Bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most important hubs for startups and tech. With an economy that keeps growing, Portugal is a popular destination for digital nomads and workers at major tech companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.
Recently, remote work in Portugal is having a moment.
Nestled on the western coast of Europe, Portugal boasts a unique allure with its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, friendly people, and thriving urban centers. Portugal has embraced the global trend of remote work, offering an enticing environment where modern work styles intertwine with a high quality of life.
In this guide, we’ll break down everything there is to know about remote work in Portugal, as well as why building a remote work hub in Portugal may be a good option for your business.
Portugal is perfectly positioned for remote workers and companies looking to enter the European marketplace. Lisbon is consistently ranked #1 as being the best spot in the world for remote workers and digital nomads.
Companies that want to tap into this growing remote work hub can do so by partnering with a global EOR provider like Via.
An EOR is responsible for local HR processes, such as:
Maintaining compliance with local employment laws and other regulations
Drafting employment contracts in Portuguese
Managing payroll and taxes, including withholdings and deductions payments
Administering local benefits, such as private health insurance
Ensuring that work visas and permits are in order
Registering with local the social security system in Portugal, foreign tax authorities, and other government institutions
Portugal's combination of connectivity, skilled talent, welcoming environment, favorable regulations, affordability, and exceptional lifestyle make it a compelling choice for building a remote work hub.
The country's commitment to embracing the future of work and its efforts to accommodate the needs of remote professionals further solidify its status as an attractive destination for businesses seeking to establish a remote work presence here.
Portugal's strategic position on the western edge of Europe places it in a favorable time zone for collaboration with both the Americas and the rest of the EU. This allows for seamless communication and coordination across different regions, enhancing global business operations.
The country boasts a well-educated and skilled workforce proficient in various disciplines. This talent pool is not only adept at traditional roles but also well-suited for remote work, making it easier to find the right talent for your remote work hub.
Portugal has a thriving startup ecosystem and a culture of innovation. By establishing a remote work hub, businesses can tap into this ecosystem, fostering collaboration and potential partnerships with local startups and entrepreneurs.
Working remotely in Portugal is extremely easy compared to many other countries. The government recently introduced a simple digital nomad visa scheme for foreigners, and many businesses allow their employees to work remotely.
Here are some key points about remote work laws in Portugal:
Teleworking Framework Law (Lei do Trabalho em Teletrabalho): The main legal framework for remote work in Portugal is the Teleworking Framework Law, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of both employers and remote workers. This law establishes conditions for teleworking agreements, remote worker rights, data protection, and occupational health and safety.
Written Agreement: According to the Teleworking Framework Law, teleworking arrangements must be established through a written agreement between the employer and the teleworker. This agreement should specify the terms and conditions of the remote work arrangement, including working hours, equipment provision, communication channels, and reimbursement of expenses.
Equal Treatment: Remote workers in Portugal are entitled to the same rights and benefits as their in-office counterparts. This includes access to training, career development, and opportunities for professional advancement.
Data Protection: Employers must ensure data protection and confidentiality for remote workers based on regulations by the EU, especially when handling sensitive company information. Remote workers' privacy rights should be respected, and proper security measures should be in place to protect data.
Occupational Health and Safety: Employers are responsible for ensuring that remote workers have a safe and ergonomic working environment at home. This includes providing necessary equipment, addressing potential health and safety risks, and conducting risk assessments.
Right to Disconnect: Recently there has been discussion in Portugal about introducing a "right to disconnect" law, which would ensure that remote workers have the right to disconnect from work-related communications outside of their regular working hours. This is aimed at maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Taxation and Social Security: The tax implications for remote workers can be complex, especially for those working across borders. Portugal's Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime, for instance, offers tax benefits to qualifying remote workers, but this may have specific requirements and conditions.
Expats choose Portugal to work remotely for a variety of compelling reasons, ranging from the country's high quality of life and stunning natural beauty to its favorable tax policies and supportive expat communities.
Lisbon, Porto, and Braga all boast excellent co-working spaces with great high-speed internet and digital nomad communities.
Many expat communities have formed in Portugal, providing a supportive network for newcomers. These communities can be a great resource for making friends, sharing information, and participating in social activities.
Portugal consistently ranks high worldwide in terms of quality of life. Its mild climate, beautiful landscapes, and access to both beaches and mountains create a welcoming environment for expats seeking a balanced lifestyle.
Compared to many other Western European countries, Portugal offers a relatively affordable cost of living. Expats can enjoy a high standard of living without breaking the bank, which is particularly enticing for remote workers who want to maximize their earnings.
Portugal's time zone bridges the gap between the Americas and Europe, making it convenient for expats to work with colleagues or clients in various parts of the world if their company isn’t based in-country.
At the end of 2022, the Portuguese government passed legislation that created a specific visa targeted towards digital nomads. To qualify for this visa, you need to be a remote worker and be employed by a foreign country outside of Portugal.
Right now, there are two different types of digital nomad visas that you can apply for:
Short stay (temporary residence visa)
Residency visa/permit (permanent residence)
The short stay digital nomad visa allows you to live and work in the country for up to 12 months, with the option to renew every year for an additional 2 years. Without a visa, you can remain in Portugal for up to 90 continuous days.
If you plan to stay in Portugal for longer than 2 years, you should indicate in your initial application that you want to apply for a digital nomad visa, with the option to eventually apply for a permanent residency permit. This option will allow you to live and stay in Portugal permanently.
There are plenty of remote jobs available right now in Portugal on platforms like EU Remote Jobs, Net Empregos, or Expresso Emprego. Employers that want to hire in Portugal should post directly to these sites to garner interest from Portuguese workers.
Many companies also use social media and LinkedIn to post new jobs, so the job search in the country should be easier for both citizens and foreigners.
Popular remote jobs in the Netherlands include:
Social media marketing
Customer support at call centers
Popular companies hiring in Portugal
As a global employer-of-record provider, Via makes hiring Portuguese talent and building your global team seamless and fast. Whether you need to hire remote workers or independent contractors in Portugal, we can help you navigate the entire process.
Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity in Portugal, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.
With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors in Portugal with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace.