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I've been researching this and so far it seems that all that it takes for a foreigner to start a business in Poland is to register a company (along with the relevant paperwork etc). But that doesn't sound right because in most countries a non-citizen starting a business is expected to provide some mandatory employment and investments.

So, is there a requirement for a business owned by a non-EU national (who does not have a Polish PR but has valid Polish TRP/BlueCard/Visa) in Poland to -

  1. Employ a certain number of polish citizens (or employees in general)?
  2. Show a minimum amount of profits?
  3. Show that company is even doing some actual work?

Can a non-EU national in Poland on temporary residence permit just start/run a company without hiring anyone else and without showing any profits whatsoever?

  • 1
    AFAIK you need to have at least a minimum profit to pay yourself a minimum salary + all required taxes. If I remember it correctly it takes ~2k złotych monthly. Don't know about 1 and 3. – Putnik May 21 '17 at 17:47
  • Thank you. I'm guessing they would probably need some sort of future plan for #1. Lost on #3 though because it would seem that it would allow just about anyone with the minimal funds to reside indefinitely there. – Achilles May 23 '17 at 4:48
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    Re: #3: you must pay salary + taxes, so you have to have income. – Putnik May 24 '17 at 19:52
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Just Landed has a basic outline.

Starting a business in Poland: Registration, taxes and subsidies

The economic development of Poland offers many opportunities for setting up new businesses. Investors can access subsidies and tax allowances, and there are special economic areas (Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna) within which development incentives are offered.

However, the worldwide economic recession has also hit Poland. Recent wage and price inflation have led to an increase in labour cost. Moreover, there are branches of the economy that lack highly skilled workers and it can take very long to fill a position.

Business registration in Poland
If you want to start a small business or become self-employed, it is relatively easy to register at the appropriate town or community administrative office.

The first step of the registration process is an application for an entry into the register of trade (wpis do ewidencji gospodarczej). This normally costs about 100 PLN. 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) at the tax office.

You may be able to get a subsidy for setting up your business. You will need to address the department of business development (Wydzial Promocji Gospodarczej). The programmes and subsidies offered change frequently. If you are an EU citizen, you should find out what EU-programmes are available.

Once you have navigated through all of that you will finally be ready to kick off business!

Keep in mind that in general all documents have to be validated through signature and a company stamp.

Business taxes in Poland
Polish corporate and income tax are at 19%, respectively. Value Added Tax (VAT) is 22%. Companies with an annual turnover of less than €10.000 are exempt from VAT payments. Once your company's turnover has been more than €10.000 you have to make a tax declaration and will then have to pay the corresponding tax.

Of course, you are allowed to set your advertising costs and other expenses off against tax liability. It then is important that you keep all invoices for the respective year, since they have to be handed in with the tax declaration.

If you are a member of the EU and act as a sole trader (self-employment), you can make demands on a reduction of the ZUS-contributions (about 300 PLN instead of at least 900 PLN) when founding your first company in Poland.

In general it is a good advice to find a competent accountancy office (biuro rachunkowe) to do your bookkeeping and deal with all of the administration for a fixed monthly price.

Other types of businesses
If you are planning to launch a larger company or want to invest in Poland, you should use the help of an expert consulting company to get advice on the best legal form for the company, the optimization of taxes, etc. The success of your company will be closely linked to these issues. Although Polish company forms might sound familiar, there may be differences from similar structures in your home country. You may be able obtain help and advice from embassies and consulates in addition to chambers of industry and commerce.

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