Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Over 24,000 Companies Created in Portugal in First 6 Months of 2018: Report Data from Observatório Infotrust shows an 11 percent increase in the number of new startups compared to the same period last year.

By Portugal Startups

This story originally appeared on Portugal Startups

You're reading Entrepreneur Europe, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Some 24,425 companies were created in Portugal in the first six months of the year, according to data from Observatório Infotrust.

The number of startups created represents an increase of 11.45 percent in relation to 21,916 companies formed in the same period last year. However, there was a decrease of about 8 percent from May to June of this year.

The largest number of new companies since the beginning of the year come from:

  1. Lisbon with 8,221
  2. Porto with 4,313
  3. Setúbal with 1,747
  4. Braga with 1,741
  5. Faro with 1,378
  6. Aveiro with 1,060

The districts producing the least amount of companies were:

  1. Bragança with 122
  2. Portalegre with 126
  3. Guarda with 172
  4. Castelo Branco with 212

Related: UN Lists Portugal Among World's Most Developed Digital Services Countries

In terms of activity sectors, from January to June of this year, the largest number of companies created was in the sectors of Services (6,866), Restoration and Tourism (2,992) and Commerce and Retail (2,851).

Data for 2017 shows that 2,726 companies were involved in insolvency proceedings, 482 had recourse to the PER (Special Revitalization Process), 14,476 had closed and 49,933 had filed lawsuits.

Observatório Infotrust analyzes information related to companies and other active entities that are headquartered in Portugal, with the legal nature of public limited companies, sole proprietorships, public entities, associations, cooperatives and other companies.

Individual entrepreneurs were not part of this analysis. All entities were updated with the CAE (Economic Activity Classification) Rev3. They were also classified through the location of their headquarters, representing the 22 Districts of Portugal. The activity sectors are a grouping created by Infotrust, based on the CAE Table.

Related: Lisbon Lures Tech Entrepreneurs With Carrot of EU Citizenship

Attracting foreign startups to Portugal

Apart from creating new startups domestically, Portugal has been busy at work attracting foreign startups and entrepreneurs to work and live in the country.

In Lisbon, the government has launched a scheme which offers residency and eventual citizenship to anyone who invests €1 million or more in the local economy, creates 10 jobs or purchases €500,000 worth of property.

The Portuguese capital was hit hard by the European economic crisis, which saw an estimated half a million people leave the country between 2011 and 2015 due to soaring unemployment which peaked at 18 percent in 2013.

Also launched earlier this year was the Portugal StartUp Visa. The Portugal StartUp Visa application process went live on March 15, and now over 65 incubators throughout the country are certified to help foreign startups.

The first phase of the StartUp Visa was concluded with the certification of incubators, and the startup application phase of the program is now underway.

The evaluation of the candidate projects will have as criteria the innovative potential of growth, the scalability of the business in the market and also the prospects of working in Portugal once the program is finished.

The full list of certified Portuguese incubators can be found here.

(Written by Tim Hinchliffe)

Taking the Portuguese startup scene to the world.
Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


Save on Business Travel for Life This Memorial Day with an $80 Deal

OneAir Elite uses AI to search the web around the clock for flight deals.

Starting a Business

Clinton Sparks Podcast: From Pepsi, Beats to Netflix — This Powerful CMO Shows How to Never Let Your Light Dim

Learn about the challenges high achievers face, the tenacity required to conquer self-doubt and the continuous pursuit of excellence.


Keep Business Private with a Second Phone Number for $20

Hushed offers users a virtual number that can take calls and messages privately from their personal number.