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WHAT ACTS OF DUE DILIGENCE ARE GENERALLY CONDUCTED WHEN BUYING A PROPERTY?

Due diligence is the act of an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract. When buying a property there are minimum checks that you must do.

Real estate registry
The registry has a record of property ownership, with a complete description of each property on a material, economic and fiscal level, being able any citizen to require information regarding an enrolled building in the Registry. Thus, to analyze the “history” of the property, it is necessary to require the emission, of a document certificate of the full record of the title and dealings regarding the property.

For that purpose the registration record number or the property's full address is required. Mainly the register is consulted to check whether:
- the property is registered in the name of the person or company claiming to be the owner;
- there are any liens;
- any seizure as been registered.

The land registry is where you can obtain copies of land registry certificates.

Tax office 
It is also common to seek information on the tax office of the property's area, to check if it is registered and if so, to obtain the following information:
- the property registration number;
- the estate value;
- to know if any rental contract has been declared (although there is a possibility that the owner did not submit a copy to the local tax office).

The properties are enrolled in accordance with a number. These numbers, assignment of articles, are called "matriciais". The document that demonstrates the fiscal situation of the property is named "Caderneta Predial". In Portugal the property is either rustic, urban, or mixed (rustic and urban).

Check whether the details on the "caderneta predial" are consistent with the land registry certificate - a final deed can not be signed without it.

City Council
It is also possible to go to the City Council in order to check if the property is licensed (housing, commerce or other) or if development is planned or what type of land are surround by and the likely level of building to take place in future.

Unit-holders Association 
If it is a flat you are about to buy, the following information could be obtained from the unit-holders association:
- the management and service cost;
- if there are any outstanding payments;
- the unit-holders association's regulations.
You will have to pay community fees for the maintenance of communal areas. The charges are calculted on the basis of each owner's share.
It is also wise to obtain the rules of the condominium.

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HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY COLLECT A DEBT IN PORTUGAL

To evaluate the chances to successfully collect a debt in Portugal, one should ask the following main six questions:

1 - Is the debt business or consumer related?
Business-related debts often have more chances to receive an immediate positive response than consumer debts. So if the debtor is a company, there are more chances of collecting the debt, unless de company is insolvent or out of business.

2 - How old is the debt?
The age of the debt is critical. Despite the fact that in Portugal the period of limitation is 20 years, the older overdue invoices are, the more difficult it becomes to collect.

3 - Are there documentation to support the debt? 
To make a strong case towards the debtor, and to start legal actions to enforce payment of overdue invoices or a contractually agreed payment, it is mandatory on file the documentation that supports the claim. Supporting documentation regarding the debt may consist of contracts, invoices, order forms, order confirmations, debt acknowledgement, …

THE ART OF MAKING CONCESSIONS

A negotiation is a little drama, and each concession is a sacrifice made for the sake of the own negotiation. When was the last time you went to a street market? It is an excellent place to learn how to negotiate. See how the towels seller cries about the possibility of his own personal bankruptcy whenever he makes you a little discount. Have you small children? If so, you have already realised that you have little chances of winning any negotiation process. I usually do not. Children are better negotiators than anyone else. They don't hesitate to use whatever it takes to make us give up our position. A tantrum in the supermarket is a legitimate weapon. How can we be as much effective as children?

Try to devalue the concessions of your interlocutor and value yours as much as you can. This way it is possible that the other party will eventually make more concessions than those initially intended.  Don´t mention or make any comment on it, as if the other party´s concessions were so…

DEBTS TO BE RECOVERED IN THE COURTS REACH THE EUR 7.2 BILION

The enforcement proceeding (debt recovery through the courts) has been considered one of the major problems in Portuguese justice and also one of the barriers to the development of the Portuguese economy. In 2013 the cases for legal collection amounted EUR 5.6 billion, regarding 201,000 enforcement proceedings lodged in the courts. Between January and April 9 this year, 38,924 cases were filed, valued at EUR. 1.6 billion. Portuguese courts have pending something like EUR 7.2 billion to collect, which corresponds to 4.3% of GDP.

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A trademark is a sign that identifies products or services that exist or is going to be launched in the marketplace. Trademarks enable us to distinguish a company’s products or services from those of other companies.

A trademark can comprise letters or words (verbal trademark), but may also be composed of pictures (pictorial trademark), or both (mixed trademark). It is also possible to register sounds as trademarks (recorded graphically on staves - sound trademark), as well as three-dimensional shapes (three-dimensional trademark). Trademarks can also be made up of advertising slogans, independently of any Copyright protection they may enjoy.

If the trademark is pictorial or contains a mix of words and pictures, you need to attach a picture of the trademark for publication in the Industrial Property Bulletin. This should be on A4 paper, no larger than 8cm x 8cm, and no smaller than 3cm in at least one of its dimensions. The image for publication should be of good technical quality and…

BANK VALUATION OF HOUSES CONTINUES TO RISE

The price of the square meter in the country was valued at 1,141 euros, the highest value since May 2011.

The banking valuation of houses has increased for seven consecutive months. The price at which banks evaluate households when granting housing loans doesn't stop rising. The trend of this indicator accompanies the upward trend in house prices in Portugal.

According to the official data, the average value of the bank evaluation of the homes in October was 1,141 euros per square meter. This figure corresponds to an increase of six euros compared to the value registered in the previous month and is also the highest level since May 2011.