Forming a Company in Poland
- Incorporation time: 32 days
- Shelf companies: Yes
- Accounting: Yes
- Secretary: Yes
- Nominee Shareholder: Yes
- Nominee director: Yes
Poland is a country with a turbulent 20th century history; the country now has over 38 million inhabitants. Located in central Europe, next to Germany, the country has a coastline on the Baltic Sea which enables it to trade goods internationally.
An onshore centre
Originally established to encourage investments and provide enterprises with more room for manoeuvre, Poland’s low taxation rates attract many entrepreneurs. The main types of enterprise for carrying out onshore activities are:
- limited liability company (most widespread model)
- limited company
- general partnership
- sole trader
The different types of company
The time required to set up a company in Poland is comparatively very long for this part of the world: 32 days, with 6 different procedures.
|Types of company||Capital||Number of partners|
|Spolka Ackjna (limited company)||100 000 PLN||No minimum, liability limited to contributions|
|Spolka Zoograniczona Odpowiedzialnoscia (limited liability company)||5 000 PLN||No minimum, liability limited to contributions|
The various tax rates
Companies based in Poland are taxed at a single rate of 19% on domestic and foreign income; capital gains are taxed at the same rate. Consumer tax is called Podatek od Towarow i Usaug (PTU) and is set at 23%, with reduced rates for certain products and services.
Personal income tax is progressive :
|Personal income tax (PLN)||Tax rate|
|0 to 556||0 %|
|557 to 85 528||18 %|
|85 529 and +||32 %|
Property expenditure and donations can be deducted from taxes. A double taxation agreement was signed in 1975 between France and Poland.
Enterprises based in Poland must keep their accounts in accordance with the Polish Accounting Standards Committee, running from 1 January to 31 December. Accounts must be published in Polish, expressed in Zloty and be made up of a balance sheet, a profit and loss account and an appendix.
Depending on the status of the enterprise, the accounts may vary: for example, limited liability companies must also submit a management report. Companies listed on the stock exchange must also supply the Registration Court with financial statements, as well as quarterly and six-monthly accounts.
Every company must also be audited each year by an external auditor.
The Jurisdiction in detail
Dynamised by its entry into the European Union, the Polish economy has resisted the 2008 crisis well, due to domestic consumption and numerous public investments. Although its current growth rate is lower than when it joined the EU, it is still estimated at 2.1% for 2013.
Polish agriculture accounts for 5% of the country’s GDP and produces mainly rye, beet, wheat, apples and dairy products. This agricultural activity enables Poland to cover its own needs; moreover, the country possesses numerous natural resources which are still very useful for development and mines coal, sulphur, copper, lead and zinc.
Manufacturing is a dynamic part of the economy and the main sectors of Polish industry are: telecommunications, machinery production, transport, food preparation and IT. Finally, services account for 65% of national GDP.
The country focuses on international trade, even more so since its entry into the European Union, which has promoted trade with its European neighbours. Poland is in an advantageous location, due to its proximity to the Russian giant, and has a well-developed coastline, with large ports. Its main trading partners are the EU, Russia and China.
Advantages of being based here :
- good location
- cheap, multilingual labour
- stable economy
- the country is outside the euro
- very slow administration
The Polish government wants to promote foreign investment via several measures to reduce labour costs and attract foreign enterprises to move there.
Access to and functioning of the market
Poland is a member of the European Union, the European Economic Area, the World Trade Organization and the OECD, a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, the Washington Convention, the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the International Coffee Agreement of 2001.
Imports into Poland are regulated by European standards, which tend to promote trade that is free of any constraints. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the European Union has placed restrictions on certain products, especially agricultural ones, in line with the Common Agricultural Policy. Thus, the presence of GMOs in products must be signaled and it is forbidden to import hormone-fed beef into the EU.
With regard to customs tariffs, they are on average very low, at about 4.2% (apart from some goods) for non-European countries. There are no customs duties for EU Member States.
In general, imports under EU regulations do not require a license, but a Trade Declaration must be completed for imports into Poland. Moreover, for countries outside the European Union, an Entry Summary Declaration is required for any import into the EU.
The retail sector in Poland is now very varied and small shops rub shoulders with international chains. Although the former are widespread in rural areas, supermarkets (35% of retail) like Real, Hypernova, Tesco, Géant, Carrefour, Biedronka and Plus Discount are becoming increasingly prevalent in the cities and towns.
Bordering the Baltic Sea, the two main Polish ports are Gdansk and Szeczin-Swinoujscie, which receive part of the 50 million tonnes of products circulating each year in Poland. The rail network is highly developed and regarded as the third-best-equipped network in Europe, particularly due to its international connections.
Finally, Polish industry is dominated by the construction sector, the industrial processing, paper, automobile, rubber and chemicals sectors, as well as the production of high-precision optics materials.
The legal duration of the Polish working week is 42 hours, with a minimum salary of 201 EUR and a retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men. Social insurance contributions are :
- 17.62% by the employer
- 18.45% by the employee
There are three large unions in Poland: the Polish Free Independent Union, the Alliance of Polish Unions and the Polish Union of Teachers.
|Type of rights||Text of Act||Validity of protection||Agreements signed|
|Patents||1972 Law on inventive activity||20 years||- Patent Cooperation Treaty- Strasbourg Agreement Concerning International Classification|
|Trademarks||1985 laws on trademarks||10 years, renewable||- Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services|
-Madrid Agreement on Trademark Registration
|Reproduction rights||-Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works|
-Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers
-WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
-WIPO Copyright Treaty
Link : Copyright Office
Polish executive power is held by the President (Bronisław Komorowski), who appoints the Prime Minister (Donald Tusk). The latter appoints the Council of Ministers, on the President’s approval. Legislative power is held by two chambers:
- the Senate, made up of 100 members elected for 4 years
- the Sejm, made up of 460 members, also elected for 4 years
There are numerous political parties in Poland – these are the main ones:
- Alliance of the Democratic Left
- Citizen Platform
- Democratic Party
- Workers’ Union
- Law and Justice
- League of Polish Families
- Party of Polish Peasants
- Self-Defence of the Polish Republic