The article examines the use of estar in Portuguese expressions of permanent location, which runs counter to normative grammar, according to which ser and ficar should appear in those cases. This use of estar is not mentioned in grammatical descriptions, either. Yet, it occurs in contemporary Portuguese (both Portugal and Brazil). The same goes for the Portuguese- and Spanish-lexified creoles, some of which use tá / stá ( < estar ) , to express location. However, almost all rely on a single verb in these contexts. The research question was studied empirically in a corpus (N=1,037) based on Google searches with seven exact phrases including estar , ser , and ficar , subsequently complemented with an analysis of two other Portuguese corpora. The results show that estar appears in expressions of permanent location, both in Portugal (22,5%) and Brazil (17,5%). However, there is a statistically significant difference, ficar being more frequent in Brazil and ser in Portugal. Moreover, the higher frequency of estar in Portugal may indirectly explain the popularity of ficar in Brazil. In addition, estar appears in written nonfiction, pointing to expressions of the type estar localizado / situado as its possible origin, also taking into account that no instances of its use were found in older documents.