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. (cf. Business activity in Poland – basic information ->).
Note: international agreements between individual states and Poland may provide for additional limitations or rights. Therefore it is advisable to ensure whether an international agreement is binding with respect to a given state. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs keeps an online database of treaties where such information may be checked here ->
For more information on the procedure of legalization of residence on the basis of conducting economic activity visit->
Note: A foreigner who wants to establish one of the aforementioned partnerships or companies does not have to legalize his stay in Poland and apply for a work permit in Poland. Such a foreigner is the owner of a company and does not have to physically reside in Poland – he can register a firm via the Internet, for example. The person who will actually conduct business activity in Poland is, for instance, a company director. In case the director is a foreigner, he has to apply for a permit to work in Poland and have grounds for residence in Poland.
Members of the family of foreign persons to whom international agreements apply and who can take up business activity in the form of a limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, limited liability company and joint stock company, holding a residence permit for an unspecified period, may undertake and conduct business based on the same principles as those foreigners.
Family members holding a temporary residence permit, granted in connection with the arrival or presence in Poland in order to reunite with the foreigners’ family (who hold a residence permit for a specified time and conduct business activity on the basis of an entry in the register of economic activity made on the reciprocity principle) may undertake and conduct business on the same principles as those foreigners.
Good to know: People who are interested in doing business in Poland can contact the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), which provides training courses for entrepreneurs and organizes post-graduate studies.
Regulated activity is activity which may be carried out provided that specific conditions stipulated by law are met. Conducting regulated business activity requires an entry in the register of business activity. However, an entry in the register of regulated activity should not be confused with registration of a business in the Central Register and Information on Business (CEIDG) or the National Court Register (KRS), because these are separate registers. There is no single authority registering regulated activity - depending on the nature of this activity, the registration authority is the competent authority responsible for a particular area. For example, in the case of business activity involving the production and bottling of wine the registration authority is the minister responsible for agriculture, whereas the registration authority for telecommunications activity is the President of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE).
The procedure of submitting an application for entry in the register of regulated activity also depends on the registration authority.
An alphabetical list of regulated activities, information on procedures, registration authority and registration fees for a given type of activity may be found on the website of the Ministry of Economy (in Polish). An application for entry into the register of regulated activities is not a standardized application, but rather it differs depending on the type of activity.
An entrepreneur is entered into the register of regulated activity upon submission of an application and a statement confirming fulfillment of specific conditions for that activity to be conducted.
Suspension of business activity means a temporary break in the operation of a company. Business activity may be suspended for any reason - for example, financial problems or private plans of the entrepreneur.
Firms that are entered in the National Court Register (KRS) submit applications for the suspension of business activity to the registration court.
Firms registered in the Central Registration and Information on Business (CEIDG) may submit an application for suspension of business on-line at the website of CEIDG. The application form for entry into the CEIDG is also the form form for suspension and resumption of business activity. Such an application may also be submitted to the commune administrative office, either in person or by registered mail.
Note: Only an entrepreneur who does not have employees may suspend business activity. An entrepreneur who does not have employees means an entrepreneur who has not established an employment relationshipwith employees under the meaning of the Labour Code. Thus, this does not apply to companies that establish cooperation based on a contract for a specific task or a contract of mandate (these are civil law contracts). One who suspends business activity does not cease to be an entrepreneur.
When business activity is suspended an entrepreneur does not have to pay advances towards income tax or submit VAT returns. An entrepreneur does not have to pay health insurance contributions, and other (pension and retirement) contributions are voluntary in that period. Despite the suspension of business activity, the entrepreneur must pay the property tax on the property he owns in connection with the conducted business activity.
An entrepreneur may suspend business activity for a period from 30 days to 24 months. If an entrepreneur fails to resume activity prior to the lapse of 24 months, the entry shall be deleted ex officio.
Both the date of suspension and the date of resumption of business activity may not be prior to the date of submission of an application.
Business activity is resumed upon the entrepreneur’s application. If the company is registered with the National Court Register (KRS), the entrepreneur must submit an application to the district court in person, by post or electronically via the National Court Register website.
Before a business is closed, income tax payers should do a physical stock taking, commonly referred to as inventory. This is a list of all assets and their origin existing on a given day. An inventory should identify all goods, materials, finished goods, deficiencies and other tangible assets related to the conducted business activity. The date of physical stock taking should be exactly the same as the date of termination of the business operation, i.e. submission of an application for termination of business activity (application form EDG-1). After completion of the inventory, the proper liquidation of the business can commence.
If an entrepreneur is no longer liable to pay VAT, he must submit a VAT-Z application to the competent tax office. A completed VAT-Z form should be submitted to the tax office (in person, by registered mail with return receipt or via the e-returns system)
If an enterprise is registered in KRS, in order to terminate business activity a KRS-X2 application for deletion of the entity from KRS has to be submitted. The fee for striking an entry from KRS is PLN 300. An application shall be filed in writing with the district court (commercial court) which has jurisdiction over the company’s seat. The application may be submitted in the registry office of the competent court or sent by post to the court’s address. After deletion of an entity from the register of entrepreneurs, the competent tax office must be notified of its winding up by receiving a copy of a liquidation report. A NIP-2 update form must be filed with the tax office, and if the entity was liable to pay VAT, a VAT-Z form must be submitted as well. There is also an obligation to notify GUS (Central Statistical Office) by applying for deletion of an entity from the REGON register within 14 days of deletion from KRS. It is also necessary to notify one’s bank and close all bank accounts. The entity must also deregister from ZUS (Social Insurance Institution) by means of a ZUS ZWPA form.
A decision on deletion of an enterprise from KRS should be issued without delay. A case which requires explanatory proceedings shall be resolved not later than within one month, and particularly complex cases not later than within two months of the date of initiation of proceedings.
The fee for deletion from KRS is PLN 300.
In order to delete an enterprise from CEIDG it is necessary to complete and submit an EDG-1 application in the relevant municipal or commune administrative office. The application can also be submitted via the Internet or by registered mail. Submission of an application is not subject to a fee. Information about the termination is sent to the tax office, the Social Security Institution and the General Statistical Office (thus there is no need to separately notify these offices of closing the business).
A decision on deletion from the business register should be issued within 14 days of the date of submitting an EDG-1 application. The decision on deletion of an entry from the register of business activity may be collected in person by the applicant, by an authorized representative (authorization does not need to be in the form of a notarial deed) upon presentation of an ID card, or it may be sent by post.
A foreigner who conducts business activity in Poland may apply for a visa to Poland on the basis of conducting business activity. Apart from the basic set of documents necessary to obtain a visa, one has to file documents at a consulate of the Republic of Poland that confirm the conducting of business activity in Poland, such as an entry in KRS, Articles of Association certified by a notary, a certificate of no tax arrears.
Note: a Polish visa cannot be issued based on the intention to conduct business activity unless the applicant proves his intention and justifies his arrival in Poland. In such a case, the consul will decide whether the evidence presented by a person is sufficient.
Good to know: in the case of a company which has to be registered in CEIDG, an application for registration can be submitted via the Internet - the registration does not require the physical presence of a person in Poland. If a foreigner is staying abroad and intends to do business in Poland, but he does not yet have grounds for the stay in Poland (visa or residence permit), he can set up a business via the Internet, and after being entered in CEIDG submit an application to the Polish consulate in his country of origin for a visa on the basis of conducting business activity. It is worth remembering that such a person may conduct business only in the four following forms: limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, joint stock company and limited liability company. In order to conduct business activity on the same principles as Polish citizens, a foreigner must have an appropriate basis for residence in Poland (information about who can conduct business based on the same principles as Polish citizens is available here->)
More information on the procedure of applying for a visa is available here ->
Note: Bear in mind that a list of documents necessary to submit with an application for a visa may vary depending on the consulate. Therefore it is recommended to contact the appropriate consulate to obtain full information as to the supplementary documents required for submission of an application for a visa.
A foreigner residing in Poland and conducting business activity may apply for a temporary residence permit in Poland.
Note: Foreign nationals applying for a temporary residence permit may establish and conduct business only in the form of a limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, joint-stock company and limited liability companies.
More information on the procedure of applying for a temporary residence permit is available here->
Note: A foreigner performing or intending to perform work in a company set up by himself has to demonstrate that the activity of this company is beneficial for the Polish economy (for example, it contributes to the growth of investment, technology transfer, introduction of beneficial innovations or creation of new jobs). In practice, an important criterion to establish this fact is documented employment of at least two Polish citizens in the foreigner's company.
NOTE: Due to the complex nature of the procedures of establishing business activity and the wide range of available legal forms, before setting up economic activity in Poland, we recommend using the services of a law firm or other specialized institutio
Taxes are a compulsory and non-refundable financial contribution to the State Treasury resulting from binding regulations of Polish law. Taxes must be paid when income is obtained.
As a rule, taxes in Poland have to be paid not only by Polish citizens, but also by people who obtain income in Poland. In the case of many foreigners (in particular those who do not conduct economic activity), in order to settle with the tax office it is sufficient to have a PESEL number - what is a PESEL number? ->
Note: This website is of a purely informative nature and its aim is to present a general overview of the taxation system in Poland. In case of specific doubts regarding the settlement of taxes it is recommended to contact the competent local tax office for the place of residence. The addresses of tax offices in Poland are available here ->
Every individual whose place of residence is located in Poland has to pay tax on income obtained in this country. An individual with a place of residence in Poland is a person whose "centre of personal and economic interests" is here (e.g. someone who lives, works in Poland) or who stays in Poland for a period longer than 183 days a year.Such persons are called tax residents.
On the other hand, a person who does not have their place of residence in Poland will pay tax in Poland only on the income obtained in Poland.
Double taxation is a disadvantageous phenomenon connected with the necessity to pay tax twice for the same subject of taxation, i.e. e.g. for income or capital. Double taxation most often refers to tax on income and on capital.
In the case of foreigners who obtain income in a country different from the country of which they are citizens this means that tax is imposed on the same income by tax offices in two different countries. Such a situation occurs, for example, in the case of individuals who have left their home country, e.g. Ukraine, and work in Poland, but as Ukrainian citizens are still obliged to pay tax in Ukraine as well as in the country where they obtain income (e.g. in Poland, if they live here for more than 183 days).
In order to avoid conflicts consisting in double claims for the same income and conflicts between tax offices of two different countries, states conclude (most often bilateral, rarely multilateral) agreements on avoiding double taxation.
Poland is a party to many such agreements with other countries concerning the avoidance of double taxation. Poland has signed such agreements with countries like Albania, Armenia, China, Georgia, Russia and Vietnam. A full list of countries along with agreements is available here ->
In order to be able to complete a tax settlement with the tax office, a PESEL number is required – what is a PESEL number? ->
Individuals who do not meet these requirements and other conditions listed in statute are exempt from the requirement to have a NIP number.
In order to receive a NIP number, one should fill in the NIP-7 form. The form is available at all tax offices, and here ->
The completed document may be sent by registered letter, or one may visit the competent local tax office for the seat of the company and file the document with the appropriate clerk (information on where to go can be found in the office, at the entrance).
When starting a business, one's personal NIP number automatically becomes the number of the newly-created company. Further information is available here ->.
Paying taxes is compulsory in Poland. Failure to pay tax, providing false information in one's tax return form or other attempts to deceive the tax institutions may result in a penalty in the form of a fine or even in a custodial sentence.
Real estate brokers or agencies may be helpful when selecting a flat. Their services include assistance in selecting the real property and in dealing with formal matters. Real estate brokers provide services in return for a fee. It usually amounts to 1.5-3.0% of the total transaction amount.
When selecting a broker one should be extremely careful. Until the end of 2013 each real estate broker had to have a National Real Estate Broker's Licence. Currently, obtaining a National Real Estate Broker's Licence issued by PFRN (Polish Real Estate Market Federation ->) is voluntary. However, it is recommended to use the services of licensed brokers who provide reliable assistance. PFRN maintains a register of licensed real estate brokers, which is available free of charge on the PFRN website -> The register contains the personal data of a given broker, licence number, information about education, completed courses and obtained authorisations.
Apart from numerous professional real estate agencies there are unfortunately also dishonest brokers operating on the Polish market. One should remember not to make any payments before inspecting the premises, checking its legal status and contacting the owner or authorised representative in person. No paid registration or any paid activation of customer accounts should be made. Dishonest brokers sometimes demand payment only for enabling access to a database of available locations. One should also be careful in the case of very attractive, low prices.
Note: The real estate broker should collect the fee for their services only after signing the lease or sales agreement for the premises.
It is also possible to buy a flat directly from the owner. Offers to sell/lease a flat or house directly are available on the Internet, in newspapers and bulletin boards.