I was reading a thread on partner responsibility on www.expatforum.com the other day, and it occurred to me that ex-pats living in Portugal might have plans to start their own business here, or to move here from abroad for that effect. I know that many already have.
According to recent statistics, in Portugal, 16,258 companies were created in the first six months of 2010. However, 5,200 companies were dissolved during that same time period.
And the number of insolvencies in the first six months of 2010 reached 1,840, an increase of 2.5% compared to the same time last year. I'm sure you've seen the tell-tale signs, abandoned shop windows with declarations of insolvency taped to them, or decisions by the board of directors stating that they are planning to request insolvency, as below.
Insolvencies are, to say the least, a hassle. They invariably involve the Portuguese Revenue, Social Security, and all other creditors; banks and other financial institutions, former employees, suppliers, etc. And, of course, lawyers. They are a very timely process (though efforts are under way to speed up the process), and would really put a damper having moved to Portugal, what with consuming all of your investments.
I don't mean to be a nay-sayer, nor dissuade anyone from coming to Portugal to start up a business. I myself know of several ex-pats that managed to find success here. But like any big decision in life, remember to plan well, and inform yourself very well before stepping into the financial landmine that is the life of a start-up business owner in Portugal.
For more on the insolvency process in Portugal, I recommend visiting the "European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters" website at http://ec.europa.eu/civiljustice/bankruptcy/bankruptcy_por_en.htm
I hope that this is the first and last time you see anything this in-depth on insolvency in Portugal...