Entrepreneur and Freelance Visa in Portugal

Immigration advice for non-EU nationals who want to work for themselves in Portgual

Our team of immigration lawyers are here to turn your business idea to reality in Portugal with advice and guidance on obtaining a D2 Visa for self-employed or freelance work.

How can a lawyer help with the Entrepreneur Visa?

Our Portuguese Immigration experts can help you by sharing their knowledge and dedication to obtaining the right visa for you. We understand what the public administrations and officials are looking for when applicants are filing for visas. We have authentic relationships with commercial and immigration offices, so we know how to navigate the complications and hurdles with ease. For this services, we typically help with requesting a Portuguese tax ID number, also known as NIF, opening a bank account, creating a company, organizing a fiscal representative and filing for the visa and residence permit. For freelancers, we also help enrol them on the respective legal association that governs their liberal profession.

¨We will be with you each step of the journey.¨


What is an Entrepreneur & Freelance Visa?

Like Portugal’s other visa pathways, the Portugal D2 visa is aimed at third country nationals from outside the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland.  

The Portugal D2 visa is designed for people who want to open a new business in Portugal, set up a Portuguese branch of an existing business, or move to Portugal to run a business that already exists.  In light of that, the D2 is also known as the Entrepreneur Visa.

Unlike the Golden Visa, you won’t need to make a hefty investment in Portugal to get the D2 visa. And unlike the D7 visa, you don’t need to prove a source of regular passive income.

Instead, getting the Portugal D2 visa mainly depends on having a viable business that you can run in Portugal. The business can be anything from a coffee shop to a wellness retreat to a real estate agency – there are no restrictions. 

If you plan to start your own business or work as a freelancer while in Portugal, you will need a visa to legally perform independent professional activity or entrepreneurial work. This is called a D2 visa and there is one for entrepreneurs and another for freelancers. 

You may will be free to work in the field of your choice in Portugal and register with Portugese Social Security for benefits like parental and sickness leave.

You must be able to demonstrate the viability of your project in Portugal with a business plan for an entrepreneur visa. You must also incorporate a company by registering it in the Commercial Register. Our Corporate law Department can help you set up the company remotely by means of a simple power of attorney before you move to Portugal.

In Portugal, there is some discretion when verifying and assessing the economic and employment benefit that the business activity will bring. However, most of the time, the application’s chances of success are enhanced by how qualified the service provider is or the scale of need for the business in the country. 

For the Freelance visa, it is necessary to register with the Tax Office and pay contributions directly to the Social Security Service.

Why is this visa attractive?

The applicant doesn’t need to prove that they have a source of passive income nor do they have to work a large investment in Portugal, which are requirements for the Golden Visa. It also is a pathway to citizenship after five years and is a great fit for entrepreneurs and existing business owners.

Who is elegible?

The D2 visa is available to any non-EU citizen who is planning to launch a business in Portugal that  can be considered of “general interest”. Typically, the project must be innovative, brings new scientific or technological advancements, has a significant economic impact or has the potential to create many new jobs in Portugal.

The visa is intended for new businesses, startups, independent professionals, immigrant entrepreneurs, company managers, shareholders, partners, and board members.

Independent professional activity means that performed by autonomous professionals, or freelancers, who offer their services to clients. These clients can be individuals or companies and there’s a fixed price for the work.

Independent professions like IT specialisation, plumber, carpenter, technicians are eligible. In this same category are also included lawyers, architects, physicians and engineers, who are independent professionals, but who exercise their professional activity bound to previous registration in the respective Professional Order.

Should I apply for an entrepreneur visa or a work visa?

The D2 visa is for independent workers or those who will incorporate a company in Portugal. If you are moving to Portugal with an employment contract, you would need a highly-qualified activity work visa, or D3 visa. 

With the D2 visa, you can either incorporate a company or work as an independent worker and in both cases, no need for a contract with a Portuguese company. 

We recommend this visa if your priority is to work on your activity, project or idea from the day you arrive in Portugal and you consider you can fulfil the “general interest” requirement.

How does the process of obtaining an entrepreneur or freelance visa work?

First of all, the applicant has to either create a company, which we can advise on and execute, or enrol with the correct professional organization for freelancers. 

Once the applicant established the company or has signed a contract delivering services as a liberal professional, they can apply for a visa at the Portuguese Consulate or Embassy in their home country. 

After the respective D2 visa has been issued, the applicant can travel to Portugal and make an appointment at the Portuguese Border and Immigration Service, called SEF. At this appointment, the applicant will submit their residence permit application, collect biometric data and deliver the documentation. 

After the appointment, the application is analyzed internally and the applicant is notified of the decision of approval. They then receive the residence card. 

The Entrepreneur route for the D2 visa: 

– Get a NIF (tax number in Portugal) 

– Set up a business bank account at a Portuguese bank

– Create a Portuguese limited company (LDA) 

– Appoint an accountant who understands the Portuguese tax system 

– Show evidence of having sufficient financial means to set up and run the company.  Incorporating a company in Portugal requires paying corporation tax every year as well as social security contributions.

The Independent service provider route for the D2 visa: 

– Get a NIF (tax number in Portugal) 

– Set up a bank account at a Portuguese bank

– Show proof of relevant experience or qualifications in your field, like an academic degree or CV 

– Show proof of a contract with one or more clients

Requirements for Entrepreneur Visa

There are a few main requirements. Firstly, if you plan to be entrepreneurial and launch a company, the business must be incorporated. If, however, you are a freelancer you can have a contract to provide services in a liberal profession, like a journalist, a lawyer or doctor.

Both types of D2 visa require a legal qualification to perform any independent professional activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, your family members can request a residence permit through family reunification.

The residence permit’s holder cannot be absent from the country for more than six months in a row or eight months combined. These time limits may be excluded if it is proven that during the absence of Portugal the applicant has developed a professional, business, cultural or social activity.

Yes, within 90 or 30 days before the residence card expires. 

Yes, after five years of legal residence in Portugal it is possible to request Portuguese Nationality.


We are a department formed by qualified legal experts who have been trained in the field of immigration law. We work on these requests every day and it’s our passion. For us, Lexidy is a way of life and what excites us the most is to be able to deliver the happiness and satisfaction of a successful immigration process. We want to help you achieve your goals and dreams.


Vasco Dias

Legal Trainee

Jonato Xavier

Head of Immigration Department

Lidiane Carvalho

Legal Trainee

Thabata Mota


Vasco Dias

Vasco was born and raised in Lisbon and graduated from the University of Coimbra, with a Master’s degree in Sports Management. During that period he had the opportunity to live in London and Genova. Since 2018 he is a member of the Portuguese Bar Association (OA) and as a Lawyer, he has worked with Sports Law, Immigration and Real Estate. Vasco considers working with international clients to be the best part of his job, allowing him to merge his professional abilities with his interest in distinct cultures and the specific needs of each client. He just moved to Barcelona.
Languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian.

Legal Trainee

Jonato Xavier

Jonato Xavier is originaly from Timor-Leste and studied Law at the University of Porto, Portugal. He has been living in Portugal since 2017. Now he is working as a legal trainee in the Department of Immigration giving assistance and learning from the best. He is fond of classic literature. As he wants to pursue Public International Law, working with Lexidy is a great asset to his future academic path. Languages: Portuguese, English, Tetum, Spanish and Indonesian.

Head of Immigration Department

Lidiane Carvalho

Born in Rio de Janeiro, graduated in Law and Specialist in Environmental Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) she is a Master in Environmental Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and PhD candidate in Social Sciences from the University of Coimbra (UC). Researcher at Nova Law Green Lab at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Lawyer in Portugal with expertises in the areas of foreigners’ law, direct Portuguese nationality and real estate law. She is fond of traveling and a great colleague to be around. Languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish.

Legal Trainee

Thabata Mota

Thabata is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. She is studying Law at University of Lisbon and she has been living in Lisbon since 2018. She works in the Immigration Department as a legal trainee. She was working mainly with Customer Journey which allowed her to realize the importance of the clients experience in parallel of the legal aspect. Moreover, she is passionate about immigration law, human rights and anthropology. Languages: Portuguese, English and French


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