International Corporations: The Madeira Islands

The Madeira Islands

Madeira Islands, Portuguese Arquipélago da Madeira, archipelago of volcanic origin in the North Atlantic Ocean, belonging to Portugal. It comprises two inhabited islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and two uninhabited groups, the Desertas and the Selvagens. The islands are the summits of mountains that have their bases on an abyssal ocean floor. Administratively, they form the autonomous region of Madeira. The regional capital, Funchal, is located on Madeira Island. Madeira Islands,the largest of the group, is 34 miles (55 km) long, has a maximum width of 14 miles (22 km) and a coastline of about 90 miles (144 km), and rises in the centre to Ruivo Peak (6,106 feet [1,861 metres] above sea level). The greater part of the interior above 3,000 feet (900 metres) is uninhabited and uncultivated; communities of scattered huts are usually built either at the mouths of ravines or upon slopes that descend from the mountains to the coast. Porto Santo Island is about 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Madeira. Its main town, Vila de Porto Santo, is locally called the Vila. At each end of the island are hills, of which Facho Peak, the highest, reaches 1,696 feet (515 metres). Crops include wheat, grapes, and barley. Since 1976, the archipelago has been an Autonomous region of Portugal just like Azores, located to the northwest. It includes the islands of Madeira, the Desertas, and Porto Santo. The region has administrative and political autonomy through the Administrative Political Statue of the Autonomous Region of Madeira provided for in the Portuguese Constitution. The autonomous region is an integral part of the European Union.

Company Incorporation
Main Characteristics of the international bussiness (IBO

Madeira recently emerged as a beneficial jurisdiction with which to incorporate. Madeira, as part of the European Union, offers an amount of credibility not typically offered by other offshore jurisdictions. Madeira corporations will benefit by being considered Portuguese. Furthermore, Madeira provides effective tax breaks for its corporations, which make it a very attractive jurisdiction for many investors. With its stability of government, and excellent connections with the European Union as well as providing beneficial double taxation treaty assistance, Madeira emerges as a strong jurisdiction for incorporation. There are some tremendous incentives that the government offers to attract investors.

The Madeira Islands Corporations Overview

Company type
International Business Corporation
Governing corporate legislation
The principal Corporate Legislation is the Portuguese Companies Code (Codigo das Sociedades Comerciais)
Madeira corporations are required to have at least two shareholders, although in some cases, one is allowed, if a “unipersonal” corporation is formed. This type of Private Limited Liability Corporation is known as an “LDA” with one owner. LDAs with one owner are restricted from owning other unipersonal corporations. Furthermore, there are no requirements for shareholders to reside in Madeira.
Company and limited company owners incorporating in Madeira must have a minimum of one director. LDAs cannot appoint corporate directors. Either shareholders or third parties can be directors of the corporation.

Directors must be stated in the corporation’s Articles of Association, and can be elected or removed from office at the corporation’s annual meeting by the shareholders. The Directors can be remunerated or non-remunerated.
Information published relating to company officers
The only public records are the Articles of Association which lists the names of the directors, but not the registered shareholders.
The liability of the shareholders is limited to the amount of their shares.
Accounting requirement/ compliance
The accounts of a Madeira company must be prepared in the Portuguese language in accordance with Portuguese accounting rules. Normally the fiscal year ends on 31st December, and accounts must be approved by the shareholders before the 31st March of the following year. A tax form must be filed with the authorities before the end of May.
Corporate income tax
tax regime allows the incorporation of new entities within the legal framework of the International Business Centre of Madeira (IBC) until the end of 2020, granting a reduced corporate tax rate of 5%, applicable on the taxable income, until the end of 2027.

In the case of international services activities, the reduced rate is applicable to profits derived from operations exclusively carried out with non-resident entities or with other companies operating within the ambit of the IBC of Madeira. There are no restrictions, nevertheless, on the development of business activities with Portuguese companies which will be taxed at the general corporate tax rate in Madeira, currently 14,7%.
Standard currencyEUR
Shared capital/paid up
The minimum authorized capital is €5,000. The capital is divided into shares with or without a nominal value, each representing the same fraction as in the capital.
Basis of the Legal SystemCommon law
No secretary is required
Madeira corporations can issue bearer corporate shares for the shareholder’s privacy or issue normal registered shares.
Registered address
Madeira corporations are required to have a registered agent and a registered local office and for process service and official notices.
General meeting
A Shareholders meeting must be held at least once a year to approve the annual accounts and can be held whenever required by law or deemed convenient by the board of directors or supervisory board, or shareholders.
Electronic Signaturepermitted
Time to form15-30 days
Renewal date
before 31st March
Time ZoneGMT
Confidentialityhigh levels


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