Business support - Poland
The Polish Chamber of Commerce supports business competitiveness by offering assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the network of its regional offices KIGNET.
The Polish Chamber of Commerce and its regional chambers provide businesses with the following services:
Financial services. Regional chambers provide information and offer advice and training in the area of business financing. The Polish Chamber of Commerce offers the following services: preparation of business plans, information on obtaining business loans for companies in a given region, and assistance with EU structural funds.
Implementing innovation. As part of the KIGNET INNOVATION network, regional chambers offer advice on innovative ventures and specialised products.
Finding business partners The International Cooperation Office of the Polish Chamber of Commerce helps companies increase competitiveness and innovation through cooperation with other companies. The office answers questions from companies and helps them find potential business partners.
A Special Economic Zone (SSE) is a separate administrative area of Poland where businesses implementing new investment projects can take advantage of public assistance in the form of tax relief. This regional assistance involves the costs of new investment projects or the creation of new jobs. The amount depends on the maximum assistance as defined on the regional map, which is:
- 30% of eligible costs for investment projects in Warsaw,
- 40% of costs for Mazowieckie, Pomorskie, Zachodniopomorskie, Dolnośląskie, Wielkopolskie, and Śląskie voivodeships,
- 50% for Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Podlaskie, Świętokrzyskie, Opolskie, Małopolskie, Lubuskie, Łódzkie and Kujawsko-Pomorskie voivodeships.
Assistance to small companies can be increased by 20 percentage points and by 10 percentage points for medium-sized companies, although this does not apply to companies operating in the transport sector.
In order to obtain assistance, a permit to operate within a special economic zone is required. The companies that manage zones grant such permits in a tender procedure or negotiations on behalf of the Minister of Economy. The permit specifies the type of activity to be carried out in a zone; the conditions of employment, investment, a deadline for the completion of investment; and the maximum eligible costs to be covered by assistance.
There are 14 zones located in different parts of Poland, and and investment areas are located in all the voivodeships.
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) offers Community and state funding to SMEs to help increase competitiveness and innovation.
The Agency organises information campaigns about the rules for applying for financial assistance for business ventures as well as its own promotional events and trade fairs. In addition, it maintains a database of useful website addresses. PARP is also an initiator of the creation of the National System of Services for SMEs.
The National System of Services for SMEs (KSU) is a network of groups of service providers and organisations specialising in the provision of various business services to enterprises and persons starting out in business.
Over 200 KSU centres offer a wide range of assistance to micro, small and medium-sized companies at different stages of their development as well as assistance with the effective use of EU funds. The KSU also helps entrepreneurs that are just starting a business.
The KSU centres offer so-called system services, meaning services that require state assistance. These include information services (as part of the KSU Consultation Points), pro-innovation advice (as part of the National System of Services for SMEs), and financial advice on securing guarantees and loans (as part of loan and guarantee funds cooperating with the KSU). The KSU offer changes in response to the needs of the companies in the SME sector: the range of services is modified and new services are devised and tested. For example, the recently implemented pilot advisory services on business cost optimisation as well as training and advisory services on environmental protection.
Consultation Points are a group of KSU service providers offering free information or services in the following areas:
- administrative and legal aspects of conducting business (including starting, operating and closing a business);
- rules and conditions of using public assistance programmes and other external sources of financing a business;
- opportunities and guidelines for the use of specialist services under the system, for example training, advice, technology transfer, obtaining loans and guarantees etc;
- contact details of institutions that are useful when growing a company.
More about KSU Consultation Points
The KSU National Innovation Network offers companies services that promote innovation (technology audits, technology transfer) and promotes cooperation between companies and the academic world.
Many loan and guarantee funds have attractive conditions for the financial services they offer to companies. Their objective is to make it easier for companies to obtain the finances required to develop or set up a company.
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development supports the KSU organisationally. It also develops and monitors the quality of services provided by KSU centres and their consultants, for example, by setting service standards, carrying out systematic audits, training consultants, providing information and advice and conducting research
The KSU operates on the basis of the Regulation of the Minister of Economy and Labour of 27 January 2005 on the National System of Services for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
The Innovation Portal (PI) has a database of information on technology transfer centres, business incubators and technology parks.
Access to finance is crucial for setting up and running a business.
Check also the legislation on this topic in: