A “strong increase in the number of [very small] new companies” and the “change in the sectors where more companies are created” are the main conclusions pointed out in the barometer, which analysed businesses in 2019.

According to Informa D&B, “almost all of last year’s growth in new companies is due to the growing number of one-person companies”, which represent “more than half” of start-ups (54 percent) compared to “just over a third” (39 percent) 10 years ago.

The work also points to a change in the sectoral profile of the Portuguese business fabric, with the transport and construction sectors registering the highest growth in 2019, replacing real estate activities and accommodation and restaurants, and representing as a whole almost 90 percent of the growth in the number of new companies.

“This growth, initially more evident in the district of Lisbon, also extended to the districts of Porto, Faro and Setúbal and has been constant throughout the year”, notes Informa D&B, pointing out, however, that “around two thirds of the companies in this sub-sector have only one employee and more than 80 percent earn up to €50,000 (with an average value of €21,000)”.

As for construction, in less than a year it rose from sixth to third sector with the largest number of new companies, with the 5,311 new companies created in 2019 representing an increase of 24.3 percent over the previous year, in an “especially sharp” growth in ‘building construction’ and in some specialised activities such as ‘assembling carpentry and joinery work and painting’ and ‘electrical installation’.

As for the ‘information and communication technologies’ (ICT) sector, it grew by 3 percent in 2019, with 2,409 new companies created (almost twice as many as in 2010 and the highest in the last 10 years), with the more than 12,000 companies active in this sector accounting for 4.3 percent of turnover.

The Informa D&B barometer highlights that “the sectors and subsectors with the greatest connection to tourism in 2019 were those that registered the greatest setbacks in business start-ups”, namely real estate activities, short term accommodation and tourism services, “all of which were protagonists of significant growth in new businesses until 2018”.