Legal forms of philanthropic organizations included in the law: Association, Benefit Corporation, Company Limited by Guarantee, Cooperative, Corporation, Endowment, Foundation, Society, Trust, Private Institution of Social Solidarity (IPSS)
Main social issues addressed by these organizations: Arts and Culture, Basic Needs, Health and Medical Research, Higher Education, Human Rights
Average time established by law to register a philanthropic organization: 31-60 days
Average cost for registering a philanthropic organization: USD 418
In formal terms, the process of setting up an association in Portugal is quite simple, as there is a government service that allows it to be done in a few hours. However, the process involves registering with Social Security, then opening an account and registering with the Finance Department, as well as filling out and registering on a government portal, which measures the transparency of the process. Although the association is already established, the process can take more than a month (currently, this period is longer, due to social distancing rules and limitation of people in establishments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic).
The most common typology in Portugal, when referring to philanthropic organizations, are nonprofit associations, which include different areas of intervention. For example, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also constituted in the same way, but as they carry out activities in third countries (outside the European Union), they must be registered at Instituto Camões (renewable every two years) and the Associação na Hora. Instituto Camões is a public institute that outlines cooperation policies between the Portuguese State and other countries, mostly former colonies. In the case of Foundations, it is necessary to register at the Portuguese Center for Foundations. They must also fall within the scope of Article 22 of the Framework Law on Foundations, which defines different types: social solidarity foundations, development cooperation foundations, and foundations for the creation of private higher education institutions, among others. Private social solidarity institutions (IPSSs) require an agreement with the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Overall, the process of forming a nonprofit association is relatively simple.
Government levels primarily regulating the incorporation of philanthropic organizations: Local Government
The Central Government has to approve the incorporation of a PO. However, associations often need to registerwith their municipalities to integrate into the so-called "Social Networks," which allows third sector institutions and the municipality and provides the channel to share resources and work on common projects.