range of legal operations quite straightforward. One need only think of Italian scenario, where the set-up of a Company requires up to 30-40 days. Portuguese lawyers have notary powers which allows cost reductions and time savings.
Some pros and cons of Portuguese environment:
A lack of venture capital in the market. Though, there has been an improvement (Indico Capital has recently launched its first fund…) and some investing instruments have been created for the purpose (200M Fund).
Companies incorporated by foreign investors do not have access to direct tax benefits.
due to its dimension and its highly skilled labour at relatively low cost,
Portugal is an excellent green field to test innovative products and solutions;
decision makers are accessible.
In respect of the Portuguese patents scenario: RCF (SRS patent partner) have been approached by a number of startups (the not-Portuguese having increased sensibly over the last past years…). The most intended to patent software solutions. They refer that “there is no budget for a patent”. As a consequence, they try to submit the requests on their own (which is risky and usually provoke the failure of the request).
Generally speaking, we note that there is a lack of a patenting culture in the Portuguese market, with the exception of universities that are active in this area. Such a lack can be a factor which kills from the beginning the startup (it may waste a lot of time developing a solution/product which is already existing in other countries!).