The most common legal structures according to Portuguese law are the private limited company (Lda) and the share company (S.A).  However, two other legal structures are widely used to operate in Portugal and in the institutional framework of Madeira’s International Business Centre. These are the branch and the S.G.P.S. (Shareholdings Management Company).


Private limited company (Lda): There must have at least one shareholder and a minimum capital of one Euro per shareholder, without obligation to appoint directors, because the minimum requirement is to appoint a manager who has the power, by law, to undertake the management of the company according to its object;
Share Company (S.A.): It can also be incorporated with one shareholder and a minimum capital of 50.000,00 Euro. The management of this company is guaranteed by a board of directors. It is needed only one director if the share capital does not exceed 200 thousand euro;
Branches: They have no minimum capital requirements;
SGPS (Portuguese pure holding company): It must have the legal form of an S.A. or Lda. and the only object must be the management of shares held in other companies, although it can provide services or, in some cases, lend credit to the companies in which it holds shares.