Opening Your Portuguese Bank Account from Abroad: Which Company Is Best?

Written By Becky Gillespie

When you’re in Portugal, opening a bank account is a fairly straightforward process. However, if you want to open a Portuguese bank account from abroad, you will need to hire a company to act on your behalf.

Having a bank account in Portugal is advantageous for a number of reasons. Banks in Portugal often do not charge ATM withdrawal fees and many have low maintenance fees or transaction costs. Some banks such as Activo do not charge any monthly fees at all. You can use your Portuguese bank account throughout the eurozone, and it is usually necessary if you want to invest in real estate in Portugal. Most importantly, it is considered one of the easiest EU countries to open a bank account as a non-resident.

Why Should I Use a Company to Open My Bank Account from Abroad?

Although opening a bank account in Portugal is relatively simple, it is impossible to do it yourself if you are not physically in the country. This is because you first need to obtain a NIF, or Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF). You can physically obtain one of these in Portugal from the tax authority with a passport and proof of address. However, if you cannot physically be in Portugal, you can pay to use a company that will act as your fiscal representative and request your NIF on your behalf without having to visit Portugal yourself. This is the first step!

Once the company obtains your NIF, they will then request you to sign documents that grant the company power of attorney. They will then open a bank account for you. It should be mentioned here that some banks, including Santander, Novo Banco, Bison Bank, and Banco Atlantico, allow certain accounts to be opened remotely. You can try to open a bank account yourself online, but you are going to need the NIF first. If you want to open a bank account in Portugal but do not have time to visit the country anytime soon, we recommend hiring a company to do it for you. Although it will cost you some money, the time that you save by making sure that you get everything done right the first time (along with saving money on your plane ticket to Portugal) may very well be worth it.

Which Company Should I Use to Open my Bank Account in Portugal from Abroad?

Let’s take a look at three different companies that will help you open a bank account in Portugal from abroad.

Laptop with card, Rupixen, Unsplash

Bordr

Bordr is one of the most popular companies working with foreigners in Portugal to help open bank accounts remotely. They work with one of the biggest private banks in Portugal. You can choose to open an individual account or joint account with multiple owners. Their service includes signature certification from a Portuguese law firm. The accounts that you open through Bordr grant you access to a dedicated bank manager, free euro transfers to SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) member states, online banking access, 2 debit cards, and 2 credit cards.

You will have a monthly maintenance fee that will be determined by your age in addition to the average balance in your account. and the average balance in your account. Average bank account charges range from 8-15 euros per month. It will cost a minimum of 250 euro to open an account.

Bordr charges $150 to obtain a NIF and $350 to open a bank account in Portugal.

E-Residence

E-Residence also offers remote NIF and bank account opening services in Portugal. They also offer services to open a Spanish bank account and obtain a Spanish digital nomad visa. They can also help get your NISS , or Número De Segurança Social, which is your Social Security number. They also have high ratings for their services and are slightly cheaper than Bordr. Please note that, to open a business bank account, it is required to open a personal bank account first.  

E-Residence charges 99 Euro obtain a NIF (10% off with a discount code). If you want your NIF faster, you can choose between NIF Priority (149 Euro) or NIF Urgent (299 Euro).

E-Residence charges 299 Euro to open a bank account in Portugal. You will receive a Prestige bank account with a monthly fee of 8.20 Euro per month and a minimum deposit of 250 Euro.

GetNIFPortugal.com

GetNIFPortugal.com was founded by a group of lawyers, tax professionals, and seasoned travelers. Compared to Bordr and E-Residence, GetNIFPortugal.com has an average price for obtaining a NIF but is much more expensive for opening a bank account for you remotely.

The company charges 120 Euro to obtain a NIF and 700 Euro to open a bank account in Portugal!

GetNIFPortugal.com doesn’t offer any other services besides the NIF and the bank account. We do not recommend them due to the lack of information on their website regarding the justification for the higher bank account opening price.  

What Documents Do I Need to Provide to Open a Bank Account Remotely?

US passport
US passport, Rocio Ramirez, Unsplash
  • Proof of Identity (a copy of your passport)
  • Proof of Address in Your Country of Residence (It must be a residential address and P.O. boxes and business addresses are not accepted)
  • Proof of Employment

If employed, you must provide EITHER a paystub issued within the first three months OR a statement of employment issued by the company written on company letterhead and issued within the past six months.

The statement must include:

  • Your company name
  • Role
  • Salary
  • Hiring date
  • Date of issue
  • Must be signed by an authorized member of personnel (manager, founder, or member of HR).

If you are self-employed, you must provide your latest income tax statement.

If you are an investor or property owner, you need to show financial statements issued within the past 6 months that show your investments.

If you are retired, you need to provide EITHER a copy of your pension statement issued within the last three months OR a bank statement from the last three months. For D7 visa holders, you need to have at least 9,000 euro in your account.

  • A copy of your Portuguese NIF  

Final Thoughts

We hope that this helps you get a better picture of what is required for opening a bank account in Portugal remotely. While you need to pay for these services, rather than it being essentially free if you do it yourself in Portugal, the time that you will save may be well worth your time.

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