BUYING - CORPORATE OWNERSHIP
Many properties in Portugal are owned by a corporate structure. Today these corporate structures are usually situated in the UK, Malta or Delaware.
The property itself is an asset of the company and buyers purchase the shares of the company. This transaction takes place under the jurisdiction of the area in which the company is domiciled. Both parties do still require a local lawyer as the usual searches on the property here in Portugal must be carried out, and most local lawyers are familiar with this type of corporate transaction. A Share Purchase Agreement is drawn up, the usual deposit paid and a completion date set in the usual manner. The immediate benefits of such a transaction are its simplicity, confidentiality and the fact that all purchase and sale documentation is in the English language. Potential fiscal benefits are that there is no property stamp duty or property transaction taxes to be paid when buying a property already registered in a company. Additionally there is no Capital Gains Tax to be paid when selling the company that owns the property in the future.