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Freelancers flock to Portugal to enjoy sites from golden beaches to stunning mediaeval castles. Portugal has much to offer freelancers; from cities, cobblestone villages and its excellent food and culture.

Foreign workers and freelancers in Portugal

Portugal has a flat tax rate of 20% that is available to foreigners working with a full time contract in the country. This is something that freelancers generally can’t take advantage of, but something that you can benefit from if you are part of the Hightekers network as you are a full time employee with a full time contract through us. 

Outside of the network, in Portugal freelancers must take out various insurance policies relating to their specific work activities and also health insurance. The specific policies you will need will vary depending on what your specific area of expertise is and the local tax offices will be able to tell you exactly what you need. 

You would also need to register your business with Portuguese tax authorities, filling out a form at the local tax office (or DRF – Direcção Regional de Finanças). The form will cover personal information and basic details about your business activity. 

Foreign workers in Portugal have the same rights and obligations as nationals and all you would need is a work visa or to be an EU citizen to qualify for these. There is also a new law that allows foreign job-seeker visas that are valid for 120-180 days, as well as a temporary stay and residence visa for digital nomads working remotely for clients outside of Portugal which may be useful depending on your circumstances. 

Quality of life in Portugal

Portugal is considered to have a comparatively high standard of living compared with the rest of the world and is also a popular destination for those looking to retire and move abroad, with many citing a relatively low cost of living as a main incentive. It is reportedly a very safe country to live in and the population is generally highly supportive of foreigners, visitors and immigrants.

Infrastructure in Portugal

Broadband internet is widely available across all of Portugal with a 95% penetration rate with 86% of households being capable of joining a network with gigabit connection speeds, making it one of the leaders in Europe for connectivity. Approximately 99% of the country also has access to 4G mobile networks and the government has been making a push for increased 5G coverage since 2020. 

Transport in Portugal

Public transport between major cities in Portugal is reliable and easy to use, although getting to smaller villages and more rural areas can prove difficult as public transport coverage tends to be more patchy here. The rail network is comparatively old, so there are less options for high speed rail here, but to mitigate this it is very cheap to use with additional discounts often available for booking in advance. 

Cost of living in Portugal

Portugal enjoys the lowest cost of living in Western Europe, particularly when it comes to housing and accommodation, with housing costs being approximately 40% lower than they are in the UK as an example. Prices do jump up a bit when looking at Lisbon and the one area that things can get expensive is around healthcare as there is no public health system, making health insurance a smart investment with more serious health issues often coming with a high price ticket.

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