Select your country to learn about local service, view local news and customer and receive support, all in your preferred language.

Navigating the Portuguese Freelance Landscape: Insights from Pedro Viegas, Business Development Manager at Hightekers

Last Updated
May 9, 2024
Go Back Blog

In this interview with Pedro Viegas, Business Development Manager for Portugal at Hightekers, we delve into the dynamic world of freelancing in Portugal. From emerging trends and legal frameworks to the unique advantages Portugal offers to freelancers, Pedro provides invaluable insights for both local and international professionals seeking to establish themselves in this burgeoning market.


What are some of the key trends you’re observing in the Portuguese freelance landscape?


“Portugal’s freelance market is booming! One key trend is that freelancers are increasingly aware of the benefits, like working on multiple projects for diverse clients. This fosters a broader skill set and keeps their work exciting. Additionally, the market is evolving in terms of skill requirements. Projects are becoming more specific, demanding expertise tailored to market sectors, company structures, and individual project needs. This shift requires both freelancers and companies to be more agile and adaptable.”


What are some of the factors that make Portugal an ideal place for freelancers to live and work?


“Portugal truly offers an ideal environment for international freelancers. The fantastic weather, delicious food, and welcoming locals create a vibrant atmosphere. Fluency in English and Spanish further enhances communication. Portugal stands out as a pioneer for digital nomads, offering various programs that connect professional aspirations with a fantastic quality of life.”


Can you walk us through the legal framework for freelancers in Portugal?  


“As Hightekers’ Portuguese Business Development Manager, I can guide you towards key information. Freelancers in Portugal typically operate under the ‘Empresário em Nome Individual’ (ENI) regime, similar to a sole proprietorship. This structure has implications for taxes, social security, and work permits. In terms of taxes, freelancers pay income tax (IRS) based on their annual earnings. Depending on your profession, there might be tax benefits available. For social security, freelancers have the option to contribute to the voluntary system, gaining access to health coverage and pension benefits. Work permit requirements vary depending on your citizenship. EU citizens can work freely in Portugal, while non-EU citizens might require a work visa.”


How Portugal differentiates from similar economies/markets?


“Portugal offers several advantages compared to similar markets. The cost of living is generally lower than in many European countries. The government actively supports freelancers and entrepreneurs. Additionally, Portugal boasts a growing tech scene and a pool of skilled professionals, fostering collaboration opportunities for freelancers.”


Can you explain the key differences between freelance work and self-employment in Portugal and the implications for workers?


“There’s a subtle difference between freelance work and self-employment in Portugal. Both involve working independently for multiple clients. However, self-employment often implies a more established business structure, while freelancing might be more project-based. The key distinction lies in the legal structure. The Empresa de Responsabilidade Limitada (ERL) offers self-employed individuals some liability protection but comes with more administrative burdens. Conversely, the Empresário em Nome Individual (ENI) is a simpler option for freelancers, requiring less setup but offering no separate legal entity from the individual. In Portugal, companies (resident or non-resident with a permanent establishment) are responsible for paying the Corporate Income Tax (IRC- Imposto sobre o Rendimento das Pessoas Coletivas).”


How can Hightekers specifically assist freelancers who are looking to establish themselves in Portugal?


“Embarking on a freelance journey in Portugal can be daunting due to the intricacies of legal procedures and paperwork. At Hightekers, we recognize this challenge and strive to simplify the process for IT and Tech professionals who are already engaged with clients and projects and are seeking to establish themselves in Portugal.

One of the primary obstacles faced by freelancers is navigating the complexities of business structures and managing associated paperwork. Hightekers offers an innovative solution by providing a permanent contract option, liberating freelancers from the burdensome tasks of invoicing, financial management, project procurement, and delivering excellent work for their clients.

Moreover, we assign a dedicated point of contact at Hightekers to address all administrative and financial requirements. What sets us apart is the perfect blend of security and flexibility we provide. With Hightekers, you gain the assurance of a permanent contract while retaining the freedom to select your clients and projects.

Additionally, we facilitate networking among IT and Tech freelancers, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, thereby enhancing professional growth and opportunities for all involved.”

Ready to make your mark in Portugal’s freelance scene?

Contact us to learn more

Share this story

Get in touch to know more

    Ao submeter o teu endereço de e-mail e quaisquer outras informações pessoais neste website, dás consentimento a que tais informações sejam tratadas de acordo com a nossa Política de Privacidade e os Termos e Condições neles constantes.