Poland is an attractive place for  business immigration due to legal requirements and law costs of living in comparison to old EU members.

Lexcarta Law Firm offers legal support in all issues concerning legal immegration to Poland.

The process for foreigners who come from other European Union countries is vastly different from that for those that come from non-EU countries. For those with an EU passport the process is much simpler. The part of the report that applies to you will be the starting your own business section. For those from non-EU countries, the process can be a bit more complicated.

Regardless of your status, you can commence with the paperwork for starting your own business at the same time as starting the immigration procedures.

Starting your own business

Starting and running a business in Poland is open to everyone and you will be on equal footing. With exceptions for the utilities sector, there is almost no permit required to run a business in any sector. Because the progressive economic desires of the government are congruent to the entrepreneur, in theory, the government should not impede your progress.

Two ways: self-employment or commercial company

If you want to start a business in order to become self-employed, it is relatively easy to register at the appropriate town or voivodeship administrative office.

The first step is to apply for an entry into the register of trade (wpis do ewidencji gospodarczej). To register a business, you need to choose one or more categories from the classification of activity.

After you receive a written confirmation of a trade registration, you have to go to the National Statistics Agency (Glówny Urzad Statystyczny, GUS) to apply for a REGON number. The REGON is used on a number of other forms so you will be blocked without it.

You will then need to register at the ZUS (social insurance) and apply for a tax number (NIP) and if you need it register your business as a VAT taxpayer (VAT-UE) at the tax office.

Business activity can be started as early as at the date of filing. Naturally, the application can also specify a different (later) date of commencing the business.

Businesses starting up as commercial companies and partnerships can begin to operate after they are added to the register of entrepreneurs in the National Court Register (KRS). It covers both partnerships and companies as well as other entities (associations, cooperatives, foundations, etc.). The register is publicly available – everyone has access to it and may obtain the appropriate certified copies of documents on their company or another one – for example, their contractor or debtor. It is designed to ensure universal access to fast and reliable information on the legal statute of the registered subject (Central Information Centre of KRS), the most important facts about their financial situation as well as the method of their representation.

What if you want a branch office or representative?

A foreign company may conduct business through a branch office in Poland to the extent that such activity is conducted in its country of origin. The foreign individual or business that takes this route must appoint a person authorized to represent them in Poland. Again, there is no need to appoint new management, or to invest in capital, however this operation will also attract a minimal maintenance cost connected with an office lease and perhaps more comprehensive accountancy service.

Having a representative office in Poland enables a foreign entrepreneur to conduct business solely with respect to advertising and promoting its activities. There is no need to appoint new management or commit to any capital investment, however minimum maintenance costs connected with an office lease and an accountancy service would be essential.

Setting up a representative office is quite simple and requires registration in the Register of Representative Offices of Foreign Business Entities maintained by the Minister of Economy.

General rules of starting a business for foreigners

Some foreigners may establish and conduct business activity based on the same principles as Polish citizens. This means that they may take up and conduct each form of business activity admissible under Polish law. These are foreigners in Poland who have, for example, a permanent residence permit, a long-term EU resident permit, a residence permit for a specified time granted to a foreigner’s family member to be united with the family, and several more.