Points of Single Contact (PSC) in Poland
The Services Directive is an European regulation aimed at facilitating running business operations to the companies which would like provide services in the European Union - both in their domestic market as well as abroad. The Directive sets the rules related to the entrepreneurs who want to start business activities or provide services temporarily on the territory of the EU/EEA (27 member states as well as Iceland, Lechtenstein and Norway). It obligates the member states to eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic procedures, simplify formal steps referring to companies and enhance activities of public administration bodies.
For the purpose of implementing the directive each member state had to establish Points of Single Contact - e-administration portals thanks to which companies can fulfill administrative procedures over the Internet. Points of Single Contact provide comprehensive information on all administrative issues related to establishing a company or extending the range of services provided in a given country. It is possible to obtain answers for example to the following questions:
- What licences, notifications or approvals should one hold to start business operations (on a domestic market or abroad)?
- What should I do to render services abroad only temporarily?
- What should I do to apply for a licence? What authority is in charge of the license procedure?
- Do I have to pay for the licences? What are the deadlines?
- What acts and decrees apply for my industry?
- What should I do to open, for example, a restaurant or a shop or to provide tourist guide services in another country without setting up a company?
- Where can I obtain specialist advice and further information?
Thanks to Points of Single Contact it is not necessary to appear subsequently in various offices. Points of Single Contact make it possible to obtain any and all relevant information and send an online application to the relevant bodies via one point. Via a Point of Single Contact one can electronically fulfill of the procedures required by the administrative bodies. It is enough just to get in touch with a Point of Single Contact in a country in which we would like to run our business.
All Points of Single Contact are a part of the EUGO European network; they are easily accessible via a central website. Using services provided by the Point of Single Contacts is not obligatory. You can also visit applicable authorities.
Businesses from EU member states, European Economic Area states and Switzerland can temporarily provide services in Poland in accordance with Article 49 of the EU Treaty, without the necessity of registering with the register of entrepreneurs kept by the National Court Register or with the Business Register.
As a result of the implementation of the Services Directive by the Act of 4 March 2010 on the Provision of Services in Poland, the following have been introduced:
- horizontal regulations establishing a general framework for services;
- a change in horizontal regulations on starting and conducting business activities in Poland, including the simplification of systems of issuing permits and the creation of comprehensive service points for businesses;
- changes in regulations on setting up and running a business, established as a result of the official verification of regulations.
Various methods for the provision of services
Setting up a business
Regulations establishing "one-stop shops" came into force on 31 March 2009.
As regards natural persons, they comprise the following:
Providing services temporarily
Service providers based in member states of the European Union, member states of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), signatories to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, as well as companies from the countries that have signed a freedom of services agreement with the European Union and its member states can provide temporary services in Poland.
Service providers intending to provide temporary services in the Republic of Poland do not have to register with the register of entrepreneurs or the business register in order to provide such services, as opposed to businesses that intend to operate in the Republic of Poland.
The Act of 4 March 2010 on the Provision of Services in the Republic of Poland is the legal basis for the provision of temporary services by such entities. The detailed acts on particular service types (sectoral regulations) regulate the situation of service providers that render services temporarily.
Rights of service recipients
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) deals with matters related to consumer protection. The basic objective of UOKiK is to act in the public interest, which means initiating administrative proceedings when the collective interests of consumers are violated.
Posting employees abroad
The Labour Code regulates the matter of employees posted to Poland from other countries. These regulations implement the Directive concerning posting of workers as regards the provision of services.
Posting of employees occurs when a foreign company (entity) sends its employees to work in Poland for a specified period of time:
- in connection with the performance of a contract signed by this company with a foreign company,
- in order to perform work in a foreign branch of this company,
- as a temporary employment agency.
In light of Labour Code regulations, a foreign company posting employees to provide services in Poland must ensure that the conditions and employment standards for these employees are not less beneficial than those provided by Polish labour law.
Certain conditions apply to:
- standards and working time as well as daily and weekly rest periods,
- annual leave,
- a minimum wage, as set out in separate regulations,
- remuneration for overtime,
- health and safety at work,
- employee entitlements as related to parenthood,
- employment of minors and performance of work or other paid activities by children,
- prohibition of employment discrimination,
- performance of work in accordance with the regulations on employment of temporary workers.
The conditions in points 2 to 4 do not apply to posted employees who, in accordance with their qualifications, perform initial assembly or installation work outside the construction area for a period no longer than 8 days per year, beginning from the day the work starts. These jobs are included in a contract signed by their employer with a foreign company, the performance of which is necessary in order to use the goods supplied.
The National Labour Inspectorate is the liaison institution in Poland, whose goals include cooperation with the institutions in other EU member states responsible for supervising employment and working conditions.
Recognition of qualifications
Migrants who intend to provide services in a regulated profession or activity should submit a written declaration together with accompanying documents to the appropriate body.
This body can initiate the procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications if the service is provided for the first time in Poland in a regulated profession connected with health and public safety.
Comprehensive service points
Points of single contact allow service providers to complete formal steps and fulfill procedures connected with starting and providing services in a remote, electronic mode, and to obtain appropriate information and support. Under the Services Directive it is also possible for service providers to obtain information about the use of services and consumer matters through contact points.
Individuals applying for an entry in the business register are required to submit an application for an entry in the register.
Application forms for entries in the business register can be sent to the relevant commune office by recorded delivery. Applications must be signed by the applicant and attested by a notary. An application can also be submitted electronically through a form available on the website of the given commune office.
The registration body registers the applicant with the business register as soon as they receive the signed application and sends the applicant a copy of the registration afterwards.
An application for registration in the register is also:
- an application for registration in the business register;
- an application for registration in the National Official Business Register (REGON - Statistical Office);
- an identification registration or update as referred to in the regulations on rules of the registration and identification of taxpayers (NIP - Revenue Office);
- registration or change in details of a social insurance contribution payer, in the meaning of regulations on the social insurance system, or registration of a statement for continued social insurance for farmers (KRUS) in the meaning of regulations on social insurance for farmers;
The commune office sends details of the application to the statistical office, ZUS (or KRUS) and the tax office within 3 days.
If a company applying for registration with the business register does not have a NIP tax identification number, the commune sends the registration of a social insurance contribution payer or the statement of continued social insurance for farmers after receiving a NIP from the relevant tax office and adding the NIP to the application.
Tax identification number (NIP)
The Value Added Tax Act regulates issues related to Value Added Tax.
Entities that are subject to VAT are required to register by submitting a VAT-R form at their local tax office. A VAT-R form or an update to it also has to be submitted for intra-Community transactions.
These entities are required to apply for a NIP tax identification number (by submitting a NIP -1 or NIP -2 form), if they do not have one already.
VAT tax representative
Taxpayers from other EU states can appoint and operate through a tax representative, although it is not mandatory. Appointing a tax representative does not exempt a taxpayer from registering for VAT.
A VAT invoice should state in detail the goods or services sold, the date of sale, the unit price before tax, the tax basis, the tax rate and the amount of tax, the amount due as well as details of the taxpayer. The Regulation of the Minister of Finance sets out detailed rules of issuing VAT invoices.
VAT refunds for foreign entities
The system for VAT refunds for foreign entities is based on the provisions of a Regulation of the Minister of Finance.
Taxpayer registration for excise duty
Entities that intend to operate with excise goods are required to submit a registration form to their customs office before carrying out:
- the first operation that is subject to excise duty, or
- the first operation using goods exempt from excise duty due to their intended use.
This requirement does not apply to entities that conduct business using excise goods with a zero rate of excise duty exclusively, as well as entities that conduct business using goods exempt from excise duty due to their intended use, that are not resident in or do not have a registered office or a place of business in Poland.
If the data contained in the registration form changes, the taxpayer is required to report this change to the head of the customs office within 7 days from the day the change takes place.
Work permit applications
Foreigners can work in Poland if they have a work permit issued by the Voivode responsible for the registered office of the employer. This requirement does not apply to citizens of European Union member states as well as to citizens of the countries with which the European Union has signed agreements on the free movement of workers, subject to the possibility of the application of the principle of reciprocity together with balance or limitation measures.
Basic information on the provision of services in Poland can be found on the website of the Ministry of Economy.
Information about support for companies operating in the common market, particularly in regards to the free movement of services can be found in the Consulting Services of the KIGNET network section of the in the Polish Chamber of Commerce catalogue for businesses.
Database of offers for Polish and foreign businesses
The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development belongs to the Enterprise Europe Network.
Enterprise Europe Network centres maintain an electronic database which contains offers from Polish and foreign businesses that are looking for business and technology partners. The businesses can also take part in trade missions, exhibitions and cooperation exchanges.
Companies can be listed in the database if they fulfill basic criteria. A company can be registered by the submission of a registration form.
Polish centres that are part of the network help foreign companies find business and technology partners in Poland and provide them with basic information about the Polish market. If requested, the centres can also look for distributors, producers and exporters as well as for companies operating in a given sector. These services are also provided to Polish companies looking for foreign contacts.
As part of the EEN, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development also offers a range of training, seminars and conferences for businesses.