The ramifications of Brexit are only just starting to be revealed, but many U.K. businesses are having to look at the possibility of relocating or setting up an office in the E.U. If you are thinking of relocating or starting a business in Europe, then Lisbon is one of the cities which you should consider.
In recent years, the British have developed something of a love affair with Portugal and in 2020 around 13,000 of us acquired residency permits in order to live there permanently. The country’s charms are well known: 300 days of sunshine a year, 1000 miles of stunning coastline and outstanding food and wine, but Portugal has far more to offer than just a glorious beach holiday. In the last ten years, Lisbon has gone from a decaying capital city to a European property hotspot, with property prices nearly doubling since 2016. A flood of foreign investment, driven by the country’s generous Golden Visa scheme, has seen the coastal capital become one of the most vibrant, multicultural cities in Europe and an excellent location in which to start your business.
Save money on operating costs
Despite the year-on-year increase in property prices, Lisbon is still one of the cheapest cities in Europe in which to acquire office space. Pre covid, the average cost of U.K. office space was 1513 euros per square metre, per month, whilst in Portugal, that cost drops to just 288 euros. In addition, the city has a pool of well-educated employees, an impressive 53% of people between the ages of 20 and 30 are STEM graduates. The attractions of Lisbon have also attracted tech talent from around the world. A ‘Non-Habitual Resident’ tax status means that foreign workers are taxed at a 20% flat rate and any income earned outside of the country is tax exempt. The bonus for the employer is that these skilled workers can be hired for some of the cheapest software engineer salaries in Europe. To top off these economic incentives, the average cost of living in Portugal is 31% cheaper than that of the U.K.
Your business will be welcome
The Portuguese government has worked hard to ensure that foreign business is made welcome and that there is plenty of support for start-ups. There are already a significant number of co-working spaces and start-up hubs in the city and the Beato Creative Hub is a giant new hub being built on the banks of the Tagus. English is widely spoken and there are well established business networks to help you get established. The ‘Fiscal Portal’ allows freelancers to invoice customers directly, whilst small businesses can make use of ‘Invoice Express’.
Lisbon is a European tech hub
The arrival of tech giants Amazon and Google is an indication of the city’s increasing importance in the tech world and the hosting of ‘Websummit’, which will have its home in Lisbon for the next ten years is further confirmation that this is a city of the future.