Public financial assistance for companies in Portugal

Public mechanisms exist to assist companies when starting up or developing their business strategies. Support is available on several websites, where you can find the appropriate funding and help for your company or business.

Public websites, incentive schemes and financial assistance

Incentive schemes

Incentive systems are tools providing financial support targeted at business development during the different phases in the life cycle of companies and in areas of competitiveness considered fundamental for operating in global markets.

On the IAPMEI website (Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation), incentive systems are available for various areas:

  • Corporate and Entrepreneurial Innovation: this assistance aims to encourage investment in productive innovation, promote qualified entrepreneurship and support the expansion of technology-intensive activities. It is divided into two systems:
  • SI Qualified and Creative Entrepreneurship - intended for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in operation for less than 2 years. 
  • SI Productive Innovation - beneficiaries are companies of any kind or legal form.
  • SME Qualification and Internationalisation: this support aims to promote SME competitiveness and productivity and develop their presence in the global market. It is also divided into two systems:
  • SI Qualification - individual project- beneficiaries of this measure are SMEs of any kind or legal form.
  • SI Qualification - joint project - beneficiaries of this measure are not-for-profit entities with specific expertise targeted at SMEs.
  • Research and technological development: promoting relationships between companies and scientific institutions and intensifying R&D (research and development) and creating knowledge are the aims of this support measure. You can choose between three support systems, as the recipients of these measures are companies of any kind or legal form:
  • SI R&D Companies
  • SI R&D Centres
  • SI Industrial Property

Financial support vouchers for companies

The Portuguese State also provides Vouchers, in a simplified incentive scheme to support the acquisition of consultancy services in the areas of Innovation, Qualification and R&DT (Research and Technological Development) from accredited entities.

Support in the search for investment

To reinforce national productivity and competitiveness, the Competitiveness Platform aims to facilitate the search for investment support for companies and entrepreneurs.

It provides information on financial support, allowing access to notices for applications under Portugal 2020 and other EU funding opportunities, including information on systems for welcoming businesses and technological infrastructure in Portugal, as well as national and international networks supporting competitiveness.

Targeting SMEs in particular, in the different stages of their development and investment, there is the Financing Portal which provides a variety of financing solutions with public support. 

The information is structured according to the needs of different companies, their investment strategies (growth, expansion, export, capitalisation, etc.), the size of the business or the sector of activity.

After simulating the most appropriate funding for your company or project, a wide range of solutions are presented, such as Mutual Guarantee, Credit Insurance, Venture Capital, Business Angels, Co-Investment Funds, Property Investment Funds, as well as tax incentives for investment and company capitalisation.

Assistance services

For more information or if you need help, please contact IAPMEI:

  • phone: 808 201 201 or 213 836 237, at working days from 9h to 18h
  • e-mail:

Management of assistance programmes

The entities responsible for managing the financial support programmes and hosting the projects are as follows:

  • IAPMEI -  one of the Intermediate Bodies of the Incentive Systems in Portugal 2020, more specifically in the Incentive Scheme for Corporate and Entrepreneurial Innovation, the Incentive Scheme for the Qualification and Internationalisation of SMEs and the System of Incentives for Research and Technological Development.
  • Turismo de Portugal - promotes innovation and entrepreneurship by accompanying and supporting tourism start-ups and supporting entrepreneurship through venture capital, real estate investment and mutual guarantee companies, in which they participate.
  • Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade - the agency responsible for dealing with all foreign investment projects in Portugal and, if necessary, channelling them to other entities depending on the project’s profile. This agency selects projects that best contribute to the competitiveness and sustainability of the Portuguese economy by contributing to the objectives of increasing Gross Value Added, reducing the trade deficit and creating jobs.

Applications for public financial support programmes

Applications for Compete2020 programmes must be registered on the Simplified Access Platform [SAP]

The goal of the Compete2020 platform is to ensure the right conditions with respect to competences, practices and institutional cooperation, for a selection of applications to create and aggregate value for innovative products and services and promoting territorial cohesion and integration. Depending on the type of tender/notice, this platform provides information on who can participate and recipients, in line with the incentive scheme.

To apply for the incentives presented through the Financing Portal, companies must register and submit applications via Balcão2020.

Companies applying for incentives must have an establishment (registered office or other establishment) in national territory and in the NUTS II regions (North, Centre, Lisbon Metropolitan Area, the Alentejo, the Algarve, the Azores or Madeira) considered eligible under the terms of the invitation to tender.

Assistance services

For more information or if you need help, please contact COMPETE 2020: