The CAE list contains all the economic activities that can be carried out by companies and professionals with entrepreneurial activity. Know what it’s for.
THE Classification of Economic Activities (CAE) is a system created by the National Statistics Institute (INE) to classify and group economic activities in Portugal.
This classification, used for statistical purposes, is also decisive for the taxation of companies or individual entrepreneurs.
But what is the CAE list anyway? What are the codes it contains for? And how do you know which CAE your company or others have?
What is CAE?
The CAE code is the numerical code that serves to classify the economic activities of each company for the purposes of taxation and statistical information. The various existing codes result from the Portuguese Economic Activities Classification (CAE) system, drawn up and organized by INE.
These codes are also included in the SICAE (Information System for the Portuguese Classification of Economic Activities). This database aggregates all the information on the CAE codes of companies, associations, foundations and other legal and equivalent persons.
The choice of the CAE code must be made when a company is constituted or opens activity as a sole proprietorship.
How to consult the CAE of a company?
For consult CAE of a company can use the Iberinform company directory. Just enter the name in the search engine and, after locating the company, you will know the CAE code, as well as other information that may be of interest to you.
How is the CAE list organized?
The coding system adopted in the Portuguese classification of economic activities is divided into two parts. The alphabetical part, made up of 21 sections coded with a letter from A to U, and the numerical part with four levels (Division, Group, Class and Subclass). From the combination of these elements, a 5-digit code is generated, the CAE code.
The organization of the CAE list reflects the organization of economic sectors. Thus, the first activities on the list are linked to agriculture, fishing and activities in the 1st sector. Industry and tertiary services follow.
The current CAE list is already the third version of the one that was initially drawn up in 1953. The emergence of new activities and revisions made at an international level mean that the list has to be updated.
What is the CAE list for?
The CAE list thus serves to classify and group entities producing goods and services (whether for profit or not), according to economic activity.
This classification makes it possible to organize economic and social statistical information by branch of activity. For example, knowing what each one represents in terms of production, investment, employment, etc.
Despite being prepared by INE, the national CAE list is harmonized with the Nomenclature of Economic Activities of the European Union and the Classification of Activities of the United Nations. This harmonization with international standards makes statistical comparison possible, not only at national level, but also at EU and global level.
The CAE code also allows the State to know how to tax companies and individual entrepreneurs, according to the economic activity carried out, as well as how to classify expenses in the e-invoice.
How many CAE codes can a company have?
A company or self-employed person doing business can have more than one CAE code. In addition to the main one, it is possible to have up to 19 secondary CAE codes.
In general, if a certain activity corresponds to more than 50% of turnover, this will be the main CAE.
A cafe, for example, can also manufacture bread or pastries, thus using the CAE that correspond to each of these activities. The same goes for hypermarkets.
How can I know the CAE of my activity?
Companies are required to choose a CAE code upon incorporation. For professionals with business activity, the choice is made when they deliver the declaration of start of activity in Finance.
But attention, it is important to distinguish these professionals from self-employed workers who only provide services, that is, those who earn category B income from the IRS. Those do not need to choose a CAE code, but rather one of the codes in the table attached to article 151.º of the IRS Code.
If you are not sure which CAE fits your company or activity, you can consult the full list here. In case of doubts about the CAE code to choose, you should contact INE.
Is it possible to request a change to the CAE code?
Companies and natural persons who wish to pursue an activity other than the one they carry out or intend to add another activity to their scope of action, must submit a request to the Tax Authority (AT).
The request to change the CAE code can be made online, on the Finance Portal, or in person at a Finance office.
The CAE can be changed, either on its own initiative or ex officio by entities such as the National Institute of Statistics, the Tax Authority or the Institute of Registries and Notaries, following inquiries or inspections.