Recognition of Startup and Scale Up Status

The Law no. 21/2023, of May 25th, has defined the legal concepts of startup and scale up and has established the regime of recognizing such status. Here you can find out everything on how to recognize the status of your startup or scale up.

Startup Portugal helps you step by step in obtaining the recognition of your startup or scale up. You can apply for your status on the e-Portugal portal.

Start your process here

Requirements for recognition of startup status:

  • To be a legally incorporated entity in Portugal;
  • Be less than 10 years old;
  • Have fewer than 250 employees;
  • Have a turnover of less than 50 million;
  • Not be the product of a demerger or transformation of a large company, and not have a direct or indirect majority shareholding in a large company
  • Meet one of the following conditions:
    • It is an innovative company with a high growth potential, with an innovative business model, products or services, and which has been recognized as suitable by ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação, S. A., in the practice of research and development activities or certification of the process of recognition of companies in the technology sector;
    • Has completed at least one round of venture capital funding;
    • Has received investment from Banco Português de Fomento, S. A., or from funds managed by it, or by its subsidiaries, or from one of its equity or quasi-equity instruments.

(according to Law no. 21/2023)

Requirements for recognition of scaleup status:

If they are more than 10 years old, have more than 250 employees or a turnover of 50 million, entities can still apply for scaleup status if they are qualified to receive professionals under the Tech Visa and meet the other conditions of the Law.

How do I get my startup recognized?

1. Accessing the Single Public Services Portal

Go to and search for Startup and Scale Up Status.

2. Fill in the Form and Submit the Application

3. Issuing the certificate

Check the list of companies recognized with startup status

Get to know the companies that have the startup or scale up status in the table below or through this link.

Request for Prior Declaration from Startup Portugal

This process does not substitute the application for Startup or Scaleup recognition, but is an alternative for applicants who do not meet one of the requirements set out in paragraph 1 f) of Law 21/2023, while complying with all the others.

Start your process here.

Recognition Benefits

The Scientific Innovation and Innovation Tax Incentive (IFICI) is a new instrument that promotes the establishment of talent and skilled labour, particularly professionals who have been abroad for at least 5 years and join recognized startups. They can benefit from a rate of 20% on their personal income tax for 10 years.

Revision of the stock options regime, which now pays a single effective rate of 14% in IRS, and only at the time of liquidation.

Benefits under entrepreneurship and innovation programs such as Avançar or Mar2030.


  • Declaration of commencement of activity;
  • IES Declaration;
  • Permanent Certificate;
  • Have one of the following documents:
    • I-D Seal or Recognition of companies in the technology sector from ANI;
    • or documentary proof from IAPMEI or CMVM that you have received a round of funding from a venture capital, venture capital or business angel;
    • or documentary proof of investment by BPF;
  • Tech Visa certification (in the case of Scale Up recognition).