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Poland

Financial difficulties

Updated 07/2012

Legal requirements

The Act on Bankruptcy and Rehabilitation lays down support measures for companies threatened with bankruptcy.

Access to different sources of finance can help overcome financial difficulties.

When filing for bankruptcy is the only option left for a business owner, it pays to cut your losses, initiate proceedings sooner rather than later, and move on to a new project.

Administrative procedures

Order for payment

Procedures related to orders for payment

Payment-order proceedings are handled by competent district and regional courts. The court issues an order for payment if a claimant makes a financial claim or seeks other substitute services, and the circumstances justifying the claim are proven in the following documents enclosed with the claim:

  • an official document;
  • an invoice accepted by the debtor;
  • a payment reminder and a written statement of the debtor recognising the debt, a request for payment accepted by the debtor but returned by the bank unpaid due to the lack of funds in the debtor's account.

The court issues an order for payment against a bill of exchange, cheque, or a properly filled-in warrant or receipt, whose authenticity does not raise any doubts, as well as:

  • on the basis of contract, proof of fulfilment of a mutual non-pecuniary service, and a delivery note of an invoice or bill to the debtor (if the claimant requests that a financial claim or interest on commercial transactions be settled, as laid down in the Act of 12 June 2003 on Payment Dates in Commercial Transactions (Journal of Laws No. 139, item 1323).

A court can also issue an order for payment if a bank makes a claim against bank statements, signed by persons authorised to issue statements on the bank’s financial rights and obligations and bearing the bank’s stamp, and against a delivery note of a written payment reminder to the debtor.

A defendant can lodge an appeal within two weeks as of the date the order is served; the appeal shall be lodged at the court that issued the payment order.

Writ-of-payment proceedings

The court issues an order for payment if a claimant makes a financial claim, and in other cases, where it is specified in a regulation.

Writ-of-payment proceedings are handled by competent district and regional courts.

Initiation of this procedure is not dependent on submission of the documents listed above. However, an order for payment cannot be issued if:

  • a claim is clearly groundless;
  • the circumstances presented arouse suspicion,
  • satisfying the claim is dependent on mutual performance;
  • the defendant’s place of residence is unknown or the order for payment cannot be served within the country.

A debtor can lodge an appeal within two weeks as of the date the order is served.

Electronic writ-of-payment proceedings

Electronic writ-of-payment proceedings applies to financial claims made under the regulations of the Code of Civil Procedure. Electronic writ-of-payment proceedings has been implemented as separate proceedings, as a payment reminder in cases where the actual state is not complicated and does not require conducting evidentiary proceedings.

An order for payment in electronic proceedings is issued only in the electronic form and is available at the ICT system of the e-court.

A writ-of-execution in electronic proceedings is issued only in the electronic form and is available at the ICT system of the e-court, along with an order of payment it is assigned to. The website is also available in English and German.

The files are available to authorised users via their ICT system accounts. The account is made available to the user only after authentication which is completed using an electronic signature.

In order to register an account at the ICT system, the basic data (full name, ID number, date of birth, e-mail address) will have to be provided.

A user may lodge a pleading after being authenticated, having prepared a letter in the ICT system and paid a court fee.

The date of pleading via electronic means shall equal the date of recording the letter in the ICT system of the e-court.

In the claim, the claimant shall indicate proofs for their statements. The proofs are not attached to the claim.

The claim shall also contain:

  • PESEL no. (personal identification number) of a claimant being a natural person,
  • NIP (tax identification number) of a claimant other than a natural person and the registration number of the National Court Register (in case no such number is available, provide the number from another relevant register).

Court fees in electronic proceedings are paid solely by means of an electronic transfer using a payment service provider.

An order for payment in electronic proceedings is issued only in the electronic form and is available at the ICT system of the e-court.

The claimant or a person acting on their behalf and submitting the claim in electronic writ-of-payment proceedings selects the electronic form of communication with the court using the ICT system of the e-court and accepts the regulations on electronic document delivery.

After the order issued in electronic proceedings becomes final, an electronic writ-of-execution is officially assigned.

Via the ICT system of e-court, the claimant or a person acting on their behalf may - on the basis of an electronic enforcement order - submit an application to commence enforcement proceedings to a selected court enforcement office.

Deferred payment

The Tax Ordinance grants relief to businesses paying taxes. At the taxpayer’s request, tax authorities can extend deadline for payment or defer payment of taxes or arrears.  Arrears, statutory interest and fees for extending deadlines for payment can be remitted if there is a good reason relating to the taxpayer or important public interest.

Programmes

Polish Chamber of Commerce

Office of Economic Innovation at Polish Chamber of Commerce created a website (inwestorzy.biz) which enables entrepreneurs:

  • to actively search for investors by posting business offers;
  • to find interesting investment announcements;
  • to establish contacts within business groups;
  • to establish cooperation and facilitates the search for undertakings which are worth investing into.

Additionally, the Office of Economic Innovation at Polish Chamber of Commerce created a number of tools (software) available online via innowacje.biz. These tools facilitate operation of businesses which enables entrepreneurs to reduce the costs of the conducted business activity.

Help & advice

Help & advice

Information, training and financial advice is available at the services site of the Polish Chamber of Commerce. The services available include: preparation of business plans, information about where and on what conditions loans can be obtained in a given region, and how to take advantage of structural funds.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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