Register a business in Poland:  Worth Attention?

Thinking of Starting a Business in Poland as a Foreigner? Check out our Guide on Taxes, Pros, and Cons of Having a Polish Company.


starting a business in poland as a foreigner

Why start a business in Poland? 🇵🇱 It’s in the middle of Europe and growing fast! Poland is stable, part of the EU, OECD, and G20.

In the Doing Business 2020 report, Poland ranked 40th, showing it’s good for business. The Global Competitiveness Report 2019 put Poland at 37th.

Poland’s whole country is like an economic zone 🏭, giving tax breaks for businesses. The Innovation Box gives a low 5% tax rate for selling ideas 💡.

Poland’s economy is booming 📈, even more than other European countries. With its central location and global memberships, Poland is a great place to start a business. Consider the opportunities for your business journey!

The best cities in Poland for Company Location?

Whether you’re a digital nomad or not, here’s a list of the best and biggest cities in Poland where foreigners have set up businesses. Which city do you want to choose?

City Population (2022) Area (km²)
Warsaw 1.8 million 517
Krakow 769,335 327
Lodz 685,285 293
Wroclaw 641,607 292
Poznan 551,627 261
Gdansk 472,997 262
Szczecin 403,426 301

What Taxes Pay Company in Poland?

Are You Thinkink About Starting a Business in Poland as Foreigner? STOP!  Read about Taxes First!

Corporation Tax in Poland

Corporation tax is a type of tax that businesses pay on their profits. It’s a way for the government to collect money from companies based on the income they earn

Taxation Form Tax Rate Eligibility Criteria
Corporate Income Tax (CIT) 9% or 19% 9% Rate: Applicable for small taxpayers. If the taxpayer’s gross sales revenue does not exceed €2,000,000, or this limit is not surpassed in the current tax year, a 9% rate is applicable for active business activities. 19% Rate: Applied once the €2,000,000 limit is exceeded. Gross turnover includes VAT on goods and services. The reduced 9% rate is applicable only to revenues (income) other than capital gains, and certain restrictions apply to entities formed as a result of specific restructuring activities.


VAT Rates in Poland for Business!

PRO tip: Keep an eye on your sales. If you’re getting close to PLN 200,000, plan for VAT so you’re ready when it’s time to pay. 📊💰


VAT Rates Percentage Rate Application Area
Standard (23%) 23% – General VAT rate applied to most goods and services.
Reduced (8%) 8% – Applicable to, among other things, construction covered by a social housing program, services related to culture, sports, and recreation.
Reduced (5%) 5% – Covers, for instance, basic food products (e.g., bread, dairy), baby products, books, and e-books.
Preferential (0%) 0% – Preferential rate applied, for example, to intra-Community supplies of goods and exports of goods.

🇪🇪 Free Consultation – Eesti Consulting

Eligibility and Requirements for Foreigners Setting Up a Company in Poland

To set up a company in Poland as a foreigner, there are certain eligibility criteria and requirements that need to be met. Let’s take a closer look at what these are:


Eligibility Criteria for Foreigners

Foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish a company in Poland must fulfill specific criteria related to residency, nationality, or legal status. The following points outline the key eligibility requirements:

Residence Permit: Foreigners must have a valid residence permit or temporary residence permit in Poland. This permit allows them to legally reside and work in the country. 🇵🇱📜

Citizenship: While Polish citizenship is not mandatory, foreigners can still establish a company if they meet the necessary residency requirements. 🌍🤝

EU National Bonus: EU nationals enjoy a special advantage as they may register a Sp. z o.o. (limited liability company) in Poland, simplifying the process for those from European Union member states. 🇪🇺💼

Moreover, the process of company formation offers flexibility:

Additionally, you can open a bank account for your company with a choice of top banks in Poland. 🏦💳


Necessary Documents and Permits

When registering a company in Poland, it is essential to provide the required documents and permits during the application process. These may include: 

Documents Description
Identification Documents Valid passport or national identification card for identity verification (KYC/AML documents).
Proof of Residence Utility bills or rental agreements as proof of residence.
Business Plan Well-prepared business plan detailing business nature, market analysis, financial projections, and marketing strategies.
Permits and Licenses Depending on the industry or sector, additional permits or licenses may be required before starting business activities.

Advantages of Starting Company in Poland

Features Description
Separate Legal Personality LLC has a separate legal personality, allowing it to act independently. 🌐🏢
Limited Liability for Shareholders Shareholders’ liability is limited to their contributions. They’re not personally responsible for debts. 💼💰
Flexibility in Number of Shareholders LLC can be established by one or more individuals, even as a single-member LLC. 👥
Commercial Activity as a Single-Member LLC allows for commercial activities as a single-member entity. 🌱👨‍💼
Legal Capacity for Business Transactions LLC has legal capacity for business transactions independently. 📜🤝
Protection of Shareholders’ Investments Shareholders’ investments are protected, and they’re not personally liable. 🛡️💸
Ability to Operate as a Single-Member Company LLC can function as a single-member company, offering flexibility. 👤
Freedom to Hire Any Number of Employees LLC has the freedom to employ any number of workers for scalability. 💼👥
Immediate Commencement of Business Activities LLC can start activities immediately upon signing the company agreement. 📅🏢
Relatively Low Initial Capital Initial capital is relatively low at 5000 zł and can be adjusted as needed. 💰📉
Flexible Capital Adjustment Capital can be easily increased or decreased, remaining above the statutory minimum. 🔄
Streamlined Online Company Formation Efficient online registration process with automatic tax identification assignment. 🌐💻
Efficient Registration Procedure Quick registration procedure, especially with online methods, saving time and effort. 🚀⏱️


Disadvantages of Having Company in Poland


Challenges and Considerations Description
Lengthy Liquidation Procedure Liquidating a Spółka z o.o. involves extensive documentation and time-consuming procedures. ⏳🏢💼
Notarial Deed Costs Drafting the company agreement as a notarial deed incurs additional costs and can be time-consuming. 💰📄💼
Double Taxation Spółka z o.o. may face double taxation, with corporate income tax (CIT) and additional income tax (PIT) on profits. 💰📊
Full Accounting Obligation Obligation to maintain a full accounting system can lead to complexity and additional costs for accounting services. 📚💻💸
Annual Financial Reporting Mandatory annual financial reporting can be a burden for companies, with failure to submit reports resulting in fines. 📅💰
Management Board Liability Management board members may face liability for the company’s obligations, potentially involving personal assets. ⚖️💸


Tax Incentives, Grants, and Subsidies

One of the major advantages of starting a company in Poland is the availability of tax incentives, grants, and subsidies. The Polish government offers various programs aimed at supporting foreign-owned companies. For example, businesses operating within special economic zones can benefit from reduced corporate income tax rates or even be exempt from paying it altogether for specified periods. 🌐🇵🇱

There are grants and subsidies available for specific sectors such as technology, research and development (R&D), innovation, energy efficiency, and more. These financial incentives provide valuable support to companies looking to establish themselves in Poland. 💼💰

Moreover, if you set up a Polish company, you can apply for the SME FUND 2023 grant, which offers additional financial assistance and opportunities for growth. 🚀💡

Additionally, the EU provides a system that protects your trademark in all member states through EU trademark registration managed by the EUIPO. Instead of registering in each country separately, you can register once with the EUIPO and have exclusive rights in all EU countries. This not only streamlines the process but also provides a strong legal foundation for your brand. 🛡️🌍

And here’s an exciting opportunity: with the SME FUND 2023 grant, you can imagine significant savings on EU trademark registration costs. Instead of the standard 850€, you pay only 212€! To seize this opportunity, fill in the form and discover the secret. Remember, it’s first come, first served! 🌟🔐


Access to EU Markets

As a member of the European Union (EU), establishing a company in Poland provides access to the vast EU market. This membership allows businesses based in Poland to trade freely within the EU’s single market without facing trade barriers or tariffs. It opens up doors to 27 other countries with over 450 million potential customers.

Being part of the EU also means that companies established in Poland can benefit from various EU programs designed to support business growth such as Horizon Europe (the EU’s research and innovation program) or COSME (the EU program for small and medium-sized enterprises).


Sectors with Growth Potential

Poland offers opportunities for businesses across various sectors. Some industries, in particular, have shown significant growth potential in recent years. The technology sector, for example, has been thriving with a growing number of startups and tech companies emerging in cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw.

Manufacturing is another sector that holds promise in Poland. The country has a strong industrial base and is known for its skilled workforce and competitive production costs. The services industry, including finance, IT outsourcing, shared services centers, and e-commerce, continues to flourish.


Networking and Collaboration Opportunities

Establishing a company in Poland also provides ample networking and collaboration opportunities within the local business community. Poland has a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem with numerous industry events, conferences, and networking platforms where entrepreneurs can connect with like-minded individuals.

Moreover, there are various chambers of commerce and business associations that facilitate networking among businesses both domestically and internationally. These platforms offer valuable resources for establishing partnerships or finding new clients or suppliers.


Procedures and Costs of Registering a Company in Poland


Step-by-step Explanation of the Company Registration Process for Foreigners in Poland

Registering a company in Poland as a foreigner may seem like a daunting task, but with the right information, it can be a smooth process. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the procedures involved:


      1. Choose your company structure: The first step is to decide on the type of company you want to register. In Poland, common options include limited liability companies (Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością or Sp. z o.o.) and joint-stock companies (Spółka akcyjna or S.A.). Each has its own requirements and implications.

      1. Prepare necessary documentation: To register your company, you will need certain documents, such as articles of association, which outline the purpose and structure of your business. You will also need identification documents for all shareholders and directors involved.

      1. Open a bank account: Before registering your company, you must open a bank account in Poland. This is where you will deposit the required share capital for your chosen company structure.

      1. Notarize documents: Some documents may need to be notarized by a Polish notary public. This includes the articles of association and any other legal agreements related to your business.

      1. Submit registration application: Once all necessary documentation is prepared, you can submit your registration application to the relevant registry court in Poland. The court will review your application and verify that all requirements are met.

      1. Receive KRS number: If your registration application is approved, you will receive a KRS number from the registry court. This unique identification number confirms that your company is officially registered.

    1. Register for tax purposes: After receiving your KRS number, you must register for tax purposes with the appropriate tax office in Poland.


Overview of Required Documentation

When registering a company in Poland, you will need to provide specific documentation. Here is an overview of the required documents:


      • Articles of association: These documents outline the purpose and structure of your company.

      • Identification documents: You will need identification documents for all shareholders and directors involved in the company.

    • Bank confirmation: A confirmation from the bank stating that you have deposited the required share capital in your business bank account.

It’s important to ensure that all documentation is accurate and complete to avoid any delays or complications during the registration process.


Government Fees and Additional Costs

Registering a company in Poland incurs certain government fees. The exact amount depends on various factors, such as the type of company being registered and its share capital. It is advisable to check with the registry court or seek professional advice to determine the specific fees applicable to your situation.

In addition to government fees, there may be additional costs associated with registering a company in Poland. These can include legal assistance fees, translation services for non-Polish documents, notary fees for document authentication, and any other professional services required during the registration process. It’s essential to consider these potential costs when budgeting for your company registration.


Estimated Timeframe for Company Registration

The time it takes to complete the registration process can vary depending on several factors, including the workload of the registry court and whether all documentation is correctly prepared. On average, it can take between two weeks to three months from submitting your application until you receive your KRS number. It’s important to plan accordingly and allow sufficient time for any potential delays or additional requirements that may arise during this period.

Registering a company in Poland as a foreigner involves several procedures and considerations. By understanding each step involved, preparing necessary documentation accurately, accounting for government fees and additional costs, and allowing ample time for completion, you can navigate through this process smoothly. Seeking professional guidance from lawyers or business consultants experienced in company registration can also provide valuable assistance and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.


Setting Up a Limited Liability Company in Poland: Requirements and Eligibility

In Poland, establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can offer numerous benefits for foreigners looking to start their own business. Let’s delve into the requirements and eligibility criteria associated with setting up an LLC in Poland.


Benefits of Establishing an LLC in Poland

Creating an LLC in Poland provides several advantages that make it an attractive option for foreigners. Some of the key benefits include:


      1. Limited Liability: As the name suggests, an LLC offers limited liability protection to its shareholders. This means that their personal assets are safeguarded in case the company faces financial difficulties or legal issues.

      1. Flexible Management Structure: An LLC allows for flexibility in terms of management structure. It requires at least one shareholder and one director to form the company, allowing individuals to have full control over their business operations.

      1. Tax Exemptions: LLCs are eligible for certain tax exemptions and incentives provided by the Polish government. These exemptions can help reduce the overall tax burden on businesses, making it more financially viable.

    1. Separate Legal Entity: An LLC is considered a separate legal entity from its owners, which means that it can enter into contracts, own property, and engage in various business activities on its own behalf.


Minimum Capital Requirements

When establishing an LLC as a foreigner in Poland, there are minimum capital requirements that need to be met. The current minimum share capital required is 5,000 PLN (Polish Zloty), which is approximately $1,300 USD.

Foreigners must ensure they have sufficient funds available to meet this requirement before proceeding with the registration process. It’s important to note that this capital should be deposited into a dedicated bank account during the registration process.


Shareholders and Directors

To form an LLC in Poland, at least one shareholder and one director are required. The shareholder(s) can be individuals or legal entities, and they are the owners of the company. The director(s), on the other hand, are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the business.

It’s worth mentioning that shareholders and directors can be the same individuals, allowing for a streamlined decision-making process. There are no restrictions on foreign nationals serving as shareholders or directors in a Polish LLC.


Poland Limited Liability Company (Sp. z o.o.) – characteristic

In conclusion, establishing a limited liability company in Poland as a foreigner offers numerous benefits and opportunities. The eligibility requirements are relatively straightforward, and the procedures for registering a company are well-defined. By setting up a company in Poland, you can take advantage of its favorable business environment, strategic location within Europe, and growing economy.

Now is the time to explore the possibilities that Poland has to offer for foreigners looking to start their own business. With its supportive infrastructure, skilled workforce, and competitive costs, Poland provides an ideal platform for entrepreneurial success. Whether you’re interested in manufacturing, IT services, or any other industry, Poland welcomes you with open arms.

What is your choice? Poland or maybe Estonia with 0% Corporation Tax?

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starting a business in poland as a foreigner