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Portugal

Access to finance

Updated 12/2013

Access to EU finance

This site will help you to apply for finance supported by the European Union. To access EU finance, click on your country to locate banks or venture capital funds that provide finance supported by the EU:

Access to EU finance

National sources of finance

In order to counter the effects of the global financial crisis, which significantly worsened in depth and extent from the last quarter of 2008, the government adopted the budget programme known as the Investment and Employment Initiative (IIE). This represents the national contribution to the European coordinated anti-cyclical effort.

Public finance

Indirect support

To support the creation of new businesses, the Institute for Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Innovation (IAPMEI) set up the FINICIA Programme, which provides access to finance and help with obtaining venture capital or secured credit.

The SME Invest Credit Lines are intended to facilitate access for SMEs to bank loans, particularly by subsidising interest rates and reducing the risk of banking operations by using the guarantee facilities of the National Mutual Guarantee System, which covers up to 50% of the outstanding capital.

Under the SME Invest agreements, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. has set up credit lines specifically for the tourism sector, which are intended to support investment and strengthen the fixed capital of businesses.

It is also involved in Mutual Guarantee Associations, which aim to facilitate the provision of guarantees to tourism businesses, under more favourable conditions.

Through the Tourism Enterprise Support Office, the Information Department of Turismo de Portugal is providing comprehensive support and information to businesses intending to invest in the tourism sector.

The SME Guarantee Programme aims to strengthen credit insurance facilities by supporting guarantees provided by the National Mutual Guarantee System or directly by the State, allowing businesses to access, under more favourable conditions, credit insurance instruments provided by national insurance companies.

Direct support

The Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) has a programme of support for local employment initiatives. New business operators can obtain two years of guaranteed finance for their business operations.

The IEFP is also providing finance for staff recruitment, with vocational training programmes such as the programme to encourage vacancies.

Using its own funds, Turismo de Portugal, I.P. offers two distinct support lines intended for tourism businesses: the Credit Line for Investment in Tourism (Bank Agreements) for investments in start-ups, requalification and modernisation, and Line II - Support for Events to Promote Portugal as a Destination, as part of the Tourism Action Programme (PIT).

Through the Tourism Enterprise Support Office, the Information Department of Turismo de Portugal is providing comprehensive support and information to businesses intending to invest in the tourism sector.

The Business Gateway has information on mergers that can give entitlement to tax benefits.

In terms of internationalisation, various financial instruments have been developed: AICEP Portugal Global offers tax benefits; and the Fund for the internationalisation of Portuguese business has been set up by the Portuguese Government and various financial institutions intending to take part in internationalisation projects.

Within the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), a programme entitled SME Incentive Scheme - Incentive Scheme for the Qualification and Internationalisation of SMEs - has been introduced to support various investment projects, including internationalisation.

The creation of technology-based businesses is supported by the NEOTEC Initiative of the Innovation Agency.

The Support Fund for Financing Innovation (FINOVA) was set up in 2008 to support small and medium-sized enterprises, with the aim being to boost the finance available for innovation-focused projects.

Within the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the Incentive Scheme for Innovation has been created to support innovation investment focused on the production of new goods, services and processes.

As the European Economic Area increasingly becomes a single market, the number of competing businesses is growing and it is becoming ever more difficult to stand out. As a result, in order to strengthen the competitive position of your business, the Tax Incentive Scheme for R&D (SIFIDE) supports investment in research and development (R&D).

Industrial research and/or pre-competitive development are also supported by an incentive scheme for business modernisation, which aims to reinforce productivity and competitiveness.

The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) manages the grant programme for financing research projects.

Businesses in financial difficulty can get help from the Institute for Support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Innovation (IAPMEI), through its Business Revitalisation and Modernisation Incentive Scheme (SIRME), which tries to integrate these businesses within larger structures.

Businesses in the process of applying for insolvency can use the IAPMEI’s Out-of-Court Conciliation Procedure (PEC) to negotiate with creditors. An application needs to be presented, together with a five-year business plan.

Access to EU finance

Within the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the business investment incentive schemes of the Competitiveness Agenda have been relaxed by introducing measures aimed at responding to the current economic and financial crisis. These measures are intended to stimulate the recovery of the European economy and adapt the NSRF conditions and rules on supporting investment in exports and job creation.

These measures are allowing incentive rates to be increased, while respecting the applicable EU limits, and are introducing more favourable conditions to ensure that approved projects make progress.

The NSRF Business Investment Incentive Scheme is one of the fundamental instruments within the public policies to stimulate the economy, particularly in terms of promoting innovation and regional development.

The management of these Incentive Schemes requires coordination between national and regional bodies, as follows: National Management (projects developed by medium-sized and large enterprises) and Regional Management (projects developed by micro- and small enterprises).

The specific regulations for each of these Incentive Schemes are subject to all the rules laid down in the National Framework of Business Investment Incentive Schemes.

Bearing in mind the different stages of development and level of integration in the global market, three Incentive Schemes have been created.

The Incentive Scheme for Research and Technological Development in Business aims to boost the national R&TD effort and develop new knowledge in order to increase the competitiveness of businesses, by linking these with bodies within the Science and Technology System (SCT).

The Incentive Scheme for Innovation aims to foster innovation within the business fabric through the production of new goods, services and processes, by supporting their progress within the value chain and helping to target them at international markets, as well as stimulating qualified entrepreneurship and structural investment in new areas with growth potential.

The Incentive Scheme for the Qualification and Internationalisation of SMEs aims to develop the competitiveness of SMEs by improving their productivity, flexibility, responsiveness and active presence on the global market.

The support provided by these Incentive Schemes will be boosted by complementary instruments, such as Collective Efficiency Strategies , which are either territory- or sector-based, and Collective Actions.

Private finance

  Venture Capital Firms (SCR) are a type of business financing involving equity, with a medium- or long-term horizon. A partner comes into the business, normally with a minority holding, but who is committed to the success of the business and therefore to actively assisting it. These SCRs are dedicated to supporting those businesses that do not have access to capital markets, in particular SMEs.

A venture capital operation involves taking a minority holding in the capital of a business, ensuring financial support for its development. The aim is to enhance the value of the business so that the SCR’s holding can, in the medium- to long-term, be sold at a profit.

The Tourism Property Investment Funds involve operations to purchase and lease properties used for tourist activities, allowing separation between ownership of the property assets and hotel management.

This type of operation provides businesses with the cashflow needed to develop new projects, reducing their financial effort to levels appropriate to their size and allowing them to concentrate their resources on managing the business.

Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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