Setting up a business in Poland

Information for foreigners

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Why open a business in Poland

Starting a business in Poland is open to everyone.

Being a member of the EU and NATO makes Poland a politically stable nation with a huge local market, right in the middle of Europe.

Lately Poland’s growth is one of the highest in the European Union, and this trend is expected to continue. Furthermore the country’s economy wasn’t as effected by the recent crisis as its Western neighbours were.

When it comes to innovation in the financial sector, it can be said that Poland is one of the world leaders in the adoption of new fintech solutions, especially when it comes to the use of contactless payment cards (and mobile payments).

In accordance with the Masterindex 2018 survey on pan-European e-commerce, Poles use contactless payments cards 20 times more often than their German neighbours, and 3 times as much as European average.

In recent years, thanks to European Funds, Poland invested heavily in its road, rail and energy infrastructure.

Polish economic growth remains solid and sustainable: 5,1% 2018 and a projected 3.5-4% growth in 2019 and 2020.

The annual inflation rate in Poland fell to 1,6 per cent (GUS, January 2019).

After the recent Standard & Poor’s update of Poland’s credit rating, as of February 2019, the three main global agencies give Poland the following ratings:

  • Fitch: „A-”; outlook — stable.
  • Moody’s: „A2”; outlook — stable.
  • S&P: „A-”; outlook — stable.

All this makes Poland a very promising and attractive place for potential new investors and businesses.

Conducting business activities in Poland

Setting up a business in a new country may be overwhelming, however we prepared some information for those, who wants to open a company here in Poland. First of all:

If you would like to do it online, you need the so-called ePUAP trusted profile. It’s a nationwide platform used for online communication between Polish citizens and its government offices.

However in order to get such profile, you have to obtain the Polish PESEL number beforehand.

PESEL is a 11-digit personal identification number in Poland, that you can obtain automatically, when you register your address of residence in Poland. In Polish it’s called „Zameldowanie”.

People, who lived in German-speaking countries may be familiar with the process of Anmeldung. The Polish equivalent is similar.

If getting the PESEL number is out of the question, you will have to visit the notary office, where your company’s articles of incorporation must be notarised. Keep in mind, if you do not speak Polish, you are obliged to use an interpreter as well.

Second of all: in accordance with the applicable Polish law, the following persons can register new companies on equal terms with Polish citizens:

  • UE citizens;
  • Other European Economic Area citizens (i.e. Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein);
  • Pole’s Card holders — Karta Polaka;
  • Long-term EU-resident permit holders;
  • Permanent Resident status holders, 
  • Refugee status holders,

and a number of other exceptions described in the Act on the rules of participation of foreign entrepreneurs and other foreign persons in the economic trade on the territory of Poland.

This basically means, that if you come from a neighbouring UE country, you can register any type of company that you need.

However, if you are not a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area; do not have a valid Pole’s Card, a refugee status, temporary protection or do not meet a number of other conditions, specified in the Act, you may conduct business activities only in the form of the following 4 partnerships:

  • a registered partnership — Spółka komandytowa;
  • limited joint-stock partnership — Spółka komandytowo akcyjna;
  • limited liability company — Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością (Sp. z o.o.);
  • joint stock company — Spółka Akcyjna (S.A.).

In accordance with the law, you may also join the above mentioned companies, acquire them and subscribe for shares.

Once the registration process is complete, and the forms have been processed by the National Court Register (KRS), a unique business number will be assigned to your business, the so-called KRS number.

You can check if your company’s registration process is complete, by accessing the National Court Register online.

Business registration
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