Whether you are a foreign small business owner or an owner of a large business corporation, there are many possibilities for starting a business in Poland. This article will explain how to start a business in Poland, specifically for foreign entrepreneurs.
Poland has become a hub of economic activity in recent years, with multinational companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia attracted by prospects of doing business in Poland. These companies have set up multibillion-euro operations in Warsaw, creating a range of well-paid job opportunities.
Are you going to follows suit and set up your operation in Poland too?
Why is Poland such an attractive place to invest?
Why Poland has become such an attractive place to invest? There are a few reasons.
First, the fast economic growth made Poland one of the most productive and dynamically growing economies in Central Europe. By building up capable local partners in the region through cooperation – economically, politically, culturally and in the security dimension – Poland has strengthened its position and it is fundamentally important to the West.
Second, low cost of production and labour (in comparison to the western Europe) as well as fast developing infrastructure, beneficial taxation and subsidies for investment are important advantages if you are looking for a place to invest. The pragmatic case is clear – Poland is a great place to live and work.
Third, a strategic location; situated in Central Europe, Poland has a strategic location between the western and the eastern sides of the continent. Access to the Baltic sea which offers additional transport and trade benefits.
A fourth reason is the membership in the European Union and the Schengen area which is crucial for investors because by entering Poland, the investors also receive the key to a wider EU market. The EU community has resources and deep business experience. Connecting the EU community is crucial for Poland.
Fifth, highly qualified and hardworking people, especially in the tech sector.
How to set up a company in Poland?
A limited liability company can be formed by one or more persons for any legally admissible purpose. Typically, the main aim of a private limited company is to increase income and maximise its profit in order for the shareholders to receive a good return on their investment.
How is a limited liability company established? The procedure is easy. First of all, execution of the articles of association (AoA) or formation deed (in case of single shareholder companies) in the form of notarial deed is required. On the day the AoA are executed the company is incorporated and may conduct all activities as a company “in organization”. The company in organization must file for registration at the National Court Register within 6 months from the day of incorporation.
Typically, a company’s incorporation is accompanied by the appointment of the members of its governing bodies – i.e. the management board (one or more members) and Supervisory Board (three or more members). The Supervisory Board is an optional corporate body.
The third step is paying shareholder contributions on the account of the share capital. The minimum share capital is PLN 5,000. Cash contributions should be paid to the company's bank account. Therefore, opening a bank account will be required. Although this does not need to be a Polish bank account and the currency does not need to be PLN, the account must belong to the company and cash on the account must be not lower than the contribution declared in the AoA.
The final step is registering the company with the National Court Register, which usually takes about three weeks and is completed online.
All the above steps may be completed remotely from outside of Poland by appointing an attorney in Poland to execute all these actions on an investor’s behalf. The power of attorney for the incorporation of a Polish limited company requires notarization and (depending on the country) an apostille confirming compliance with local law.
As regards the members of the governing bodies - there are no restrictions in appointing foreign citizens to the board. Also the appointed persons are not required to reside in Poland on either permanent or even temporary basis. The managers should, however, obtain a Polish qualified electronic signature as some documents that must be filed with relevant authorities may be signed only via such signature. The signature may be obtained remotely as well.
The newly created company needs to have an address in Poland so the company should identify and sign the lease agreement for the office it is going to use. This will be the official address of the company where all correspondence will be directed. There is also a possibility to find a virtual office.
The ease with which foreign citizens can establish companies in Poland makes the country an attractive destination for investors around the world.
Know your potential market better – you should carry out as much research in Poland as you can. You should find out about the market, the demand and your competitors. You should talk to potential customers, suppliers, competitors, distributors and ex-employees of competitors.
Write a business plan - this is essential. It’s your roadmap. Remember, it’s not set in stone; it’s always evolving and you should include longer-term objectives, estimates and forecasts. Each step should, if possible, be measurable so you can gauge your success and so you can access funding and investment.
Image - this is more than just your name. It’s your brand identity. It brings your vision and values to life and connects you to your customers so you need to give it some thought.
Money - you should plan in advance how your company will be financed. You might also need to secure the financing from a range of sources or even borrow it and there are many issues to consider when it comes to funding. Beneficial taxation and subsidies for investment are important advantages in Poland – you should plan how to use it.
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