Why Madeira


With reduced taxation, adequate infrastructures, competitive operational costs, safety and quality of life, Madeira is positioned to provide investors with a unique package of benefits.

Why Madeira

Madeira is presently one the best locations in the E.U. for companies with operations in the European single market and worldwide.

With reduced taxation, adequate infrastructures, competitive operational costs, safety and quality of life, Madeira is positioned to provide investors with a unique package of benefits, offering a wide range of solutions to enhance the efficiency and performance of various forms of investment.

Moreover, Madeira’s preferential tax regime has not only been approved by Portugal but also by the European Union as a valid form of State aid for regional development, providing the IBC of Madeira with a stable and fully regulated and supervised business environment, thus adding to its international image of credibility and transparency.

About Madeira

Why Madeira - Funchal

Madeira, an integral part of Portugal fully integrated in the E.U., is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 900 km southwest of Lisbon.

The archipelago, with a total population of 267,785 inhabitants, has the city of Funchal as its most important centre.
Madeira's appeal to international investors have been the result of the island’s consistently low inflation rate, low taxation, and its extremely competitive operational costs, in comparison with other European locations.
Madeira’s IBC, the island’s main tool for attracting foreign investment, has been formally approved by the European Union as a legitimate programme of economic development. Its full integration in the Portuguese and the E.U.’s legal system have made of Madeira not only an efficient investment location, but also a well-regulated business centre regarded by the OECD as a model to follow.


Competitive Operational Costs

Madeira offers low operational costs when in comparison with other European countries. In fact, the cost of human resources and the price of several goods and services are very competitive when directly compared with other European locations, allowing companies to face considerably lower costs when establishing operations in Madeira.

There are several examples of this, namely the acquisition or purchase of office space in and around the capital city Funchal. As a result of a strong property development in recent years, there are several options in location and costs, but as a reference, the rent of an office located in a prime business location would cost no more than 20 euros per square meter per month. Other locations, still within Funchal, but outside the main business centres, would cost around 15 to 18 euros per square meter per month.

In addition, Madeira also offers very competitive telecommunications and energy costs and the general costs of living are relatively low.

Local Support

Madeira offers investors a pro-business attitude as well as a deep commitment by the Madeiran authorities and the local population to develop the island’s economy by encouraging and welcoming foreign investment and the consequent transfer of know-how.

Companies setting up in Madeira, therefore, benefit from a wide range of supporting services, private and public, in most areas of activity.

These include assistance in the incorporation of new companies, consultancy services, accountancy, legal advice, recruitment agencies, financial, insurance and banking services, amongst others, which are provided with high standards of quality.

Madeira Infrastructures

Available to investors are several conference rooms and office centres providing office space for rental, as well as laboratories and a local university, with several courses ranging from Biology and Chemistry to Electronics and several Engineering courses. The Madeira University has, in addition, a cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, for a Master Degree in Human-Computer Interaction.

Additionally, Madeira benefits from a Submarine Cable Station, hosted in the “Madeira Datacenter”, operating several international optical submarine cables, allowing interconnectivity with national and international SDH networks and providing, as such, significant advantages in terms of quality, cost, bandwidth and scalability.

Another available infrastructure is the Internet Gateway provided by Marconi Internet Direct (MID).

This MID offers international Internet access without any kind of contention and using diversity in the access to international backbones.

The IP platform has its international connectivity distributed by: 3 PoPs (London, Amsterdam and Paris), peering connections with hundreds of major international ISPs and IP transits to Europe and the USA.



Companies moving to Madeira benefit from the availability of a young and skilled workforce. Placing an advertisement in local and national newspapers is a very common procedure, as well as resorting to the local employment centre or a recruitment agency.

Madeira’s University, as well as other local technical schools, are a good source of skilled professionals. It is also possible to recruit from a large pool of Madeirans studying in Portuguese universities or working abroad. S.D.M. is also available to provide support in the recruitment process and to avail the large number of CV's presently in its database as well as to host job offerings in a dedicated section of this site.

Foreign staff

Portugal is part of the Schengen Agreement and a working visa will be required to allow the entrance of citizens from countries other than EU, EAA countries and Switzerland. The visa will allow multiple entrances for the undertaking of professional activities for a maximum of three years and should be applied for from a Portuguese consulate or embassy in the country of residence.

All citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are allowed to enter, remain and live in Portugal, up to three months, without formalities other than holding a valid passport or identity card. If the three months period is exceeded, such citizens must proceed with a registration at the SEF- Foreigners and Frontiers Services, to formalize the right to reside in Portugal.

Labour Regulations

The working week includes a maximum of 40 hours with Sunday being the day of rest. Employees are entitled to 22 working days of vacation per year, plus 10 days statutory holidays, and to sick leave and maternity leave. If the employee starts work in the first half of the calendar year, he will be entitled to a minimum vacation period of 12 working days during that year.

Overtime is payable at the rate of 125% for the first hour and 137.5% thereafter. Overtime worked during rest days is payable at the rate of 150%. Salaries are normally paid on a monthly basis 14 months per year (holidays and Christmas bonuses included).

The law allows short-term contracts, with a minimum period of 6 months, renewable at the employer’s option, up to a limited period of 3 years, after which the employee is either granted a permanent contract or is dismissed.

Companies are required to withhold personal income tax (with variable rates according to wage levels) and social security contributions (11% employee; 23,75% employer) on the payment of salaries and other forms of remuneration to workers.

International Connections

Madeira is connected daily to several international cities by flights operated by different Portuguese and international airlines.

There are over 20 daily flights to and from Lisbon, operated by TAP, SATA and EasyJet.

On week days, there is at least one daily connection with London, either operated by TAP, BA or EasyJet.

Other regular direct flights include Paris, Zurich and Hamburg.

For further information on regular or charter flights to and from Madeira, please visit Madeira Airports' homepage.

Madeira Facts & Figures

Country: Portugal.

Form of Government: Autonomous Region (since 1976).

Head of State: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

President of the Regional Government: Miguel Filipe Machado de Albuquerque.

Location: In the north Atlantic Ocean, about 535 miles (861 km) from Lisbon and 360 miles (580 km) from the coast of Africa.

Total area: 741 Km2 (Madeira island); 801 km2 (archipelago).

Islands: Madeira island (inhabited); Porto Santo island (inhabited); Desertas island; Savage islands.

Main island: Madeira island, with an area of 741 km2, a lenght of 30 geographical miles (57 km), a breadth of 13 miles (22 km) at its widest point and a coastline of 80 to 90 miles (140 km).

Capital (and largest city): Funchal (more than 100,000 inhabitants).

Currency: Euro (€).

Official language: Portuguese (but English is widely spoken).

Climate: Oceanic subtropical (22-26º C during the summer and 17-22º C in the winter).

Time zone: GMT/UTC + 1 hour (same as in Lisbon).

Internet TLD: .pt

Calling Code: +351(291)

Population (2011)1:

Total: 267 785

Density: 334.5 inhabitants/km2

Age structure: 0-14 years: 16,4%; 15-24 years: 12,3%; 25-64 years: 56,2%; 65 and more years: 15%.

Employment (2012)2:

Labour force: 128 500

Employed persons: 106 000

Unemployed persons: 22 500

Unemployment rate: 17,5%

Economic Indicators2:

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010*:
GDP (106 euros): 5 224
GDP Per Capita (103 euros): 21,1

Trade in 2010*:
Total imports: 136 309 000
Total exports: 55 010 000

Annual inflation rate in 2008: 2,8%

1 Source: INE - Instituto Nacional de Estatística.
2 Source: DRE - Direcção Regional de Estatística da Madeira.
* Preliminary value

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