Invest in Madeira

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, situated 625 miles (1 000 km) from Mainland Portugal and 545 miles (900 km) from North Africa. It consists of four islands: Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens. Madeira and Porto Santo are the only inhabited islands, while the Desertas and Selvagens islands are uninhabited natural. Madeira’s unique forest has been declared a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Madeira Island is the biggest and most important island of the archipelago with an area of 741 km2. Due to its subtropical climate and landscapes, it is known worldwide as an all year round tourist destination, thanks not only to its culture, but also spring-like climate.

Although it is an integral part of Portugal and subsequently of the European Union, where all laws applicable on the mainland also apply, Madeira is an Autonomous Region with its own government and parliament.

The population numbers approximately 267 785 inhabitants and its capital is the city of Funchal. Madeira’s Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport serves several daily flights to Lisbon and other major European cities. The official currency is the Euro and it is a civil law jurisdiction. A considerable part of the younger population is fluent in English.

Madeira’s economy is based on tourism, wine production and the International Business Centre of Madeira (MIBC). Created at the beginning of the eighties, the MIBC has proved to be a success and currently represents around 21% of the Regional Gross Domestic Product. This highly advantageous tax regime, for corporations and individuals, in addition to competitive operating costs, makes Madeira an attractive centre for international investment.

Under the MIBC scheme international services activities benefit from a reduced corporate rate (5%) applicable to profits derived from operations exclusively carried out with non-resident entities or with other companies operating within the ambit of the MIBC. There are no restrictions, nevertheless, on the development of business activities with Portuguese companies which will be taxed at the general corporate tax rate in Madeira, currently 20%.

Further to the above, Madeira offers incredible internet speeds, when compared to mainland Europe. This is because Madeira benefits from a Submarine Cable Station, hosted in the “Madeira Datacenter”, operating several international optical submarine cables, allowing interconnectivity with national and international SDH networks and providing, as such, significant advantages in terms of quality, cost, bandwidth and scalability.

Another available infrastructure is the Internet Gateway provided by Marconi Internet Direct (MID). This MID offers international Internet access without any kind of contention and using diversity in the access to international backbones.

The IP platform has its international connectivity distributed by: 3 PoPs (London, Amsterdam and Paris), peering connections with hundreds of major international ISPs and IP transits to Europe and the USA.

Madeira also offers low operational costs when in comparison with other European countries. In fact, the cost of human resources and the price of several goods and services are very competitive when directly compared with other European locations, allowing companies to face considerably lower costs when establishing operations in Madeira.

In addition to the above, a superb work-life balance is available to those wishing to make Madeira their home. This unique European island life-style sought by many is the reason for Madeira’s success.

If you are considering investing in Madeira, our team has more than 20 years of experience in assisting international investors and expats to make the right move. For more information please visit our website or contact us.

Source: SDM – Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira

Continue reading

Brexit and Residency in Madeira

Residency

Those who are resident in Madeira before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, are able to stay.

One must register as a resident in Madeira if one wants to stay for more than 3 months. To get a Registration Certificate (Certificado de Registo), go to your local City/Town Hall (Câmara Municipal). The documents needed for such Registration Certificate are:

  • proof of address
  • a valid passport
  • proof of earnings or evidence of sufficient means to support yourself and your family
  • proof of enrolment in a Portuguese school or university, if you are a student

Notwithstanding the above, some City or Town Halls are overzealous of their duties to register EU Citizens and may request additional documentation to be provided by the applicants. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you contact a local expert to guide you through the application process.

The certificate costs €15 for an adult and €7.50 for a child. This certificate is normally valid for 5 years.

After 5 years’ residency in Portugal, one can apply for a Permanent Residency Certificate (Autorização de Residência Permanente) also known as a residency card. Application must be submitted before one’s Registration Certificate expires at the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF).

For the purpose of applying for a Permanent Residency Certificate you will need:

  • registration certificate (Certificado de Registo)
  • a valid passport
  • two passport photographs
  • if you have changed your address, proof of your new address

The Permanent Residency Certificate can be used as proof of ID in Madeira/Portugal but not as a travel document. The Permanent Residency Certificate is valid for 10 years and renewal must be applied for at a SEF office.

Healthcare

In order to ensure one is properly registered for healthcare as a resident in Madeira registration at the local health centre (Centro de Saúde) is required. This registration will get one a user health number (Número de Utente de Saúde), provided a residence certificate and a passport are shown. Pensioners may be requested to present the European S1 Form to be issued by the UK’s health/social security authorities.

In addition to the above, we always recommend our clients to hire a private health insurance, in order to complement the public healthcare system and to avoid delays or waiting lists when dealing with urgent appointments/interventions.

The founding of Madeira Corporate Services (MCS) dates back to 1995. MCS started as a private and corporate service provider in the Madeira International Business Center and rapidly became one of the leading management firms. As a result of its position in the market, the quality of the services it has been providing for over a decade and full compliance with business ethics, MCS was awarded the Merit Certificate by SDM – Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira.

Taxes

Under the Portuguese Personal Income Tax Code an individual is considered to be resident for tax purposes in Madeira if:

  • Living more than 183 (consecutive or not) days in Portugal in any period of 12 months starting or ending in the relevant year;
  • When herein living for an inferior period, having, in any day of the 12 months threshold, a house in such conditions that allow to presume the intention to hold and occupy it as his habitual place of residence;

Given the above British citizens, as any expats, may be deemed tax residents in Madeira and therefore subject to personal income tax on their worldwide income at the progressive tax rates, that can go up to 48%. Nevertheless one can be entitled to the personal income tax benefits, generally speaking a 10-year tax holiday on their foreign income, available under the Non-Habitual Resident scheme.

It is therefore important to contact a local experienced tax advisor who can guide you through the taxation implications arising from residency.

sources: Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Norther Island in Lisbon & SEF

 

Continue reading

Starting a Business in Portugal

There are several ways one can start a business in company in Portugal, as the Portuguese Government aims at reducing bureaucracy for investors and as such it has implemented some quicker ways for investors to start a business.

Starting a business in Portugal (or Madeira), i.e. opening a company, is an easy process and we our team at MCS is ready to assist you. Nevertheless, regardless of the path you choose for your business you will always need the following documentation: a Portuguese Taxpayer Identification Number (also known as NIF) and a Portuguese Social Security Identification Number (also known as NISS).

Apart from all the standard bureaucracy associated with the process of starting a business in Portugal, potential investors ought to be aware of the corporate tax benefits existing in in the country, especially if they intend to mainly engage non resident clients (B2B or B2C), i.e. located outside Portuguese territory. In this regard the Madeira International Business Center, located in Madeira Island, offers a unique set of tax advantages in whole Europe, including the lowest corporate rate in the entire continent: 5% on all profit derived from non-resident entities.

When compared with the Portuguese mainland, Madeira Island offers better conditions for the purpose of starting a business than the rest of the Portuguese territory, not only from a tax stand point but also from an IT infrastructure standpoint and better work-life balance for investors and workers.

It is therefore no surprise that many expats opt to start a business in Madeira while choosing to live either on the island or on the Portuguese mainland. The is especially true when considering digital nomads, IT workers and other entrepreneurs that are not physically bound to a place to generate their income.

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, situated 625 miles (1 000 km) from Mainland Portugal and 545 miles (900 km) from North Africa. It consists of four islands: Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens. Madeira and Porto Santo are the only inhabited islands, while the Desertas and Selvagens islands are uninhabited natural. Madeira’s unique forest has been declared a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Madeira Island is the biggest and most important island of the archipelago with an area of 741 km2. Due to its subtropical climate and landscapes, it is known worldwide as an all year round tourist destination, thanks not only to its culture, but also spring-like climate.

Although it is an integral part of Portugal and subsequently of the European Union, where all laws applicable on the mainland also apply, Madeira is an Autonomous Region with its own government and parliament.

The population numbers approximately 289,000 inhabitants and its capital is the city of Funchal. Madeira’s Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport serves several daily flights to Lisbon and other major European cities. The official currency is the Euro and it is a civil law jurisdiction. A considerable part of the younger population is fluent in English.

Madeira’s economy is based on tourism, wine production and the International Business Centre of Madeira (MIBC). Created at the beginning of the eighties, the MIBC has proved to be a success and currently represents around 21% of the Regional Gross Domestic Product.

The highly advantageous tax regime, for corporations and individuals, in addition to competitive operating costs, makes Madeira an attractive center for international investment.

The founding of Madeira Corporate Services (MCS) dates back to 1995. MCS started as a private and corporate service provider in the Madeira International Business Center and rapidly became one of the leading management firms. As a result of its position in the market, the quality of the services it has been providing for over a decade and full compliance with business ethics, MCS was awarded the Merit Certificate by SDM – Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira.

auctor Miguel Pinto-Correia

Continue reading

Americans Moving to Portugal

In recent months we have seen a trend of Americans moving to Portugal or inquiring about the advantages available to them in this European Union Member-State.

Portugal itself is a unique budget destination, having a surprisingly affordable cost of living, and an ideal place to either retire and invest in the sun, by providing unique tax benefits for those effectively relocating to the country. But what many Americans do not know is that Portugal’s Pearl of the Atlantic, Madeira Island, offers all the perks available in the mainland and sophisticated and affordable Island living.

Just under a two-hour flight from Lisbon, Madeira Island combines European flare, tropical vibes and unique tax perks for expats wishing to retire or find peace of mind to conduct their business from the comfort of a peaceful island connected directly to other major European capitals—including Paris, Brussels, London, Berlin, and Zürich.

Getting Residency in Madeira

Unless you also hold a European Union passport or your spouse is an European Union citizen, you will have to, generally speaking, apply for a residency visa at the Portuguese Embassy with jurisdiction over of the country where you currently live.

There are different types of visa that you can choose from including passive income visa (also known as a D7), visa to conduct business (either as a free-lancer or as a business owner), among others. Alternatively once can also apply for a Residency Permit for Investment Purposes, also known as the Golden Visa, therefore skipping application for a visa with the Portuguese Embassy prior to travelling to Madeira.

Digital Nomads and Pensioners

Digital nomads and pensioners wishing to relocate to Madeira Island, Portugal, may be eligible to the very sought after Non-Habitual Resident scheme, a set of tax benefits available to those effectively taking up tax residency on the island. Under the NHR scheme foreign sourced income is exempt from personal income taxation in Portugal (Madeira island included), while some types of Portuguese sourced income may be subject to special flat rates.

To digital nomads and internet entrepreneurs, who usually need a good internet connection to generate their income, Madeira offers incredible internet speeds, when compared to mainland Europe. This is because Madeira benefits from a Submarine Cable Station, hosted in the “Madeira Datacenter”, operating several international optical submarine cables, allowing interconnectivity with national and international SDH networks and providing, as such, significant advantages in terms of quality, cost, bandwidth and scalability.

Another available infrastructure is the Internet Gateway provided by Marconi Internet Direct (MID). This MID offers international Internet access without any kind of contention and using diversity in the access to international backbones.

The IP platform has its international connectivity distributed by: 3 PoPs (London, Amsterdam and Paris), peering connections with hundreds of major international ISPs and IP transits to Europe and the USA.

On the other hand, pensioners (and digital nomads) moving to the island will be surprised with the stress-free day-to-day life and the cultural offerings are immensely diverse for an island. Museums with Flemish and religious art, churches hosting organ music festivals, monthly symphonic orchestra and chamber music concerts, gastronomical and traditional folk festivals throughout the year, and recurring art exhibitions are just some examples of Madeira’s active cultural scene.

Launching your business

Unlike the Portuguese mainland, Madeira Island offers unique tax perks to those wishing to open a company in Portugal. Benefiting from a unique tax regime, known as the Madeira International Business Center (MIBC), Madeira is the only region in Portugal offering a 5% corporate income tax rate to companies whose profits are derived from non-resident entities.

English is the way

The strong bond with the British community is also seen in Madeira’s medical and law sectors. You’ll have no trouble finding English-speaking doctors or lawyers catering to the expat community.

If you are looking into relocating with your kids you will be pleased to know that Madeira has international kindergartens and schools offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

With rents and restaurant prices an average 10.5% lower than those in the Algarve, and up to 80,5% lower than in Lisbon, Madeira is one of the most affordable places to spend live in this part of the world. Utility costs are lower here, too — electricity is as much as 21.8% lower than in the Algarve, internet 11.2% less costly.

The founding of Madeira Corporate Services (MCS) dates back to 1995. MCS started as a private and corporate service provider in the Madeira International Business Center and rapidly became one of the leading management firms. As a result of its position in the market, the quality of the services it has been providing for over a decade and full compliance with business ethics, MCS was awarded the Merit Certificate by SDM – Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira.

auctor Miguel Pinto-Correia

Continue reading