A lot of the SIMPLEX programme is dedicated to making doing business in Portugal as easy as possible. For instance, the “On the Spot Firm” service enables you to set up a company at a single contact point and in less than one hour. While the “On-line Firm” service lets you start a company without leaving your home or office.

Both of these are accessed via the “Business Portal”, which incorporates an English language version for all its facilities.

Before the portal was introduced Portuguese firms had to fill in various forms, all with different deadlines, in order to report their annual financial and accounting information to the Directorate General for Taxation; the Business Register Centre; the National Statistics Agency; and the Portuguese Central Bank. Now all this can be done using a single online form.

Similarly the “Permanent Certificate”, which contains information about a company’s trade registries, is continuously updated and available online via the portal. Whenever this information is needed by a public or private body all a company has to do is send them the access code.

Furthermore, there is now a single window for dealing with all port-related activities. This platform centralises information and connects all the relevant bodies that need to work with the port authorities. It enables agents to complete all the formalities required in the dispatching of ships and merchandise in a quick, efficient and paperless way.

These are just a few examples of how the government is working towards making Portugal even more business friendly. There are new developments all the time; so, if you want to keep up with the beneficial changes in the national business environment, the Business Development Agency (ACIEP) web pages at are an excellent source of information.