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How to Choose the Amount of the Capital Deposit in Portugal

By Rauva

Published on 31 January 2024

5 mins read

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Starting a business in Portugal requires careful consideration of many factors, and another task you’ll need to add to your to-do list is to determine the amount of capital deposit, or start-up funds, that you’ll need to launch your company

Beyond merely being the amount of money in the bank that you’ll need to launch your operations, you’ll also need to declare the amount of your capital deposit at the time of company incorporation - and this amount is recorded in your company legal documentation and serves as a financial commitment to your business, ensuring its perceived professionalism, initial stability, and growth. 

In this guide, we'll take a look at the key facts you need to know about choosing the amount of capital deposit for your business, including the type of business, industry requirements, and long-term sustainability.

What is the Capital Deposit?

A capital deposit is a sum of money that you invest into your company at the time of incorporation as a show of financial commitment and is used during the company formation process to open your company bank account. 

The minimum amount required is €2, or €1 for a single-person limitada (Sociedade Unipessoal), however, be aware that banks and other financial institutions will look at this amount when determining whether to provide financing to your business, so it’s recommended that you invest a larger amount, and ideally at least €5,000 if you can. 

As part of the company formation process, you’ll need to deposit your allocated amount of capital into your new company bank account within 5 business days of company incorporation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Capital Deposit Amount

1. Business Type and Industry

The type of business you plan to start plays a role in determining the appropriate capital deposit amount. Different industries have varying levels of startup costs and operational expenses. For instance, a technology startup may require more initial investment compared to a service-based business.

2. Business Plan and Scale

Aligning your capital deposit with your business plan is crucial. Consider the scale of operations you envision for your business. Will you start small and gradually expand, or do you have aggressive growth plans? Your business financial plan should provide insights into the financial resources required at different stages.

3. Legal Requirements and Regulations

Make sure to research the legal requirements and regulations specific to your chosen business structure in Portugal. Certain business structures may have minimum capital deposit requirements that you need to fulfill. Meeting or exceeding these requirements ensures compliance and credibility.

4. Projected Expenses and Cash Flow

Do your best to thoroughly calculate the initial expenses needed to set up your business. Factor in costs such as equipment, licenses, permits, and initial marketing efforts, and don’t forget to consider the monthly cash flow required to sustain your business until it becomes profitable. A sufficient capital deposit can provide a safety net during these initial stages.

5. Financial Goals and Risk Tolerance

Define your financial goals and risk tolerance. How quickly do you expect to achieve profitability? Are you willing to invest a higher amount for faster growth? Assess your risk appetite and choose a capital deposit amount that aligns with your comfort level and long-term business objectives.

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4 Steps to Calculate the Capital Deposit

1. Identify Initial Expenses: Create a detailed list of all initial expenses, including one-time costs like equipment purchases, legal fees, and marketing expenses.

2. Estimate Ongoing Costs: Project monthly operational expenses, such as rent, employee salaries, utilities, and inventory costs. It’s wise to retain a few months expenses if you can.

3. Factor in Contingencies: Allocate a percentage of the total capital deposit for unforeseen contingencies. A great goal would be to set aside 10-15% for emergencies.

4. Consider Long-Term Sustainability: Calculate the capital needed to sustain your business for at least the first few months, accounting for expected revenue growth and operational costs.

Funding Options for Capital Deposit

Funding your capital deposit can be achieved through various avenues:

  • Personal Savings: Using your personal savings is a common way to fund the capital deposit, or borrow from friends and family.
  • Business Loans: Consider applying for business loans from banks or financial institutions.
  • Investors: Attract potential investors who share your vision for the business.
  • Grants and Subsidies: Research government grants or subsidies available for startups in Portugal.

Conclusion

Choosing the right amount of capital deposit is an important step in setting up your business in Portugal. 

By considering your business type, industry, expenses, and risk tolerance, you can determine the optimal amount to ensure a solid foundation and sustained growth. Remember that seeking professional advice and conducting thorough research are essential for making informed decisions that will impact your business's success.

FAQs

What is the significance of the capital deposit in starting a business?

The capital deposit demonstrates your commitment to the business and provides initial financial stability.

Are there legal requirements for the capital deposit amount?

The minimum amount required for a multi-person limited company (limitada) is €2, or €1 for a single-person limitada (Sociedade Unipessoal). Other business structures in Portugal may have minimum capital deposit requirements, so it’s a good idea to research the legal obligations specific to your chosen structure.

What are the different ways I can open a business in Portugal?

There are services that specialise in company creation, such as Empresa Na Hora, Empresa Online and Rauva, who can all simplify the process for you.
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Written by Rauva

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Rauva is partnered with Swan who will be providing all payment services to Rauva clients. Rauva does not have access to client funds. Funds are kept in accounts provided by Swan, held in BNP Paribas. Swan is an EMI, based in France, supervised, and regulated by ACPR/Banque de France. Swan is authorized to carry out such services in Portugal and registered with Banco de Portugal under the registration number 7893.
Rauva is not a certified accounting or legal services provider. As such, Rauva does not provide accounting and legal services. Rauva acts as an intermediary who facilitates the introduction to our customers of accounting and legal services Partners who are legally registered and certified in Portugal. A list of Rauva’s Partners can be found here.