The Freedom of Business Act regulates the registration of natural persons with the Business Central Register and Information.
Legal forms of companies
The Commercial Companies Code lists all legal forms of Polish companies:
- partnerships (for example, general partnership, professional partnership, limited partnership and limited joint-stock partnership);
- limited companies (for example, limited liability company and joint-stock company).
- general partnership: a partnership carrying on a business under its own name, which is not another commercial company. Each partner is liable for the company’s liabilities with all their assets, jointly and severally, together with other partners and the company. Where enforcement against the company's assets is ineffective, a creditor may execute enforcement against a partner's property.
- professional partnership: a partnership formed by partners in order to practise a liberal profession as a company conducting business under its own name. A partner is not liable for the company’s liabilities that arise from practising a liberal profession by other partners in this company.
- limited partnership: a partnership formed for the purpose of running a business under its own name. At least one of the partners is fully liable for the company’s liabilities to creditors (general partner), and the liability of at least one partner is limited (limited partner).
- limited joint-stock partnership: a partnership formed for the purpose of running a business under its own name. At least one of the partners is fully liable for the company's liabilities to creditors (general partner), and at least one partner is a shareholder. It should have share capital of at least PLN 50,000.
- limited liability company: a limited company formed by one or more people for any legally permissible purpose. The partners are not liable for the liabilities of the company. It should have share capital of at least PLN 5 000.
- joint-stock company: a limited company whose shareholders are not liable for the liabilities of the company; the company itself is liable with all its assets. It should have share capital of at least PLN 100 000.
To succeed, a new business needs a sound commercial strategy and secure financing.
Some standard requirements to be completed when setting up a business are the same as when opening a branch.
Service point for businesses
Registration of a business
Businesses starting up as commercial companies and partnerships can start to operate after they are added to the register of entrepreneurs in the National Court Register (KRS).
Limited companies can start business operations even before they are added to the register of entrepreneurs as limited companies in the process of formation.
When the requirements of the application form for entry into the Register are not met or the court fee is not paid, the application is returned. It can be re-submitted within 7 days from the date of the notification of return.
Registration of a business activity by natural persons takes place at the Business Central Register and Information (CEIGD) on the CEIGD-1 form via the Internet or via any commune.
A natural person can start business operations already on the day of submitting a correct application.
In addition, in order to start a business in Poland, the following must be obtained:
- a REGON statistical number; it is possible to register on-line if a business has an electronic signature;
- a NIP tax identification number for Polish taxpayers, which is required for registration with the appropriate tax office;
- registration with the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS); it is now also possible to register on-line.
Most of these stages can be completed upon submitting one application concerning the registration. In case of CEIDG, a system will send applications to the appropriate bodies together with information on the registration and other documents provided by the undertaking.
The following documents are necessary in order to register:
Individual Contact Points (ICP) in Poland
An Individual Contact Point (ICP) provides information concerning the following issues:
- procedures and official requirements with regard to conducting a business activity in Poland;
- contact details and competencies of public institutions and offices;
- modes and conditions of access to public registers and public databases concerning business activity and undertakings;
- legal means available in case of a dispute between an applicable institution and an undertaking or a consumer; between an undertaking and consumer; or between undertakings.
Using services provided by an Individual Contact Point is not obligatory. You can also visit applicable authorities.