Any advice ?

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New Member
Hi guys,
Putting this on a few forums just to hear thoughts/advice from you pros! Ive decided to set up a business in Portugal with two friends. We are looking at setting up an eco villa/complex where guests would come holiday. We have a few unique selling points of which one is the eco slant and the rest I dont want to divulge at this point :) We have literally began research a week ago and come July when all our current work ontracts are finished are ready to spend all our time on the project.

At the moment we are looking at the coastal region from Estoril, Caiscais up to Ericeira or even Peniche. We would like to be on the coast or a relatively close drive as we want to offer surf, and other water sports to the clients(as well as being avid surfers ourselves!) We havn't ruled out western Algarve/Alentejo but have several contacts in Lisbon so are focusing there at the moment.

Basically, we would love to have a piece of land with a main house for office, entertainment, lodging, etc as well as swimming pool and private cabins or something similar dotted around the property. We would like to be in business and running at the latest by next summer(even if we are still building things for a while after). Does this rule out a new build? From the little research Ive done, it seems like new builds can take ages. A new build would be great as we could really make sure everything is eco friendly from the ground up. If we bought a farm or villa, is it a nightmare as far as planning permission regarding extra cabins/yurts and swimming pool?

Anyway, I have never started a business, never bought a house, and do not know any portuguese(though I speak french and ok spanish, so should be ok in a few months of living there!). Any advice on where to start? Real estate agents? Should we try and find a lawyer now?

Sorry about long read! Thanks so much,


New Member
Hello jnote

Planning permision can take a long time, specially if your dealing with Sintra city hall. New regulations regarding planning permission just came out and now there is an alternative way to gain some time when licencing a project.

"If we bought a farm or villa, is it a nightmare as far as planning permission regarding extra cabins/yurts and swimming pool?"

Before buying any property, you should check with the Câmara to make sure you can build in it and how much.

In the end if you plan to build, you'll need an architect. To get a property, check several realstate agents and let them know what you're looking for.

Keep in mind that building is always a long process. It takes no less than 2 years from starting the project to having the construction complete.

Regarding the projects, you'll need for any building:
Structural enginnering
water and sewage
thermal performance and solar hot water supply

and depending on the location

other projects like: fire detection and landscape

Hope this doesn't put you off but it's better to know everything upfront.
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