Ownership of real estate in Portugal
In Portugal a few types of ownership are possible. The most common to own properties are:
- 1. Owned in personal name(s)
- 2. Owned by a white listed offshore company (Malta + Delaware)
- 3. Owned by a black listed offshore company ( see financas for further information)
- 4. Owned by a Portuguese company, normally an LDA (limited company)
With option 1 the IMT purchase taxes are applicable
Option 2 and 3 are basically anonymous ownerships whereby there is a transfer of shares. The shares own the company, and in turn, the company owns the property. The advantage is of not requiring a payment of the IMT tax and the disadvantage is that an offshore requires a yearly maintenance fee.
With option 4, becoming more common, also has no IMT costs when there are 2 shareholders purchasing the company. Often this sort of ownership is mostly used for commercial properties (B&B, hotels, etc), but it is also becoming a more common form of ownership for villas.