8 steps to set up a business in Poland
The Central Register and Information on Economic Activity (abbreviated to CEIDG), started in 2011, is a register of enterprises operated by natural persons in the territory of Poland. It helps people to take the first step on their way to start their own businesses.
Step 1. Registration in the CEIDG
An application to register in the CEIDG available on the website: www.ceidg.gov.pl
is to be submitted via a digital form,
which is at the same time an application for REGON number
(the National Business Registry Number), the application for NIP number
(Tax Identification Number) and application to the Social Insurance Institution
(Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych; ZUS), as well as a submission of a declaration about the choice a taxation form. Any change in the form should be reported within 7 days from the occurrence.
In the case of a partnership – each partner must apply for CEIDG separately.
Step 2. Tax Office (Urząd Skarbowy)
Our NIP number (Tax Identification Number) is at the time the company’s NIP number. If the person so far has not had a NIP number, it shall be given during the registration in the CEIDG. Each entry should appear in CEIDG no later than three days after signing the application, and usually it is given no later than next working day. The registration forms require the identification of all partners of the partnership (NIP 2 and NIP-D).
If the entrepreneur becomes a VAT payer, then he/she must submit the VAT R form on the day preceding the day of starting the sale of VAT taxable goods or provision of VAT taxable services to the tax office competent for VAT at the latest.
Step 3. Register at the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS)
The entrepreneur is obliged to submit an application form for relevant insurance type to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) within 7 days from starting his/her economic activity. It is necessary to pay the social insurance contributions both for the entrepreneur and for his/her employees. If the company has outsourced accounting services, all the formalities can be done by them on behalf of the entrepreneur.
Step 4. Company stamp
The company's stamp might prove useful when carrying out financial and banking activities.
It should contain (at least) the following data:
- full company name,
- company’s registered seat,
- phone/fax number
- REGON number
- Tax Identification Number (NIP).
Step 5. Bank account
An entrepreneur in Poland is not obliged to have a bank account; neither a personal nor a company account. Nonetheless, the bank account is necessary to conduct major financial transactions and facilitates handling of formalities at offices. The requirement of a business account is in case of transactions that excess 15 000 EUR.
To open the bank account, one needs – depending on the requirements of individual banks – the following:
- identity card,
- certificate of registration in CEIDG (in the form of a printout from the CEIDG website),
- REGON document (usually),
- articles of partnership (if applicable),
- company stamp (usually).
Tax office and Social Insurance Institution should be notified of the fact that company’s account was opened through the update form CEIDG-1.
Step 6. Register at the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (Państwowa Inspekcja Sanitarna)
If the planned activity provides for the sale of food, running a pub or restaurant or other food service facility the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate should be notified within 30 days of the commencement of business.
The relevant regional Sanitary Inspectorate (Provincial Sanitary-Epidemiological Station in Kielce, Skibińskiego Street 4) should be informed of the type, scope and location of business.
Step 7. Register at the National Labour Inspectorate (Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy)
Within 30 days of the employment of the first employee, the National Labour Inspectorate should be notified. The notification should contain the information on the number of employees, the type, scope and location of business.
Step 8. Concessions, regulated activities, licenses
The number of business sectors, in which entrepreneurs need government concessions, has been reduced to only seven categories of exceptional public interest:
- Prospecting or identification of deposits of mineral resources, extraction of minerals from deposits, non-tank storage of substances and waste storage in a rock mass, including underground mining excavations;
- Manufacturing of and trading in explosives, weapons and ammunition as well as products and technology for military or police usage;
- Manufacturing, processing, storing, transmitting, distributing and trading in fuels and energy;
- Protection of persons and property;
- Broadcasting of radio and television programmes;
- Air transport services;
- Casino games.
Concessions are granted by the minister competent for the type of business.
Some activities also require the registration of regulated activities. A license to do business in construction and/or operation of toll motorways and roads is needed.
Foreigners have to follow the same procedures as Polish citizens to register a partnership, company or self-employment business and to set up any type of partnership or company defined in the Polish law. This is provided under the Freedom of Economic Activity Act which applies to all residents of EU and EFTA Member Countries, citizens of other countries who have been granted a permit to settle in Poland or a tolerated residence permit, as well as refugees or individuals enjoying temporary protection in Poland.
Individuals who do not meet with the described criteria may conduct business activity in Poland only in the form of limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, joint-stock company or a limited liability company.