Family and Family Business Law - Portugal

The growing demand for services related to Family and Family Business Law, as well as the particularity and specialisation that these areas require, drove the need to create a department in Belzuz Abogados Portugal to treat and study in a differentiated way the different matters related to these subjects.

The Family and Family Business Law Department provides a wide range of advisory services, in judicial and extrajudicial aspects, and is dedicated both to responding to the whole area of Family and Succession Law, including management of family assets, and to the area of Family Business Law or Family Governance Law, which aims to provide support and response to all situations involving family companies and businesses, including in day-to-day matters.

Using its parent company in Spain and an international support network, the Family and Family Business Law Department can also assist in all situations involving foreign jurisdictions, including from a perspective of planning and anticipating succession alternatives.

The Family and Family Business Law Department of Belzuz Abogados Portugal makes available to you:

• Presentation of a defence strategy, through analysis and preparation of legal opinions prior to the actions;

• Its best know-how and its best legal strategy in negotiation between parties;

• Its best negotiating strategy, to reach agreements that meet the will and interest of the parties;

• Its experience and knowledge in drafting contracts and agreements, including the most complex ones, which could otherwise take years to solve;

• Acting through mediation, as well as judicial, when absolutely necessary;

• Its sensitivity and best treatment of privacy issues, given the especially intimate and sensitive nature of most of the topics covered in Family Law;

 The Family Law Departament offers advice in the following areas:


Family Business Law

Family Businesses are an important part of the Portuguese economy, in terms of both their number and their relevance, taking very diverse forms, from micro-companies to large corporate groups. Their main feature is, however, the union of the family that binds it.

The family bond allows establishing long-term objectives, based on the continuity of the preservation of assets in the family unit.

Although there are no accurate statistics, it is estimated that more than 70% of Portuguese companies have family structure and ownership.

The biggest challenges facing Family Businesses are the professionalization of their management, the development of an effective and transparent corporate governance model and the succession and continuity of these companies.

The Family and Family Business Department of Belzuz Abogados S.L.P. provides a specialised multidisciplinary service in advising on legal and tax aspects of Family Businesses, based on a perception of the need to combine factors that are common to all companies with factors typical of these companies.

The Family and Family Business Department advises its clients, namely, on the following topics:

Preparation and implementation of family protocols

The strict relationship established between company and family, under a rationale of unity, must be guided by discipline and effective control of governance.

In this context, entering into Family Protocols appears to be an important management tool to prevent conflicts in Family Businesses, reducing undesirable behaviours, making it possible to support the maintenance of business in the union of the family structure.

The Family Protocol is a consensual agreement between all members of the Family, in writing, which establishes the code of conduct regulating the relations of family members with the company in the areas of ownership, succession and governance of the Company, as well as professional, economic and personal relations between the Family and the Company.

Within the scope of the Family Protocol, we assist our clients in the design of the family succession plan, with regard to the strategic business context, the definition of family governance structures, especially the Family Assembly and the Family Council, and the implementation of corporate governance rules.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Restructuring of family assets/ business

Our team is able to identify and respond to situations in which there is a need to ensure the inter-generational preservation of family assets, by creating structures that congregate, in a unified way, the interests of the family as a whole or part of the assets, regardless of whether they are movable and/or real estate. At the same time, this approach allows adapting the organisation of the family assets to the strategic objectives of the family, possibly provided for in a family protocol.

Asset holders can use various mechanisms and instruments, not only to streamline succession, but also to maximise resources at any time and whenever possible, to obtain more efficient solutions, from a tax point of view.

Depending on the objectives of each family, such structures may include, for example,:

• Establishing family offices;

• Establishing family holding companies;

• Separating elements of the assets, for example, by establishing companies or groups of companies;

• Creating contractual or statutory instruments that regulate the transfer of shareholdings due to death;

• Considering the establishment of fiduciary structures/trusts;

• Separating assets, according to certain objectives or for reasons of tax efficiency.

Regarding the restructuring of Family Assets/Business, Belzuz Abogados, S.L.P. also advises its clients on the following aspects:

• Business internationalisation, namely by opening branches, companies or other collective entities, entering into agreements such as joint ventures and association in participation;

• Processes of acquisition or sale of family businesses, corporate restructuring and corporate reorganisations;

• Advice on operations to separate family and business assets;

• Legal advice in situations of conflict between partners/shareholders.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Family Law

Benefiting from the wide attention that this area has always received from its parent company and the high degree of specialisation, preparation and experience of the managing partner of the Family Law Department of Belzuz Abogados Spain, Clara Belzuz Fernández, the spirit of the Department aims to be primarily conciliatory, favouring extrajudicial solutions that are particularly relevant in this field of Law.

Divorces, legal separations and property settlements

Ending a life together is an indisputable fact nowadays, single-parent families presently representing a very significant percentage of our society. These are issues that Belzuz Abogados Portugal is familiar with and continuously monitors, both in the negotiation and friendly formalisation phase of “separation” (divorce or separation of people and property by mutual consent), or in the judicial phase of “separation” that leads the couple to proceedings for divorce or litigious separation of people and property, including the partition of common property.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Marriages and common-law unions

In addition to the sentimental relationship that characterises the ways of living with the family, knowing the advantages and disadvantages that each of these realities entails is also a concern when deciding to live together.

Belzuz Abogados Portugal advising its clients in these matters, through monitoring of marriage processes, definition of the property regime and drafting of prenuptial agreements and their vicissitudes, acknowledgment of civil partnerships and respective rights.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Family relations and civil registration

The development of family relationships in EU member states and third countries involves many Portuguese citizens, sometimes because they acquired nationality at birth (place of birth, nationality of family members, etc.), sometimes because they acquired it during their lifetime (marriage/civil partnership, living in Portugal, etc.). Aware of its Portuguese-Spanish nature, Belzuz Abogados has been advising and sponsoring its clients in the transcription of marriages and registration of divorces and other forms of matrimonial dissolution, as well as in the acknowledgment and review of judgments handed down in other countries that are meant to take effect in Portugal.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Parental responsibilities

Separation of parents does not have to mean loss of conviviality of the child with any of them, except for exceptional cases where this proves to be manifestly inappropriate. One must define the regime that best fits the life of parents, taking into account the maximum interest of the child, whether by agreement or by court order. Belzuz Abogados Portugal seeks in each concrete case a balance between the most relevant daily issues, so that the regulation of parental responsibilities is accurately determined, without, however, instituting a rigidity that makes its execution unfeasible and unsuitable.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Tax consultancy

Often, the realities that Family and Succession Law touches have tax implications that must be cared for and ensured.

For example, a donation may, in some cases, be subject to Stamp Duty, partitions may have implications for Personal Income Tax, Municipal Property Transfer Tax and Stamp Duty – now, all of these implications must be anticipated, so as to prevent the beneficiary of the goods from coming across tax implications that they did not foresee.

On the other hand, whenever possible, we can identify solutions that allow issues of Family and Succession Law to be solved in the most efficient way, from a tax point of view.

To this extent, the Family Law and Family Business Department is able to anticipate the tax implications arising from each of these realities, seeking, whenever possible, to maximise tax efficiency in decision-making.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Labour consultancy

Aware of the domestic issues that families face, the Family and Family Business Law Department also provides advice on labour, through counselling on matters related to hiring domestic service employees and others who perform functions of confidence in the family environment (such as drivers, tutors or caregivers to sick or older people).


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Successions, wills and donations

Inheritance and all legal acts inherent to this autonomous estate have gained undeniable prominence these days and Belzuz Advogados is not indifferent, making an effort to advise its clients in a dual ante-mortem and post-mortem approach, which covers, among others, matters related to wills, bequests, donations, administration and extrajudicial or judicial partition (inventory process) of the inheritance.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal

Succession planning

Succession planning appears to be the most appropriate tool for preventing family conflicts, ensuring that family goals are achieved.

Its main purpose is to prevent and, whenever possible, remove the disturbance that a death can cause.

When planning the respective succession, the property owner focuses on the freedom to dispose and the limits imposed by law, and may use several instruments to do so, of which the most common examples are wills and donations; however, the property owner may use other acts that avoid these traditional instruments and make the transfer of assets more agile, and eventually more advantageous from a tax point of view.


More information about the Family and Family Business Law Departament | Portugal



Belzuz Abogados - Madrid office

Nuñez de Balboa 115 bis 1

  28006 Madrid

+34 91 562 50 76

+34 91 562 45 40

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Belzuz Abogados - Lisbon office

Av. Duque d´Ávila, 141 – 1º Dtº

  1050-081 Lisbon

+351 21 324 05 30

+351 21 347 84 52

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Belzuz Abogados - Oporto office

Rua Julio Dinis 204, Off 314

  4050-318 Oporto

+351 22 938 94 52

+351 22 938 94 54

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