Lisbon is an “attractive” destination for French companies for a variety of reasons, including fiscal advantages and the nature of its startup ecosystem, says the co-founder and co-CEO of Lisads Agency and Click & Tac.

“Lisbon is a good place for startups. I think it will become the best place in Western Europe for business in the coming years,” Halim Derres told Via News in an exclusive interview.

Halim is from France and has years of experience in business creation and coaching of entrepreneurs. He has been living in Lisbon since 2017 and decided to launch his own businesses here in 2019 to pursue his passion for communication and the digital world.

Lisads Agency specializes in SEA, SEO, and SMO and provides its clients with a global communication strategy and personalized follow-up, mostly through Google tools and in cooperation with its partners.

Click & Tac is a platform which helps connect French-speaking people inside or outside Portugal to French-speaking services providers in Greater Lisbon and Margem Sul.

Lisads Agency specializes in SEA, SEO, and SMO. (Photo credit - Click & Tac)
Lisads Agency specializes in SEA, SEO, and SMO. (Photo credit – Click & Tac)

Why Lisbon?

When asked why he decided to establish his companies in the Portuguese capital, he said the vibrant atmosphere, fiscal incentives, relatively lower taxes, ideal geographical position, and the high level of English language proficiency make Lisbon an “attractive” place for business.

In addition, Lisbon has connections with reputable international players in the world of startups, he noted.

“Lisbon is a good place for startups. I think it will become the best place in Western Europe for business in the coming years.”

Halim Derres, co-founder and co-CEO of Lisads Agency and Click & Tac
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The co-founder of Lisads Agency and Click & Tac says Lithuania and Estonia are also doing a great job at the moment in terms of supporting and attracting startups through facilitating the company registration process.

“But I think Lisbon, Paris, and London will be the main three hubs in the next 5 to 10 years. In my opinion, Lisbon will be the first.”

Halim not only recommends French companies to move to Lisbon but also helps them throughout the process of relocating their business.

According to him, more French people are choosing Lisbon for business, especially given the economic challenges facing France.

Click & Tac is a platform where users can find the closest French-speaking provider in their area. (Photo credit - Click & Tac)
Click & Tac is a platform where users can find the closest French-speaking provider in their area. (Photo credit – Click & Tac)

Startup Scene in France, Portugal

Asked about the major differences between the startup landscape in France and Portugal, Halim said there are many VCs and incubators in Portugal like in the United States.  

“This is while startups in France mainly have partnerships with state bodies,” he stated, adding that he prefers the startup ecosystem in Portugal as it makes doing business and securing funds easier.

As for the main challenges that Lisbon should overcome to maintain its reputation as a desirable startup destination, he said administrative procedures should be more streamlined and paperwork should be reduced.

Halim Derres, co-founder and co-CEO of Click & Tac (Photo by Via News)

Startup Advice

Halim, who is the organizer of Young Entrepreneurs Lisbon meet-ups, has some pieces of advice for aspirant entrepreneurs or those who have already started their own business.

“In order to become a successful entrepreneur, you need to love freedom but you should have a minimum of discipline. These are the two legs that you need as an entrepreneur.”

Discipline is really important, particularly if someone wants to work from home, he said. “It is because when you are at home, sometimes your best companions are TV, social media, fridge, and sofa.”

Halim also says entrepreneurs should forget about a “fixed monthly salary” and advance their plans step by step so that they can notice and resolve the problems that arise along the way.

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