Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Portugal
Fast and reliable debt collection in Portugal - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in Portugal is easiest through this method.
Debitura is a debt recovery specialist in Portugal. Our experienced professionals provide a full suite of services, including accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, and pre-legal and legal debt collection proceedings. We are well-versed in Portugal's debt collection laws and regulations, making us the go-to choice for efficient and effective solutions to help businesses recover outstanding debts.
We are committed to providing continuous support from the beginning until the end.
Tailored collection approach.
Our team consists of more than 500 specialists in the field of international debt collection.
Achieving a success rate of 87% at the most affordable cost.
Lawyers Office - Dr - Tiago Coelho and Dr. Marcio Pereira Goncalves - we have been practising law for 19 years, in various areas with a special focus on commercial law - credit recovery and seizures, employment and support for foreign investment
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Portugal
If you owe money to a business or customer in Portugal, we can help you get the money back. We have helped hundreds of other businesses in Portugal recover debt.
When someone owes you money and they live in Portugal, it can be hard to get the money back. This is because there are differences in language and culture, as well as different laws. Plus, Portugal is far away, which makes it even more difficult.
When you use a collection agency that knows the laws and customs of the country where the person who owes you money lives, it will be easier to get your money back.
At Debitura, we always think about what is best for you. We want to help you get your money back, but also keep a good relationship with the person who owes you money. Our strategic public relations efforts are always fair, but firm. This means that we will do whatever it takes to protect your reputation! If you want to learn more about how to collect debt yourself in Portugal, keep reading this guide. But if you would rather work with a local law firm that specializes in debt recovery in Portugal, we can help you with that too.
At Debitura, we provide an easy way to collect your debt in Portugal and other countries. Get started today by uploading your claim. Within 24 hours, we will assess your case and provide you with 3 free quotes from local debt collection lawyers in Portugal. We use both people and technology to get the best results and to manage our contacts well. This way works well and helps us keep our customers happy. We also have a good relationship with debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers, and vendors who help us get the job done. We appreciate all of these relationships.
Begin the debt collection process in Portugal now without any cost. Simply create a free profile and upload your case in just 2 minutes.
Our pre-legal recovery process is proven effective in collecting your claim for the first 3 months. With 100% no-cure-no-pay, you have nothing to lose.
In case your claim remains unpaid during the pre-legal phase, we will offer you three quotes from debt collection attorneys in your locality.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Portugal
Do you have trouble getting paid by your Portuguese customers? Do not worry; we will make it easy for you to get paid.
In Portugal, the person who owes money is called "the debtor." The person who issued the debt or bill is called "the creditor." If the original creditor collects the debt himself, this is called "first-party collection." If the creditor gives the job of collecting to someone else, this is called "third-party collections."
- The rules for payments and interest for late payments are regulated by the EU. However, these standards are not very strict compared to other places in Europe. This means that the average time it takes to get paid is around 80 days.
- The court process is complicated when it comes to collecting debt. First, try to negotiate with the support of collection specialists. If you still need help, Alternative Dispute Resolution methods and foreign courts (EU judgments will be fairly enforceable in Portugal) may be worth considering.
- Even though there have been changes to make it easier for companies to be saved, often times when a company goes bankrupt, it has to be sold and people who are owed money by the company rarely get any of their money back.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
The payment behaviour of domestic companies is weak. This is because they do not have enough money to pay their bills on time. Companies often agree to extended payment terms, which means that they will pay the bill later. This way, the company can plan for delays. However, listed companies have shorter terms and have been slowly improving over the past few years.
Common payment types in Portugal
Some common ways to pay for something are:
Swift bank transfers are becoming more popular because they are quick and secure. More and more banks support this type of transfer, which makes it easier to do.
It is a good idea to negotiate payments or down payments in advance, but some people might think you don't trust them. In many countries, people use checks, bills of exchange, and documentary credits as proof of debt instead of payment. If the person doesn't pay, this proves that they owe the money and gives access to fast proceedings to get an enforceable Payment Order against the debtor.
Main corporate structures
Liability for business debts means that someone is legally responsible for paying them. The legal structures that determine who is responsible are described below.
- Sole Proprietorship is an option for small businesses that are managed by one person. The owner is responsible for all business debts. Partnerships are another option for businesses owned by two or more people. In this case, the partners may be held responsible for the actions of the other partners. Limited Liability Partnerships offer limited liability to the partners.
- Most businesses in Portugal are Private Limited Liability Companies (Lda) because they do not need any money to start and the partners are not responsible if the company gets into debt. Public Limited Companies (SA) are used for bigger businesses that want to divide their money (at least EUR 50,000) into shares. In these companies, the shareholders are only responsible for the value of their shares.
- Foreign companies may also choose to settle in Portugal through Branch Offices. This means that the foreign parent company is not limited in terms of liability. Representative Offices may also be set up, but these cannot generate cash. Joint Ventures may take the form of any legal structure, but incorporation is not necessary.
The debt collection process in Portugal
The debt collection process in Portugal is usually done in several steps. The picture below shows the standard way to collect debt in Portugal:
1 Upload your claim:
Unless you want to get your money back yourself, you will need to find someone who can help you. You will give them some information about the debt, and they will try to get the money for you. If you use Debitura, we will give you 3 different options of people who can help you in Europe. This is free - we will not ask for any money from you.
2 Amicable collection:
The collection process usually starts with sending reminders to the person who owes you money. This is called a campaign. The reminders go through email, SMS, letter, and other ways of communication in the specific country. The goal is to get the debtor to pay or agree that they owe the debt and start a plan to pay it back. Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay solution for amicable collection, which means you only pay a small success fee if we recover your debt. Therefore, amicable collections with Debitura are 100% risk-free!
If you have not received payment after trying to work it out, it is time to look at what to do next. We will look at how much money you are owed, the chance of getting paid and other factors to help you decide what to do next. There are three common next steps:
If you are owed less than 2.000-5000€, it is not worth it to take further legal action. In this case, we recommend "debt surveillance." This means that we will keep trying to contact the person who owes you money and try to reach an agreement.
B: Legal collections:
If you have a big claim, it's a good idea to start a legal process. This means following certain steps to make your claim official. The steps you need to take will depend on the specific details of your claim. This can include things like how much money you are asking for and what kind of claim it is. On average, it will take around a year and a half for the legal process to be completed.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you are claiming money from has said that they owe you money, or if there is a court order, you can go to the bailiff's court to get your money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Portugal.
Amicable collection in Portugal
At Debitura, we offer a 100% risk-free and efficient process for Amicable collections. To get started, simply submit your claim and we will begin within 24 hours.
We will contact your debtor through all the channels that are available to us in Portugal. This might include email, text messages, letters, phone calls, and social media.
The goal of this process is to:
A) get the person who owes money to pay the full amount or
B) get the person who owes money to agree that they owe the money and start a plan to pay it back
If the debtor has disputed your claim, you cannot start with an amicable resolution. You must start directly with legal collections.
Late Payment Interest
The Directive 2011/7/EU, which means that payments in business-to-business transactions in the EU must be made within 60 days, has been turned into a law by Law Decree 62/2013 of 10 May 2013.
In Portugal, the law is more permissive than in other EU countries when it comes to paying for something. In most other countries, people have to pay for something within 30 days unless they agree to a different arrangement with the person they bought it from. But in Portugal, people usually don't have to pay for 66 days. And if people agree, they can take even longer to pay - as long as it's not too unfair to the person who is owed the money.
Unless it says so in the contract, if someone does not pay on time, they must pay extra money. This is called interest. The amount of interest is based on the European Central Bank's refinancing rate and an extra minimum of 7 percentage points as published in the Official Journal (Diário da Republica). People usually use interest as a way to negotiate.
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amicable debt collection
Upload your claim and get started with our 100% no-cure-no-pay collection solution.
Legal collection in Portugal
If the other person has not paid you during the first part or if they disagree that they owe you money, we will give you 3 free quotes from our local debt collection attorneys. In the legal phase, our local attorney will reach out to the other person and try to negotiate a payment. Our partners can also go to court and get a payment order from the legal system in Portugal. This payment order can then be used to make the other person pay you via enforcement court.
If you have a debt that is not in dispute, you can go to the court and ask for an electronic payment order. This will help you get the money that you are owed. If the company that owes you money has assets in other countries, you can use a European Payment Order procedure to get the money. If the person asking for money is demanding it, they may request that the Council Court issue an Order to Pay. This order can then be enforced in all European Union countries (except Denmark) without exequatur proceedings.
The main procedure when a claim is disputed and cannot be solved amicably is the Acção Declarativa. Once the claim is filed with the court and the debtor is notified, they may file a defence within 30 days. If you do not pay or answer the court, the court can make a decision without you. This is called a default judgment. If the creditor proves their claim, the court may order them to get paid for what they asked for, but no more.
When going through legal proceedings, the parties must always be represented by a lawyer registered in the Portuguese Law Bar Association. All relevant documents must be translated into Portuguese. Legal proceedings in Portugal can take a long time, so it may be worth considering arbitration or going to a foreign forum. Both arbitral awards and EU decisions are fairly enforceable by domestic courts.
The legal system in Portugal is based on Civil Law. This means that the rules are written down and the courts’ decisions only have a limited law-creating effect. County Courts have general competence to deal with claims in first instance, but they are normally divided into specialized divisions to deal with specific commercial, employment, maritime or criminal matters. There are commercial courts located in different parts of the country.
At the same time, if there is a disagreement with someone from the government, it must go to the administrative courts. After that, there is an appeal which goes to one of five Courts of Appeal (Lisbon, Oporto, Évora, Coimbra and Guimarães) and then the Supreme Court of Justice (Lisbon).
The amount of money you will spend on a lawyer depends on how complicated your legal case is and how big it is. To get the best price, ask for quotes from more than one lawyer so you can compare them. You can do this easily by using Debitura.
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legal debt collection
Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Debt enforcement in Portugal
If you have a written acknowledgement of your claim from the debtor, or a court order, you can use the bailiff's court in Portugal to enforce your claim.
A judgment is usually enforceable when it becomes final. If the debtor does not pay the judgment, it is possible to request compulsory enforcement of the decision from the enforcement courts. This means that the debtor's bank account can be accessed and payment of the debt can be obtained from a third party owing to the debtor.
The process and how much it costs varies depending on your situation. You can upload your case onto Debitura to get 3 different quotes within 24 hours.
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Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Insolvency proceedings in Portugal
If someone owes money and cannot pay, the final stage you can initiate is an insolvency procedure. The goal of this procedure is to sell the person's assets and give the money to the people he or she owes, following the debt priorities.
- The Law 8/2018 has established an Extrajudicial Regime for Reorganization of Companies (RERE) which runs under the terms of the Commercial Registry Office.
- It allows a debtor, which is in a difficult economic situation or in a situation of imminent insolvency, to negotiate and obtain a restructuring agreement with one or more of its creditors.
- Since April 2012, a ‘revitalization’ procedure (Programa Especial de Revitalização, or PER as provided under Law 16/2012) allows companies in financial distress to initiate recovery and debt relief negotiations with their creditors.
- A moratorium halts all enforcement proceedings for four months to preserve the debtor while the parties attempt to reach a compromise.
- Declaration of insolvency will only take place after non-approval or non-ratification of the PER if the company, after being heard, does not oppose to it.
- Liquidation takes place by apprehending and selling all assets of the debtor company. This procedure is made by a court representative, an insolvency administrator, through public auctions.
European Late Payment Directive in Portugal
Portugal is part of the European Union. That means the Directive 2011/7/EU on fighting late payments in commercial transactions across Europe applies to Portugal.
The main ideas of the directive are:
- Public authorities cannot require payment terms of more than 30 days.
- Private companies cannot require payment terms of more than 60 days.
- If the person you lent money to is a business, you can charge them an extra fee of €40 for not paying on time.
- If you pay your bill late, the interest rate must be at least 8% higher than the European Central Banks reference rate.
The Danish government cannot make any rules that would be less favorable for creditors than the EEU-wide rules.
Our analysis concludes that the risk of doing business in Portugal is low. Based on this low score, You can feel reasonably confident that you will be able to get paid when trading with customers in Portugal. Nonetheless, we always recommend doing a specific credit analysis on an individual customer basis before offering any credit. The low risk score is based on the following factors:
The economic risk in Portugal
Our analysis shows that the economic risk in Portugal is medium (3 out of 6). An economic risk of 3 out of 6 is pretty average in Europe.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Portugal is 249,89 bn. USD (2021), growing by 4,88% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Portugal ranks #48 out of 183 countries and has a medium-sized economy.
Looking at the growth rate, it is ranked #81 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered an excellent growing economy.
GDP per capita is 24262 USD, ranking Portugal number #37 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in Portugal is high compared to the rest of the world.
You can see a more throughout picture of GDP and economic growth in Portugal in the table below:
Another huge impact for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You can see a more throughout picture of monetary KPIs in Portugal in the table below:
The inflation in Portugal was 1,3% in 2021 which is considered a very low inflation rate.
The business environment risk in Portugal
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Portugal is very low (1 out of 6), which is a relatively low risk score in Europe.
The business environment risk are determined by the level of economic freedom and rights in a country. The critical facts for Portugal in the table below:
As you can see above, the property rights index is 74 in Portugal, which is considered pretty average in Europe.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 76 in Portugal, a quite average score for a country in Europe.
Portugal's overall economic freedom index is 68 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Portugal
The political risk in Portugal is very low, with a score of 1/6. This is a low political risk score in Europe.
The governance and political stability indicators are critical drivers for political risk. An overview of Portugal can be seen in the table below:
The rule of law index analyses to which extent agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the quality of the courts, and the police's ability to enforce court orders.
When trading with businesses in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In Portugal, the rule of law index is at 1,13 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Portugal has, therefore, a very high rule of law index, which means you have a very good chance of enforcing your contracts. If your individual customers have good creditworthiness, you should therefore feel relatively safe when providing credit.
Other drivers for the very low political risks are the average control of corruption, the average political stability index, and the normal shadow economy that is 17,82% of Portugal's GDP.
The commercial risk in Portugal
In Portugal, the commercial risk score is 3/4, which in our model is a medium score. This medium commercial risk score is pretty average compared to the average in Europe.
The commercial risk is impacted by a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for Portugal in the table below:
Portugal has a foreign exchange reserve of 32.54 bn. USD.
Portugal has a negative trade balance of -2,99% of GDP. This means that Portugal imports more goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 13,07% annually - now 42,03% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 45,02% of the GDP in Portugal.
The financing risk in Portugal
We have calculated the financing risk to be 1/4, which equals a very low risk. A very low financing risk score is relatively low for countries in Europe.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. You can find the extra information for Portugal in the table below:
In Portugal, the credit information sharing index is 7 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). The result of this, is that the access and trustworthiness of the credit information in Portugal is medium-high.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Portugal. You would be able to find a good local credit rating agency that can help you analyse the creditworthiness of your specific customers.
Your rights as a creditor are 2 out of 12 and, therefore, very weak.
Debt Collection in Portugal: Frequently Asked Questions
To collect debt in Portugal, the debtor is the person who owes money and the creditor is the person who issued the debt. The court process is complex, so it's best to negotiate with collection specialists or consider alternative dispute resolution methods. The average time to get paid is around 80 days. The debt collection process involves uploading your claim, amicable collection, evaluation, surveillance, legal collections, and debt enforcement. Debitura offers a risk-free solution for amicable collections and can help with all steps of the process in Portugal.
The debt collection process in Portugal involves three steps: pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection often involves reminders to the debtor through various means. Legal collection involves making your claim official and can take around a year and a half. Debt enforcement is the final step where you can go to the bailiff's court to get your money. Debitura can help with all three steps in Portugal. Our services are free for finding debt collectors, and we offer a no-cure-no-pay solution for amicable collection.
Legal options for debt collection in Portugal include civil lawsuits if the debt is disputed, debt enforcement proceedings, and insolvency proceedings. A local lawyer is required for legal actions, and legal documents must be translated into Portuguese. The legal system in Portugal is based on Civil Law, and legal proceedings can take a long time. The cost of hiring a lawyer depends on the complexity of the case. Insolvency proceedings involve selling a debtor's assets and distributing the funds to creditors, with several options available to companies in financial distress.
The cost for debt collection in Portugal depends on the type of collection. Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal collection, with a success fee of 10-20%. The cost of legal action varies, but Debitura can provide you with 3 quotes from top debt collection lawyers in Portugal for your specific case.
The duration of debt collection in Portugal depends on the debtor and the case at hand. If the case can be resolved in the pre-legal phase, the collection process typically takes between 3-6 months. However, if the debt has to be collected via legal action, the process usually lasts between 12-18 months. The timelines may vary depending on the complexity and the cooperation of the debtor.