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set up a company in portugal
Daily life, Lifestyle, Tricks,

Set up a company in Portugal – my experience

Set up a company in Portugal – my experience

If you are a real estate investor, creating LLCs is really a must if you want to protect your assets and optimize taxes. I have created some companies up until this point (you can find out why in my book), and I can tell you that there are some differences to the US. I’d like to comment on those differences, as I have been working with RE investors from the US who want to create an LLC for every property. Well, in Portugal, that won’t do.

To set up a company in Portugal, you will incur the following costs:

  • €360 to register the company (LLC – which is called Lda);
  • €123-€300 to register a trademark (this depends on the sector, how protected you want it to be, etc)
  • €100-€200/mo to pay for an accountant (which is mandatory);

These are the mandatory costs (except for the trademark). However, note that you will also likely incur costs such as:

  • A salary. You don’t really have to have a salary – I don’t take any salary out of my companies. Note though that, if you do, you will have to pay for social security, medical insurance and what not. Your cost will be much higher than the salary per se.
  • Rent and utilities. Depending on the type of business you run, you may have to have a brick and mortar location. Even if you don’t have to have one, in most businesses they come in handy.
  • Advertising. This may be close to nothing or a lot. In my case, 95% of the costs of a company I run is advertising (it is a digital service, of course).
  • Bringing assets to the company. You need to pay about €50 per asset you bring to the company. This doesn’t include e-assets, fortunately. 😉
  • Insurances. Depending on the type of business you run, you may have to have insurances. I always have insurances in my companies, even if I don’t have to have them.
  • Legal advice. Unless you have a very basic type of business, today you’ll need legal counseling. This can be quite expensive as well.
  • Vehicles. Depending on the type of business you run, you may have to have vehicles to operate. I keep my companies super lean and I never bought any vehicle to any of my companies.
  • Taxes. There are two things you can’t escape in life: taxes and death.

As you see, the fact that you need to spend €100-€200 per month with an accountant, opening a company for every property usually doesn’t make sense, because your profit is wiped away by this fixed cost. At the same time, it typically only makes sense to set up an LLC when you reach 3 properties.

BTW, at the company level, in Portugal, prices are usually defined as the price + VAT. VAT is the value-added tax, which you may know as the goods and services tax (GST).

If you’re thinking about setting up a start-up in the US, check out this guide on the costs of opening a company.


Opening a company in Portugal comes at a cost (although I list multiple advantages below). Some of them include:

  • Print and send the physical copy of the invoices to the accountant, every single month.
  • Issue the digital compilation of the invoices and upload it to the tax office every three months.
  • Keep the books in order (even if you’re hiring an accountant).
  • You may be held accountable as a CEO, manager or partner, for multiple things within the company, including maximizing profit for shareholders in multiple states in the US. This became quite polemic after Martin Shkreli brought it up.
  • etc…

My companies

I have set up multiple companies in Portugal, and I have a main accountant which actually charges me €75 + VAT per extra company. I currently own or co-own the following companies:

I also think that there are multiple advantages to having companies (and multiple companies) including:


As I said, this blog belongs to a company that I use to collect royalties, online businesses, etc. This also protects me, as this asset belongs to a separate entity that doesn’t hold any of my assets.


If I want to charge money, I can. This wasn’t the case back in the day (as I couldn’t do business because I lacked a license or was employed on an exclusive contract with an employer).

Also, having multiple companies allows you to write off way more costs than when you don’t have these companies. For instance, as an individual, you can’t write off fees and interest with mortgages even if you do get mortgages for real estate investing. For me, that is a killer.

What about yourself? Do you own a company?

Let me know if the comments down below.



advertise real estate for free
Real Estate, Tricks,

Real estate free advertising… a crucial tool for landlords

Hi guys!

So I’ve been thinking about ways to minimize my vacancies on my rental properties. Up until now, I’ve had almost 100% occupancy rates, so this hasn’t been a problem for me yet. However, a savvy landlord has a load of free advertising strategies ready to use, should he need them.

Advertise real estate for free can be quite tricky, so over the last months, I decided to come up with a few methods that can be used. Check out the following strategies…

Create a facebook page

As I said before, Facebook pages are free (at least until now) and they are a great way to reach a lot of people. A Facebook page is a great asset because it will also provide you stats on the people who liked the page. Therefore, you can have a lot of people around the area you want to advertise your rental properties.

To grow a facebook you can use a number of strategies:

  1. Invite your friends to like it;
  2. Ask your friends to invite their friends to like it;
  3. Share posts/images within the page in Facebook groups.

I personally have more than 2500 people on my facebook pages to advertise my real estate. I am growing my pages whenever I can, either by asking my tenants to invite their friends and ask their friends to invite their friends as well. A good relationship with your tenants will pay off in the long run. Treat them well!

Use Craigslist (or a Craigslist-alike platform)

Most platforms like Craigslist are free to use because they make money with advertisement. This is great news for landlords because this is such a great way to advertise real estate for free!

The biggest trick with Craigslist and similar platforms is to promote your brand. Find a way to do it, in a non-spammy way and in a way that doesn’t violate the platform’s terms.

I like to put a logo of my brand (the same I use on my Facebook pages) in the pictures. This works nicely for me.

Check out more sites to advertise your real estate for free.

Use pictures taken by a pro (for free!)

I had such a great idea pertaining to this…

I convinced a professional photographer to take pictures of my rental properties for free. Wait… for free? Yes! All I did was to put his name and company logo at the bottom of my pictures!

Makes sense for both! This is free advertising for him. Remember that I have pages with 2500 people? Well, that is one hell of an asset. See what it can do for me? Awesome, high-quality pictures for free!

high quality picture advertise real estate for free

Yes, I know. Awesome! 🙂

Build a list of local e-mails

It is quite difficult to build a large list of e-mails if you don’t know what you are doing.

This comes down to internet marketing. Essentially, you can use a landing page platform to create a landing page that connects to MailChimp or any other e-mail list manager.

Of course that the biggest trick is to grow it for free. Well, at some point, everything ties in together. If you build a large Facebook page, building a large e-mail list is easy. I also recommend asking people to share your publication with the landing page, as I have experienced a tremendous growth when I did this.

Build a site and SEO-it!

I talk about SEO often on From cents to retirement because SEO is a real advantage for any business. In a Real Estate business, it is no different. If you build a site to promote your real estate, be prepared to do a lot of SEO on it.

The bad news is that SEO is not free (and not cheap, for that matter) if you don’t do it yourself.

The good news is that SEO-ing a website for a local market should be easy because there is little to no competition.

Learn SEO yourself and kill it. In the long run, this will pay off tremendously.

Make a viral video and share it everywhere

If you market your property in a very professional way, it will sell. Try to make something that is clearly “out-of-the-box”. Focus on things that your property has that are not common in most properties. Make a video about it. And share it. Share it everywhere.

Livestream within your rentals

I’ve done this with great success in the past.

The best thing about livestreams (for example on Facebook) is that people tend to be attracted to live events more than to past one.

Test it out. Once a property gets free, do a live stream and publish it on Facebook. In my opinion, this is a great way to advertise real estate for free.


If you want more tips on how to promote and advertise real estate for free, check out the free books section and check out these hacks.

Any other technique you guys use? Let me know in the comments down below!


how to save money
Daily life, Planning, Tricks,

How to save money every month: saving tips you can use right now!

The main question I go through with my clients and those I advise is how to save money. If you want to retire early, you must save money. But how? Although this is a simple question, only the right actions will do the trick.

I actually answered this question on Quora in December 2016, which ended up getting almost 100k views. This post is the result of a huge compilation of savings tips and tricks to save money that I’ve been using over the years. You may find that some of these tips don’t work for you. That is fine. Simply try to apply those that do. Without further due, let us get to it…

How to save money: 20 saving tips you can use right away to save money

The first thing you have to do when asking yourself how to save money is what is actually how much is realistic to save. In my case, I make about $2400/mo net, so I decided that I had to save at least $1600/mo. I will not say that each and every one of you can do this. Yet, most of these tips are applicable by almost everyone.

1 – Pay yourself first

Again, to start saving money, you must first define what is reasonable to save. You can certainly live off of 30%, as I do, but you will need to be an avid fan of minimalism. On top of that, you need to have a burning desire to save money. In my own case, I want to retire because I have CFS, which may prevent me from working..

If you figured this out, set up a savings account if you don’t have one yet. Then, simply transfer your savings as soon as your salary clears on your account, every month. I often recommend people to set up automatic transfers because they tend to work way better than manual transfers.

Buy assets on credit and try to aggressively pay it back

What really motivated me to save money was to pay back credit. Going to the bank and paying down my mortgages. Paying off the credit card debt I used to advertise my book “My strategy to retire early“.

Maybe you’re hypersensitive to credit. If that is the case, don’t use it.

Also, when the dividends of my stocks clear, I buy more stocks, so I never get to have the chance to spend the dividends.

Note that I do not advise people to use credit unless they really know what they are doing!

2 – Withdraw money from your account for the entire week

It is much easier to use your card to pay for your expenses, so you tend to spend more that way. If you get cash and use it, you tend to stick to it in a much more powerful way than using your cards. I’ve noticed that this greatly helped me. Now, if we’re not talking about great amounts of money, I actually think you should withdraw money for the entire month. Just try it out and see whether you do better.

3 – Record every single transaction you make

You may think this is contradictory with tip #2. It is not! Although it would be easy to record every transaction if you used your cards, you’d tend to spend more. Cash out and use apps for smartphones. Just google up one, there are plenty. Use the one you like the most. The biggest advantage of doing this is that you realize where you spend your money – and maybe change your spending habits for the better!

What happened with me is that I became so disciplined about spending money that I stopped recording where I spent money, with the same results. However, I do understand the value I gained by having done this!

4 – Shop on a budget

I entitle myself to spend a given amount of dollars at the supermarket. In order to do that, I always write down what I need before actually going there. And most importantly, I stick to whatever is on the list!

I follow pretty much the same diet all year long, I know what I need straight away. Plus, I know the prices I normally buy my groceries at, so I can go to a different supermarket and buy only if the price is lower.

5 – I take advantage of the intrinsic value of my money, by buying in bulk

I usually target high expiration date items, that can come in large containers. Rice is one example. I typically buy the best organic rice at a lower price than the average rice brand. This is only possible because I buy 20-50KGs (about 40-200lbs) at a time. Another example of what I buy in bulk is toothpaste.

I also buy in bulk whenever an occasional sale of a product I already use comes up. Note that I didn’t say “whenever a sale comes up”. It must be a sale of a product I already use so I know that I am not buying just because it is cheaper than usual (which can, in fact, mean more expensive than the products I usually use).

6 – Avoid big sales and Black Fridays

Right. Take advantage of sales that feature the products you already use and trust but avoid the big ones. Why? Because in big sales like black Friday you are compelled to buy products you don’t really need. The only back Fridays I take advantage of are stock market black Friday. 🙂

7 – Turn off the television and the computer at night

You will save on the electricity bill. You’ll be less exposed to ads that compel viewers to buy stuff they don’t necessary need. I personally got rid of television for good about 8 years ago. Feeling bored? Read great books instead. Go online and learn new skills. Meditate (Affiliate link).

8 – Read on how to save money

Yes, posts like this very same one. But this is not necessary the end of it. Look for more articles. Read books that will help you even further. Browe the internet for more articles. Learn from people who did it successfully in the past.

If you are self-employed, I definitely recommend you to check this and this sources.

9. Practice minimalism: stop buying and start selling

minimalism how to save money

As I am currently in the process of moving to a new home, I wanted to make sure that I start off with the right foot. To accomplish that, I will write down a list of items I want to have in my home and stick to it. In addition, I will use the 1:1 item rule: to bring home another item, I have to get rid of one I already have.

People don’t realize it, but having many things is a lot of stress. Try to keep the minimum. Get rid of what you don’t need, by selling it online or market fleas. You’ll save money and make money. Win-win.

10 – Buy used, not new

I buy a lot of books (btw, as a 10.1 tip, aim for free books whenever you can!). The vast majority of them are used because I get a huge discount and yet, they tend to be in very good condition. Whatever you can buy used instead of new makes you saving money and help the planet.

Books are only one example. Another example would be a car, which I would never buy new. It depreciates too fast on my balance sheet. 🙂

11 – Negociate your mortgage

Having two mortgages myself, and a third one on the way, I feel competent to talk about this. Go to the bank and negotiate your mortgage! I do that every 4-6 months, or sooner if I feel that I have new arguments to negotiate. For instance, if I rent out another of my units, I try to negotiate my mortgage down. In fact, if you think about it, every month that goes by, the more creditworthy you get (assuming you don’t default)!

Your mortgage is probably your number one expense so you must be addressing it if you want to save money! Don’t be afraid of hearing the bank telling you no. That is for granted.

12 – Quit smoking. Please!

I cringe whenever I hear someone telling me they need to save money while they smoke a cigarette. Please, do me and yourself a favor: stop smoking! This is one of the best ways to start saving money because if you’re a smoker you are certainly spending lots of money on cigarettes. And smoking is SO expensive!

On top of that, it will largely benefit your health. Smoking has been shown to cause major problems to your health.

13 – Be a coupon and gift card savvy grinder

This is really for those who master the science of how to save money. So, coupons are a great way to save money. However, as I said in tip #6, you should not buy something just because it is on sale. Same thing with coupons if you’re really looking how to save money. Search for coupons everywhere and use them wisely. Don’t use coupons for products you don’t buy already. Search for coupons by typing the names of the products you already buy. Ask your favorite grocery whether they have coupons.

14 – Don’t change your cell phone

We live in a society which excludes us if we don’t have the latest gadget. Don’t go with that trend. Changing your smartphone every few years is fine, but buying the latest one all the time is certainly not a sustainable idea.

Stick to your gadgets until they don’t work anymore. Remember your excitement (if you were) when you bought them. Remember all the good things you’ve done with them. Change them when they stop working.

15 – Change to LEDs

My father comes from a very humble family. He greatly appreciates what he has right now because his family didn’t even have enough to eat. Yet, he remains super frugal and moderate. He used to float around the house turning lights off and complaining with me and my brother when we were younger. We were not particularly good at turning the lights off, you see. 🙂

Two years ago, I convinced my father to change to LEDs. I knew he was the best guinea pig I had to test whether it worked. It took me one electricity bill to become a devoted fan of LEDs. They truly work, and their price is coming down quickly, as the technology evolves. Do yourself an experiment at your own home!

16 – Pack food for the day

Start saving money is easy if you write down your monthly expenses and address the biggest ones. As I said in tip #11, your mortgage should be addressed first because I am sure it is one of the main expenses you have, if not the biggest! Food comes right after, I am sure. This is especially true if you go out for lunch. Going out for lunch every day of the week for 10 years translates into about $40k, if you spend an average of $15 per lunch.

Seriously, pack your meals. Grab what is left of yesterday’s dinner and take it to work, so you save on lunch. Make a healthy sandwich or salad. Won’t take you much time but will certainly alleviate your wallet!

17 – Downsize

Bigger homes mean more expenses, it is that simple. Downsizing is such a great way to save money! All too often, smaller homes mean also cheaper acquisition costs. If you downsize and you’ve got a mortgage, you’ll pay less for your mortgage. If you paid your home off already, you can take the extra cash and invest it. In general, you’d save on maintenance and utility bills, at the same time you create more income. Win-win!

18 – Write a “how to save money” list

This can be way more effective than it looks like. If you write down the list (and actually read it every now and then) you’ll remember what you should be doing! On the back of the list, write down the prices of your most common groceries. Next time you buy them, you’ll have good comparison terms.

19 – If you do use credit cards, choose those with cash back

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Although it really comes in the first pages of many books on how to save money, not many people do this. Choose credit cards with cash back and benefits, if you really have to use them. A reason to use credit cards is to get lower interest rates on your mortgage, as banks often do that when you get credit cards from them. Use all the benefits of credit cards – call their customer service and have them sending you the entire list of benefits!

20 – Cancel unused memberships and negotiate bank fees

I have made this mistake myself: I went on for a few good months with a club membership I never used. That was $40/mo, so we are not exactly talking about peanuts here. When I first started to think how to save money, this was one of the immediate things I changed. I have no memberships now. I pay for my gym “membership” on a monthly basis (which is 7% more expensive). As I don’t workout in August, it ends up being equally expensive – although I only pay for it if I am really using it!

Bank fees are another major component of how to save money effectively. Have your bank statements scrutinized every month and make sure you have no unknown fees popping up. If you do, question the bank right way – and don’t forget about it!

21 – Refinance high interest debt (to lower rates)

Student loans are so common that if you went to college, chances are you got yourself some debt. In most countries, such as the United States, you can refinance your student loans. Another common high interest debt that people should re-finance is credit card debt. I’ve had clients that payed upwards to 30% interest on their credit cards and found themselves in a very big hole, and one that is hard to get out of. Refinancing and consolidating is key. 
To refinance and consolidate high interest debt, I recommend checking out this and this sources.

Two-Step Verification – get yourself some extra security!

security two step verification

Recently, my laptop got hacked! As I use my laptop to access my bank accounts, online brokers and what not from it, I freaked out. After the adrenaline rush, I started to think of ways to get myself some extra security.

Bank accounts are naturally protected – people cannot really transfer money from their accounts without having another key (other than the password on the online platform) or confirming a code provided via SMS. This is called “two-step verification”. The principle is simple: in order to access one of your accounts, you must use something you know (such as your password) and something you have (such as your cell).

Other accounts (e.g. email) only rely on a single password (…that many people often re–use among all their accounts).