The access and exercise of professions in Portugal is free in accordance with the constitutional principle of freedom of choice of profession.

Only in regulated professions requirements of access and exercise for certain professions are necessary.

In Portugal, a regulated profession is defined as one where access and the exercise are restricted to those who meet the professional qualifications required by law. It can be attributed to a public professional association or other competent authority.


In situations of regulated professions, the recognition of professional qualifications is subject to compliance with the provisions of Law no. 9/2009, of March 4, with the amendments of Laws no. 41/2014, of 28 August, 25/2014, of 2 May and 26/2017, of 30 May, transposing Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. The recognition of professional qualifications is on the responsibility of each of the national competent authorities, according to the identified list of regulated professions.

In Portugal, the Coordinator of the Diretive 2005/36/CE is DGERT - Directore General for Employment and Industrial Relations.

Guide to Recognition of professional qualifications.


The European Professional Card (EPC) is an electronic certificate proving that the professional fulfils all the necessary conditions to provide services in a Member State, on a temporary and occasional basis, or that the professional meets all the conditions for establishment in a host Member State.

It is a simpler and faster procedure to manage than traditional recognition procedures and is also more transparent, allowing the professional to follow up on their online application and re-use the documents to initiate new applications in different member states.

For the moment, you can use de EPC procedure only if you are:

  • A nurse responsible for general care
  • A pharmacist
  • A physiotherapist
  • A mountain guide
  • A real estate agent

For more information please check European Comission's website.


The Decree-Law no. 37/2015, 10 of March, establishes the regime of access and exercise of professions and professional activities. The Law no. 2/2013, 10 of January, establishes the legal regime for the creation, organization and operation of public professional associations.


  • DPPrior Declaration - Declaration that the service provider makes when first travelling to the national territory to inform the authority competent for the profession in question.
  • LSFreedom to Provide Services - A fundamental right of all service providers (covered by the Directive) previously and legally established in any Member State (MS) to provide services in another MS directly or through a commissioner, without establishing themselves in the economic and legal sense. These services may be provided on a temporary / occasional and sporadic basis, the service providers being able to equip themselves with the necessary infrastructure to fulfill the services in question.
  • LEFreedom of Establishment - The fundamental right of all service providers to establish themselves in the territory of a Member State.
  • EPCEuropean Professional Card


The mission of the assistance centres is to provide citizens with the necessary information on the recognition of professional qualifications. The assistance centre in Portugal is provided by the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training, I.P.