Home > Start a Business > Empresa Na Hora vs Rauva: Which is Best to Start a Company?

Empresa Na Hora vs Rauva: Which is Best to Start a Company?

By Matt Deasy

Published on 23 April 2024

15mins read

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If you're starting a business in Portugal, you've likely come across Empresa Na Hora, a quick company setup service offered by the Portuguese government.

Empresa Na Hora is a good solution for creating a company in Portugal, but for speed, ease, and cost, there is a superior alternative.

Both Empresa Na Hora and Rauva promise a streamlined company creation process, but which one truly delivers? Let's dive in and find out!

Key Takeaways

  • With Empresa Na Hora, **you need to visit a physical location**
  • With Rauva, **everything is 100% digital**
  • With Empresa Na Hora, you can **only select your company name from a list of pre-approved names**
  • With Rauva, you can **select your own company name, for free**
  • The Empresa Na Hora service **only includes basic company creation**
  • With Rauva, you can **include your business account, invoicing, certified accountancy, and more**

What is Empresa Na Hora?

Empresa Na Hora is a service provided by the Portuguese government to simplify limited liability company creation, but which requires the business owner to visit a physical location known as Balcão Empresa.

Offering a set of pre-approved company names from the national register, this service is beneficial for legal persons looking to incorporate private companies in Portugal, streamlining procedures such as choosing a corporate name and completing the incorporation act with the Commercial Registry Office.

What is Rauva?

Rauva is an all-in-one platform designed to support entrepreneurs throughout their business journey in Portugal.

From company creation to business accounts, invoicing, and certified accounting, Rauva provides entrepreneurs with everything they need to conduct business.

The best part? Rauva is 100% digital and available in both Portuguese and English.

In addition, Rauva offers company creation setup services free from any legal fees, which makes it a viable alternative to Empresa Na Hora for small businesses in Portugal.

We’ll be comparing the two options below, starting with the pros and cons of each:

Empresa Na Hora: Pros and Cons

Empresa Na Hora Pros

  • **Government-Backed:** Directly supported by the Portuguese government, ensuring legitimacy.
  • **Physical Presence:** The physical offices of Balcão Empresa are available for in-person assistance.
  • **Multiple Business Types:** Offers a variety of pre-approved company names and types.

Empresa Na Hora Cons

  • **Limited Digital Integration:** The process requires physical visits and manual paperwork.
  • **Language Barrier:** Primary information and support are in Portuguese, which might be challenging for non-native speakers.
  • **Less Customization:** Pre-approved company names limit branding opportunities.
  • **Associated Costs:** The variability and potential unexpected expenses related to the cost of corporate name certificate, tax identification number request, preparation of articles of association and by-laws, opening of a bank account, and overall cost of incorporation can be a downside.
  • **Commercial Register:** Engaging with the commercial register, including obtaining a commercial registry certificate, depositing the company's share capital, and registration with the Commercial Registry Office, adds complexity to the registration process.

Rauva: Pros and Cons

#Rauva Pros

  • **Digital Integration:** Complete the entire process online without any physical visits. -
  • **Multilingual Support:** Assistance available in multiple languages, catering to a global audience.
  • **Customized Solutions:** Tailored services to fit individual business needs.
  • **Transparent Pricing:** Clear, upfront pricing without hidden fees.
  • **Expert Guidance:** Access to a team of experts to help with business decisions.

#Rauva Cons:

  • **Newer Platform:** Being a newer platform, Rauva might be unfamiliar to more traditional business owners.

Empresa Na Hora vs. Rauva: A Round-Up

Feature/AspectEmpresa Na HoraRauva
Platform TypeGovernment-backedDigital fintech platform
ProcessPartially digital with potential physical visitsFully online
Language SupportPrimarily PortugueseMultiple languages including English
CustomizationLimited to pre-approved namesFull customization and branding
Pricing TransparencyVariesTransparent and upfront
SupportIn-person and onlineDigital support with expert guidance
Ease of UseTraditional methodsUser-friendly, streamlined digital process

By comparing the two, it's evident that Empresa Na Hora offers a government-backed traditional approach, similar to other support systems for businesses operated by state and local governments. Rauva, on the other hand, provides a fresher, digital, and more user-friendly solution tailored for today's modern entrepreneur.

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The Process: Empresa Na Hora vs. Rauva

While Empresa Na Hora offers a reasonably quick setup with pre-approved names, Rauva provides a more personalized experience and you can do it all from your phone.

With Rauva, the process starts with a discovery meeting to understand your project.

Once onboarded, licensed Portuguese attorneys handle all legalities, ensuring that you pick the right business structure for your new business.

You'll need to determine the 'share capital' during the company formation process, as it plays a significant role in the incorporation and future financial planning of the company.

Additionally, the identification of 'legal person' status of shareholders is a critical step in the preparation of legal documentation, ensuring compliance with corporate governance and legal requirements.

With Rauva, you also get a 'Supercharged' business account and access to certified accountants.

Steps to Register: Empresa Na Hora vs. Rauva

Starting a business in Portugal is an exciting venture, but the registration process can be daunting. So, let’s break down the steps for both Empresa Na Hora and Rauva, highlighting the ease and speed of each method.

Empresa Na Hora Registration Process

1. Choose a Pre-Approved Name:

  • Visit an Empresa Na Hora office. To find out what the Balcão Empresa closest to your business location is, consult this map.
  • Select a company name from a list of pre-approved names.

2. Submit the Required Legal Documents:

  • Provide identification (this can be a passport or ID document, such as your Cartão de Cidadão or Bilhete de Identidade).

3. Pay the Registration Fee:

4. Obtain the Company Card (Cartão de Empresa):

  • This card contains your company's Tax Identification Number and Social Security number and qualifies you as a registered agent in Portugal.

5. Register with Social Security:

  • This is an automatic step when using Empresa Na Hora.

6. Wait for Approval:

  • The process can be slowed down by documentation issues, so make sure you're complying with all the requirements of the state's office. Upon initiating the registration process, an 'access code' is provided for electronic queries regarding the application status, allowing for efficient tracking of your company's registration progress.

Rauva Registration Process:

1. Discovery Meeting:

  • Start with a discovery meeting to understand your project and business needs.

2. Personalized Company Name:

3. Submit Documents Online:

  • Upload identification and other required documents via Rauva's secure platform.

4. Legalities Handled by Professionals:

  • Don't worry about incorporation documents and other specific rules: Rauva's licensed Portuguese attorneys ensure a smooth registration process by navigating all bureaucracy.

5. Transparent Pricing:

  • Opt for the Rauva Supercharged plan, which covers the legal fees for company creation.

6. Digital Business Account Setup:

  • Once your company is registered, you'll have immediate access to your Rauva supercharged business account.

7. Access to Additional Services:

  • Benefit from certified invoices, monthly certified accounting services, and more.

Comparison Highlights

  • **Speed:** While Empresa Na Hora offers a quick setup, Rauva's digital-first approach ensures a streamlined process without the need for physical visits to the Balcão Empresa offices.
  • **Name Flexibility:** Choosing the right business name is crucial for attracting customers, and Rauva doesn't require you to pick one from a pre-approved list, unlike Empresa Na Hora.
  • **Professional Assistance:** With Rauva, licensed attorneys handle all legalities, ensuring a hassle-free registration process and full legal protection.
  • **All-in-One Solution:** Rauva isn't just about company registration. Once registered, businesses gain access to a suite of tools and services designed to support their growth instead of being left on their own.

While both Empresa Na Hora and Rauva offer valuable support for company registration, Rauva's comprehensive approach, combined with professional assistance and digital solutions, makes it a top choice for modern entrepreneurs in Portugal.

Cost Comparison: Empresa Na Hora vs. Rauva

Service/Feature'Empresa Na Hora' CostRauva Cost
Company RegistrationVaries (based on type)Included in Supercharged plan
Company Name SelectionIncludedFree (Unique name choice)
Document SubmissionManual feesOnline (no additional cost)
Legal AssistanceAdditional feesIncluded
Business Account SetupSeparate bank feesIncluded in Supercharged plan

Empresa Na Hora has its set of fees, but with Rauva, many of the legal fees for company creation are covered.

In addition, Rauva offers a comprehensive package (the Rauva Supercharged plan), which includes company creation, a business account, certified invoices, and monthly certified accounting services.

Empresa Na Hora vs. Rauva: The Verdict

When it comes to starting a business in Portugal, both Empresa Na Hora and Rauva offer valuable services.

But if you're looking for a comprehensive, digital-first approach that covers not just company creation but also your business account, invoicing and accounting, Rauva is the clear standout.

Rauva is modern, efficient, and tailored for today's entrepreneurs, powering you with everything you need to start your business journey with confidence!

Useful Information

Business Registration and Company Creation in Portugal: Important Terms

If you still choose to go with Empresa Na Hora instead of Rauva, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some Portuguese terms that may come up during the business registration process:

  • **Pacto da Sociedade:** Refers to the fundamentals of your Portuguese business, including company name, business location, business structure, social capital, number of partners, and so forth.
  • **Certidão da Escritura ou Documento de Constituição:** This wordy term refers to one of the documents required to register a collective business in Portugal. Think of it as a sort of employer identification number.
  • **Primeiro Exercício Económico:** Name given to the initial accountable period of a company’s finances, which is usually right after registration.
  • **Unipessoais Por Quotas:** One of the types of business structure available for your new corporation or business in Portugal.
  • **Cartão de Cidadão:** Also known as Bilhete de Identidade, the Cartão de Cidadão is Portugal’s main identification document.
  • **Tax Authority:** A crucial entity involved in the company registration process, particularly in obtaining a tax identification number, start of activity declaration, and registration with the Tax Authority.

Frequently Asked Questions - Empresa Na Hora vs Rauva

What services does Rauva offer apart from company creation?

Rauva is a comprehensive platform offering services like business accounts, invoicing, expense management, and certified accounting.

How does Rauva ensure the smooth creation of my company?

Rauva employs licensed Portuguese attorneys who handle all legalities and navigate the bureaucracy on your behalf.

Are there any hidden fees with Rauva?

Rauva offers transparent pricing, starting from €88 per month. The Rauva Supercharged plan covers many services, including company creation, at a clear monthly fee.

State fees or additional services incur extra charges.

How does Rauva compare to traditional banks in Portugal?

Rauva is designed to be a modern alternative to traditional banking systems in Portugal, focusing on the needs of entrepreneurs and offering a seamless digital experience.

What is simplified corporate information and how does it relate to starting a new company in Portugal?

Simplified corporate information refers to a streamlined set of data that the Portuguese authorities require when you register a new company. This data typically includes details about the company’s founders, its legal structure, and its intended business activities.

What forms are necessary to obtain a residence permit when starting a new company in Portugal?

When starting a new company as a non-resident, you may need to apply for a residence permit. This involves filling out specific forms available from Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) or the Portuguese consulate in your country.

How does the citizen’s card benefit owners of new companies in Portugal?

The citizen's card in Portugal serves as a multifunctional identification document for citizens of Portugal. For new company owners, this card simplifies dealings with public services and provides digital signatures necessary for various administrative and legal processes.

What is the role of collective persons in the registration of a new company in Portugal?

Collective persons refer to entities such as corporations or partnerships recognized as legal persons. When registering a new company in Portugal, collective persons must provide detailed information including company statutes, registration numbers, and tax identification. This information helps in establishing the legal identity of the business under Portuguese law.

How is information used for statistical purposes when creating a new company in Portugal?

When you register a new company, the information collected (like business sector, number of employees, and economic activity) is used for statistical purposes. Agencies such as Statistics Portugal (INE) analyze this data to track economic trends, support policy-making, and provide a clearer picture of the business environment in Portugal.

What interactions does a new company in Portugal have with Banco de Portugal?

Banco de Portugal, the central bank, plays a critical role in overseeing financial stability and managing monetary policy. A new company might interact with Banco de Portugal for financial reporting requirements, loan arrangements, or even when setting up business banking facilities. It is important for company founders to understand these interactions to ensure compliance with financial regulations.

What is the typical form to fill out when registering a new company in Portugal?

The primary form for registering a new company in Portugal is the "Declaration of Start of Activity" form from the Tax and Customs Authority. This form collects necessary information regarding the company’s taxation, the legal structure, and identification details of the owners and managers.

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Written by Matt Deasy

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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.
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