Contributed by Pedro Simões
Tax and accountancy consultant
Managing Director, ACOQ
Creating and starting a business brings many changes to a person’s life. There are several decisions to make and risks to evaluate. To help with these, many consult experts, who will provide all the information needed, especially as, in the past, governmental authorities have not always offered all the information required to inform the public correctly about laws and regulations regarding the set-up of a business. However, this has now changed, and the government has created a website, www.portaldaempresa.pt, which does provide information related to this area. Is it enough? No, but it is very important.
Governmental authorities can now offer great help to the population who do not have enough knowledge of their own, or an expert, to evaluate the viability of their business, or analyse the current financial and market situation. And, as legal requirements are one of the most important elements to be considered when starting a business, this area is also covered in a section of the site, which is especially designed to help the general public.
On the website, all the information you need regarding creating a company, licences, registering a brand and personal recruitment is available, as is lots of other useful information and links to other sites.
Creating a company is now less bureaucratic, however, if your business needs a licence, you will crash headfirst into bureaucracy. The government’s website can help you here too, however, the documentation for the licence needs to be sent by post or presented personally.
If you want to create a business, but are not sure whether you need a licence, read the following list to see which businesses require one.
Trading: Trading of guns and hunting munitions, trading of medicines without medical prescription, pharmacies, petrol stations, sex shops, and retail outlets.
Construction: Private and public construction companies and gas network installation.
Services: Foreign exchange agencies, funeral agencies, employment agencies, car rental companies, real estate agents, medical/veterinary assistance, dental clinics, driving schools, kindergartens, clinical laboratories, private security firms, and security and hygiene companies for the workplace.
Tourism: Travel agencies, holiday camps, rural tourism, zoological parks, restaurants and catering companies.
Industry: All industrial activities, water bottling, transport/navigation agencies, taxis, goods transportation, patient transportation and passenger transportation.
The licence for the activity is different to the licence for the building where the activity will be performed, which is given by the municipal authority.
The government’s new website is a great tool for all those who want to create a business, develop an existing one or register a brand. All the information for these activities is given on the website, but, once again, you cannot apply for these licences through the web, you have to send all documentation by post.
The process for bringing bureaucracy to the masses has gone through several stages, which began in March with the approval of the website. However, now the problem is not the law, but the practical application of, and personnel adaptation to, these changes. Naturally, those who do not have a computer with internet access will have more difficulty in reaping the benefits of doing everything through the web.
• Pedro Simões can be contacted by Tel 219 205 225, Fax 219 264 153, mobile 914 742 178 or via e-mail [email protected]. Visit www.acoq.net