Online branch registration of foreign commercial companies

Decree-Law no. 109-D/2021 of December 9

This Decree-Law creates a system for the online registration of permanent representations of commercial companies established abroad, named “Online Branch”.

In order to respond to the economic and social challenges of the globalized and digital world and taking advantage of the existing digital tools and procedures to start an economic activity, with the approval of this legal document, limited liability companies with foreign headquarters may now register a branch in Portugal online, in a similar way to the existing online creation of Portuguese companies.

The registration is made through a website, to be defined by the ministerial order of the Minister of Justice, and the regime applies to companies established inside and outside the European Union.

This system intends to aid companies to expand their economic activities in foreign countries more easily, as well as to reduce the associated costs, administrative burdens and the duration of international expansion procedures.

For registration purposes, it will be necessary to electronically submit documents and information proving the legal existence of the represented company, its articles of association, the approval of the creation of the branch, the designation of its representatives and the declaration of acceptance of such designation.

The name or denomination on the branch registration must include the designation “permanent representation” or “branch” and interested parties may choose to provide e-mail addresses to be included in the registration certificate.

The amendments or registration requests regarding facts subsequent to the branch creation can also be made through the same online registration system.

After the application submission, the competent authority will proceed to register the branch in 10 days, if no information or documents are missing.

This decree-law enters into force on 10 December 2021.

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