The Ultimate Guide to Freelancing in Portugal 

All You Need to Know Before You Decide to Start New Life Abroad

We continue our ultimate freelancing guide with all the important information for those who are considering starting a new life and freelancing in Portugal. This European country is often viewed as a perfect holiday destination full of amazing tourist attractions, great food, friendly people. No wonder more and more people decide to look into the possibilities of moving there. Some consider it as an option for retirement, but some look into the options of working or freelancing there. Due to high unemployment rates the working options might be rather unlimited unless you are a very highly specialised professional (but that always applies to any country). But if you can do freelancing job that requires just a good internet connection, then Portugal is absolutely a place to consider.


If you are a minor in addition to their identity card you must also present authorisation from your parents to travel. If you are planning to visit for less than 90 days and you are a citizen from Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Vatican, Venezuela and Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China in Hong Kong and Macao, a passport valid for at least three months after the end of their stay is necessary.Citizens from countries not mentioned above need a visa to enter Portugal, which may be requested at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate of their country for stays of up to 90 days.

For specific visa requests please check this link and for the list of Portuguese consulates look up this one. If you are looking into permanent immigration options you might want to look up this link.


There are however some limitations to this system as it is designed for workers with specific skills and does not suit persons who must purchase specialist goods or equipment to provide this service. If, for example, you are a plumber or electrician and not only provide services of a plumber or electrician but the equipment as well then the receipts you charge out will of course include the cost of the materials and goods. However, these receipts will not be classed as tax deductible in this system. That is why it also worth examining the other option that is the role of a Sole Trader with Limited Liability (Estabelecimento Individual de Responsabilidade Limitada EIRL)

The Sole Trader with Limited Liability is slightly different to creating a company (Unipessoal), though still limits the liability of the sole trader. As a sole trader you would not be expected to employ others, but can ensure once you have lodged your minimum 5,000€ capital share, any costs can be deducted from the total turnover in one year. Different to creating an individual shareholder company, you can create a sole trader with limited liability situation by simply registering at the local Conservatória. Whichever form of self employment or business you choose to take, it is strongly advised to speak with a qualified Portuguese accountant and solicitor to ensure you are fully informed of the implications and responsibilities which will be expected of you as an employed or employer in Portugal.

Whichever option you decide it’s necessary to take some basic steps. You have to check if your qualifications need to be/can be transferred. Note that this can often take time as you will need to have all documents translated. If however they cannot be transferred you will need to find out about re-qualifying for Portugal. Before you sign-up or register for anything you it’s best to find an accountant and/or tax advisor to give you advice on the best structure of business. Once you have made this application it can be three years before you can change the company registration status. Make sure to check your tax status if you still have accounts or business in another country. You will most definitely need a NIF number from the local financial offices.




You’ll see grills, thick with the smoke of charring meat, in front of many restaurants during your stay. Vegetarians however may have a tough time n Portugal, at least in traditional Portuguese restaurants. Vegetables there (usually boiled or fried potatoes) are simply a way to garnish to the main meat dish. Be careful if you are strict vegetarian as even ‘vegetarian’ salads and dishes may just substitute tuna (which locals don’t seem to regard as a ‘meat’) for ham or sausage.

Restaurants are everywhere especially in more tourist oriented destinations and prices are not extremely hight. However if you live there and chose to cook for yourself sometimes, the only thing you’re going to need is kitchen and some utensils. Vegetarians will be happy to find out portuguese grocery stores are surprisingly well-stocked with items such as lentils, veggie burgers, couscous, and inexpensive fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.If you like hard cheese,try “queijo da serra”,if you prefer soft cheese,try regueijao. On larger shops mostly found in the principal cities, you can also find many unusual items such as exotic fruits or drinks. Obviously those who eat meat will find variety of products, too.


Remember also that Portuguese law compels drivers at the age of fifty, sixty, sixty-five and seventy (from all categories) to undergo regular medical and psychological examinations when revalidating their driving licences. As far as petrol are concerned Portugal is no different from other European countries.Prices are set in the free market and vary in accordance with the cost of a barrel of crude oil in the international markets. So you can only hope they won’t reach sky limits

Cars of course are not the only option when it comes to moving around the country. And they might not be the cheapest ones given the mentioned changes in petrol and diesel. Trains are a popular way of commuting and traveling. The journey between Lisbon and Oporto on the Alfa Pendular train (the fastest and most comfortable train) may vary between €30,30 and €42,40 (2nd or 1st class) and on InterCity trains the price varies between €24,30 and €35.90.From Lisbon to Faro the fare is between €22,20 and €29.80 on the Alfa Pendular train and between €21 and €27.80 on the InterCity train.If you want to visit the sights on the outskirts of the capital, train tickets cost €1.25 from Cais Sodré to Belém or from Rossio to Queluz-Belas, €1.55 from Alcântara to Oriente, and €2.15 from Lisbon to either Sintra or Cascais. You can find all the necessary info here.

If you would rather not travel by either train or car you can always choose one of the express coaches that offer regular connections between the main Portuguese cities. The journey between Lisbon and Oporto may cost around €19, between Lisbon and Faro, €20, between Faro and Oporto €31 and between Lisbon and Coimbra €14,50. The informations like time tables and fares are to be found here.

If you decide to live in Lisbon, it is best to use urban transport and leave the car for longer trips. The “Lisboa card” permits the use of all public transport facilities in the city and trains between Lisbon and Sintra or Cascais and also offers free entrance or discounts in monuments, museums or tourism circuits. The prices are €18.50 for 24 hours, €31.50 for 48 hours and €39 for 72 hours. Prices for children aged between 5 and 11: 24h — €11,50; 48h — €17,50; 72h — €20,50



Portugal is the first european option for freelancers we’ve looked up for you after discovering possibilities of freelancing in Thailand, Canada and India. We will continue with our quest to give you most updated info on freelancing in different parts of the globe next moving further north… Please share your comments and your own experiences below.

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