Why choose Dubai over a business in Portugal?

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Portugal, situated in Southern Europe, is a perfect place that attract the best foreign talent. Portugal is attractive for foreigners and entrepreneurs around the world, and Portugal has an excellent favorable business environment for entrepreneurs setting up a business in the country.  

Dubai is an attractive option for new business setups. The reason is due to its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly policies. Its low tax rates environment and growing economy make it a hub for international businesses to expand their business setup in Dubai. On the other hand, starting a business in Portugal may face challenges such as high taxes, bureaucratic procedures, and not so stable economy. Dubai offers more opportunities for growth and success than Portugal. 

Dubai or Portugal – which one is better?

Considering between Dubai and Portugal? Here are some reasons why Dubai might be the better choice for you:

1. Tax advantages

Dubai offers a favorable tax environment with no personal income tax. Corporate tax is only up to 9% and VAT is 5%. In Portugal, the personal income tax scale ranges from 14.5% to 37% for individuals depending totally on the income generated. Portugal’s corporate tax rate is about 21%, which is two times higher than in Dubai.

2. Strategic location

Dubai’s strategic location makes it a prime destination for entrepreneurs and business owners seeking lucrative opportunities. It is easier in Dubai to start your own company and get physical office space as compared to Portugal or other countries.

3. Economy growth

With a robust and stable economy, Dubai has consistently demonstrated strong economic growth and investment potential when compared to Portugal.

4. Modern infrastructure

Dubai boasts cutting-edge infrastructure, from iconic skyscrapers including Burj-Khalifa to efficient transportation systems including the metro system, contributing to a high standard of living. While in Portugal you will never find such skyscrapers.

5. Safety and security

Recognized as one of the safest cities globally, Dubai provides residents with a secure and peaceful environment. While in Portugal, the crime rate is slowly increasing year by year.

Business setup in Dubai vs Business in Portugal

Setting up a business in Dubai offers a business-friendly environment for startups, attracting entrepreneurs from around the world. On the other hand, Portugal is also proving to be an attractive place to start a business.

Let’s have a look at all the aspects before choosing Dubai or Portugal for your business destination:

FactorBusiness Setup in DubaiBusiness in Portugal
Business Structurelegal structures available, including LLC, FZE, PLC in Free Zones, Mainland, and Offshore.including Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Public Limited Company (PLC).
Foreign Ownership100% ownership in free zones.some restrictions in specific sectors.
Investment Climateminimal bureaucracy involved.may involve more bureaucracy.
Taxation No personal income tax, corporate tax up to 9%, and 5% VAT is applicable.Personal income tax ranges from 14.5% to 48%, corporate tax rate is 21%, and VAT is 23%.
ImmigrationStraightforward visa processes, especially in free zones. Numerous options for investor visas, employee visas, golden visas, etc.Golden Visa program for investors, providing residency in exchange for qualifying investments.
LanguageArabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken and used in business.Portuguese is the official language. English is also used.

How to open a company in Portugal?

If you want to start a business, the first step is to decide on the type of company you want to establish, and it includes a strong business plan. The most common types of companies in Portugal are limited liability companies and public limited companies. Limited liability companies are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, whereas public limited companies are ideal for larger enterprises.

Once you have determined the type of company, it is essential to create a robust business plan outlining your goals and objectives. The plan will serve as a roadmap for your business setup and will help attract potential investors if needed. It is also important to consider the business structure and business assets, ensuring they align with your long-term vision.

Before opening a company in Portugal, we need to consider that it has relatively high personal income tax rates. The progressive tax scale ranges from 14.5% to 37% or more for individuals depending totally on the income generated. Portugal’s corporate tax rate is 21%. It is the reason why people don’t prefer to open their new business or small startups in this country.

How to register your business in Portugal?

To register your business in Portugal, you need to follow a few straightforward steps.

  • Firstly, you should check if your desired business name is available and then register your business with the Portuguese government.
  • Next, you need to open an account and deposit the minimum investment required for your chosen business type.
  • After that, you can proceed to register your company with the relevant authorities. Once you are done with the registration, you can also apply for your bank account for your company.
  • If you are moving to Portugal and interested in foreign investments, the Portugal golden visa program is an attractive option for you. This program provides a residence permit in Portugal for individuals who make a certain level of investment in the country.

Who can open a business in Portugal?

Starting a business in Portugal is relatively straightforward for both EU citizens and non-EU citizens, but there are specific requirements for each group.

For EU citizens

If you are a European citizen, and if you are interested in opening a company in Portugal then you must have:

  • Tax Identification Number – NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal)
  • Social Security Number – SSN
  • Registration Certificate

For non-EU citizens

Non-EU citizens will need to obtain a Portuguese visa before setting up a business. The type of visa required may depend on the purpose of the stay (e.g., work, study, investment, etc.).

Pros of living in Portugal

Having a residence in Portugal, like any other country, comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Here are some of the pros of having a residence in Portugal:

  1. Compared to many other Western European countries, Portugal has a relatively lower cost of living with ease of registering a company.
  2.  Portugal offers similar to Dubai, a golden visa program, which allows non-EU investors and their families to obtain residency by making qualifying investments in the country.

Cons of living in Portugal

Here are some of the cons of having a Portugal residency:

  1. While English is widely spoken, language can be a barrier, particularly in more rural regions.
  2. Portugal has experienced periods of relatively high unemployment, which can be a concern for job seekers.
  3. Portugal has its share of bureaucratic processes, which can sometimes be time-consuming.

How to open a business setup in Dubai?

Setting up a business setup in Dubai requires thorough research and planning. If you are going to expand your business setup in Dubai or are going to start a new one, you may need to consider obtaining a business license in Dubai. The most popular types of business structures in Dubai include a private limited company, a limited liability company (LLC), or a free zone establishment company.

How to register your business setup in Dubai?

To register your business setup in Dubai, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Choose a business activity you want to engage in and ensure it is allowed in Dubai.
  • Choose a legal form for your business. Decide on whether you want to set up a mainland company or a free zone company based on your business needs.
  • Choose a unique and appropriate trade name for your business that complies with the naming regulations in Dubai.
  • Submit an application to the Department of Economic Development (DED) for initial approval of your business setup.
  • Collect all the necessary documents such as passport copies, visas, and tenancy contracts, and sign the Memorandum of Association (MoA).
  • Submit all the required documents and make the necessary payments to officially register your business setup in UAE.
  • After getting your business license, you can apply for a bank account in Dubai.

Who can open a business setup in Dubai?

Any individual or company, whether local or foreign, can open a business setup in Dubai. However, certain restrictions and regulations may apply depending on the type of business activity and the ownership structure of the company. It is advisable to seek guidance from a business consultant in Dubai to ensure compliance with the requirements. 

Pros of living in Dubai

  • 0% personal income tax, which means you can potentially save a lot of money compared to other countries.
  • Dubai offers a luxurious lifestyle with world-class amenities such as shopping centers, restaurants, and leisure activities.
  • One of the safest cities in the world, making it a great place to live and raise a family.
  • Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, with a diverse population that offers opportunities to experience different cuisines, traditions, and languages.
  • Dubai is a global business hub with a thriving economy, providing numerous job opportunities in various industries.

Cons of living in Dubai

  • The cost of living in Dubai can be quite high, especially when it comes to housing, education, and healthcare.
  • Dubai experiences hot weather for most of the year, with temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in the summer months.
  • Dubai has a reputation for heavy traffic and long commute times, especially during rush hours.

Read more at blog: How to set up a business in Dubai

Business setup in Dubai with us!

Dubai has become a favorable environment for starting and running a business. From small and medium-sized companies to large enter