Doing business

Current business situation

Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU) and is subject to EU trade regulatory requirements.

EU Member States are the main sources of foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly Luxembourg, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Germany. Investment promotion remains a high priority for the government, as well as exporting to overseas markets. (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Portugal country brief, Nov 2014)

Business culture

The Portuguese are more formal in conducting business than Australians. Business dress in is quite formal e.g. suit and tie for men and fashionable, but conservative wear for women.

Business contacts are not normally addressed on a first name basis in initial contact. Titles are widely used (e.g. Dr, Prof) in meetings, interviews and correspondence.

The Portuguese are thorough in their examination of business arrangements and you should pay close attention to non-price terms in contracts such as delivery times, currency, payment terms, credit checking, etc.

Punctuality expected and great emphasis is placed on establishing the right connections and building strong relationships.

Most Portuguese business contacts have a good level of English, however it is courteous to ask before meeting.

August is the traditional month for vacations so it is advisable to plan businesses visits either before mid-July or after mid-September.

Setting up in Market

AICEP Portugal Global has information for those considering setting up a business.

Banking and finance

Associação Portuguesa de Bancos (APB - Portuguese Banking Association) is the main body representing the Portuguese banking sector.

For a list of member banks and regulatory bodies, visit APB.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

Australian Embassy in Lisbon
Portuguese Government
AICEP – Portuguese Trade & Investment Promotion Agency
Portuguese Australian Chamber of Commerce
EU Customs

News and media

A list of major Portuguese newspapers and news media.

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.