A Global Hub for Business

20 October 2017
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Miguel Pinto-Correia
MCS Madeira Corporate Services Director of Strategic Development
At a time that it is increasingly important for companies to have internationalization tools at their disposal, the Autonomous Region of Madeira enables companies to significantly reduce their internationalization costs.

The International Business Center of Madeira (MIBC), or Madeira Free Zone (ZFM), is a set of tax benefits which companies fixed in Madeira have access to, if their economic activities are done with non-resident entities for tax purposes.

Thus, companies wishing to internationalize and that have their core business in international trade activities, e-business and telecommunications, consultancy and marketing services, as well as the management of intellectual property, the development of real estate projects or management of investments can register themselves in the MIBC / ZFM and get the following benefits:

  • 5% Corporate Tax Rate, provided some legal requirements are met;
  • Access to the Portuguese system of participation exemption ;
  • No withholding tax on:
    • Payment of dividends, to non-resident entities
    • Payment of services, to non-resident entities;
    • Payment of interest, to non-resident entities;
    • Payment of royalties, to non-resident entities;
  • Exemption from 80% in stamp duty on documents, contracts and other acts carried out requiring public register since performed with non-resident entities in Portugal or licensed in the MIBC;
  • Companies licensed in the MIBC also benefit from 80% of municipal property tax and property transfer tax exemption due to the acquisition of immovable property for the installation, as well as other fees and local taxes;
  • Access to the network of double taxation treaties signed by Portugal.

It is important to note that the MIBC / ZFM is covered by all tax and social security Portuguese laws and is licensed under European Union law. Such legislative provisions allow the MIBC / ZFM to fully comply with national and international standards.

The benefits above mentioned can be combined with the highly attractive Portuguese Golden Residence Permit Programme (also known as Golden Visa) and the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Tax Regime, which grants a 10 year tax exemption on new residents.

Having said, it is clear that all companies can alleviate the costs associated with the internationalization of its activities in an efficient way by using Madeira as its HQ.