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Starting a business in Poland - Info
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kellrobinson



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same question here. From the numbers of U.S. citizens working in Poland I hope at least one sees this old sticky and provides some up-to-date information. The state dept link in the sticky is broken, and I haven't had any success searching for information.
I understand that becoming an ordinary employee in Poland is more difficult for U.S. citizens than it is for people from the EU, which makes the question of how to start a business even more important for us.
Does the special agreement between Poland and the U.S. still have force, and if so where can we find information about it?
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 890
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know about a special agreement but I am willing to share what I encounter along the way. I'm American, mid-50's, 4 years TEFL experience and about 15+ teaching.

I arrived in Poland as a tourist. Just flew in and came through passport control.

The first thing (in business activity) I did was register my address with the city. They put me in for 3 months pending getting a residency permit. Time taken was just under an hour including travel time to the office and waiting for the clerk.

Then I walked over to the bank and opened 3 accounts with my new registration and passport. Took about another hour. Then went home.

Second event was to go to government office and register my company. We were fine until the clerk insisted we had to have an accountant to put on the forms. Time taken was maybe an hour and 20 minutes including travel. Other things we needed to have with us were the residence registration, bank account info and passport.

Talked with an accountant (slightly problematic finding one who spoke English but managed) and they said we could have insisted to do the paperwork but would have had to make a return trip to add it in person later. SO, a wash on time spent.

Went back and submitted forms, done in less than an hour including travel. They told me that today I can print off my business registration from the Internet and my NIP should arrive in the next few days via mail.

Either tomorrow or Monday I start my quest for a residence permit.

I'll keep you posted how that works out.

No fees, bribes or gifts so far and I have yet to encounter anyone who wasn't pleasant at either of the two government offices or the bank.

Hope that helps.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 464
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this and definitely keep us updated. I'd (and others) would be especially interested to know how it goes re: the residency permit as there's some debate about whether or not you can do it for yourself on the basis of setting up a sole tradership or if you actually need an employer.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon_porter00 wrote:
Thanks for this and definitely keep us updated. I'd (and others) would be especially interested to know how it goes re: the residency permit as there's some debate about whether or not you can do it for yourself on the basis of setting up a sole tradership or if you actually need an employer.


There certainly should be no restriction on doing so - but it seems that some places are demanding a work permit to be obtained before you can get the residence permit. It's illogical and goes against the agreement that Poland has with the US - but then again, given the visa situation...
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 978
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simon_porter00 wrote:
Thanks for this and definitely keep us updated. I'd (and others) would be especially interested to know how it goes re: the residency permit as there's some debate about whether or not you can do it for yourself on the basis of setting up a sole tradership or if you actually need an employer.
Yes, me too!
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 890
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, yesterday I received an email with my Company information and the link to pull up the government registration.

To recap:

* I had submitted all paperwork on Wednesday of last week
* Received a polite email (IN ENGLISH) on Thursday saying I left an address block blank (also suggesting what the answer probably was but wanting me to confirm)
* I responded Thursday evening with the confirmation
* The company was "live" on Monday

Now I have contacted my accountant and we are preparing to setup the ZUS and she is going to go over what I need to know regarding VAT, payroll taxes, offering benefits and making tax payments in the next couple of days (my scheduling timing, not hers). Charge for monthly tax reporting and keeping me straight is less than $125 a month (note this actually covers two companies since I also have an interest in an LLC here.

Will let you know more as it happens.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 464
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ecocks,
How's it going? has it still been plain sailing or have you hit any problems yet?
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 160
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, like ecocks, my wife and I have both been working on getting a business licence/residence permit combo. I decided to play it safe ad consult a lawyer on the matter. The lawyer did some research and found that the agreement between Poland and the USA is absolutely in effect and there should be no problem obtaining a residence permit from it. While we don't have the residence permit yet, according to the lawyer (and accountant for that matter) there is no reason why we should be denied.

I'll post a detailed guide very soon on how to open a business.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 978
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oipivo wrote:
Ok, like ecocks, my wife and I have both been working on getting a business licence/residence permit combo. I decided to play it safe ad consult a lawyer on the matter. The lawyer did some research and found that the agreement between Poland and the USA is absolutely in effect and there should be no problem obtaining a residence permit from it. While we don't have the residence permit yet, according to the lawyer (and accountant for that matter) there is no reason why we should be denied.

I'll post a detailed guide very soon on how to open a business.
So you're both attempting to get residency permits WITHOUT first having work permits, correct?

Whether this is possible or not is really the million-dollar question.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 522

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So you're both attempting to get residency permits WITHOUT first having work permits, correct?

Whether this is possible or not is really the million-dollar question.


I truly don't understand why you're being so pig-headed about this Smile He had it confirmed by a lawyer... Dynow, myself and others have always said it is possible to, first do all of the things that you need to do to set up a dzialnosc gospodarcza. Second, take all that paperwork which you get from setting up the dzialnosc, along with things like a zameldowanie, (you can get it for three months on a passport stamp) renter's contract, your first cable bill etc. to the Urzad Cudzoziemcow and apply for a residency card. No work permit is needed, the business is your work permit. I don't actually know what a work permit or work visa looks like, it seems archaic to me, where do you even get such a thing? You're either here working as an EU citizen, have a dzialnosc or are married and thus able to work under Polish law. Work permit what?
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 160
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The woman at the immigration office spoke perfect English and said that getting residence with only a business is perfectly fine (I think i've asked just about everyone in Poznan now). I was really shocked at how easy the process was once we figured out which offices to go to. There was always at least one person that spoke English at every office and they were extremely helpful in filling out the forms.

Ok, so here is what we did to get the business going:


1. Go to the tax office (Urząd skarbowy) in your area. You'll have to check where the locations are in your region here: http://www.urzad-skarbowy.pl/
Fill out a NIP-7 form. We asked at the window and were directed to an English speaker who basically filled out the forms for us. Take a Polish speaker if you can. The NIP-7 will get you a NIP number (tax number), you'll need this number a lot. It comes in the mail after seven days.

2. Open a bank account. We used Millenium Bank, but any of them seem fine. You only need a passport to open an account. You don't need a business account. Paying everything (including ZUS) from your personal account is ok.

3. Go to the local Wydziału Spraw Obywatelskich and register your address. Take a passport (as always) and a copy of your rental agreement, this should be all you need. While you're there, I believe that you can also apply for your PESEL, which I strongly suggest you get out of the way now as you'll need it later on. I have yet to do this though. The women at the information desk spoke English and gave me the form I needed and a translated copy. It was very easy.

3. Find an accountant. You must have an accountants name on the form to create a business (CEIDG-1). It wasn't easy to find one, but my landlord recommended one. Just ask around. It should cost around 150 PLN (net) a month.

4. You're ready to fill out and apply for a business now. Head to the Urząd Miasta in your city (google it). Grab a few CEIDG-1 forms and a polish speaker. I had my lawyer assist me in filling it out correctly, but it really wasn't terribly difficult. You only need to fill out the following numbers on the form: 1,3,4,6,6.1,6.2,6.3,7,8,12, 17-25, 27, 28.2, 29, and sign at the bottom. In the section 06.3 (only if you're going to teach English) write in 85.59A, which is the PKD number and identifies what type of business it is. When you're finished filling it out grab a number and someone will go over it with you and make sure it's ok. A couple days later you will receive an email with a link to your business on the CEIDG website. On your page, there will be yet another important number, the REGON number.


5. Take your REGON number, PESEL, passport, and NIP over to your local social security (ZUS) office. A list of locations can be found here: http://www.zus.pl/default.asp?p=2&id=1866
When you get there, just look really confused and ask about ZUS and businesses and they should point you in the right direction or take the easy route and bring a Polish speaker. They should be able to put you in the system even without a PESEL, but you WILL have to update your ZUS account with a PESEL at some point. Don't bother grabbing any forms, because you won't need any.

6. Finally, head back to the tax office (Urząd skarbowy) mentioned in number one and upgrade your NIP from a personal NIP to a Business NIP.

7. Crack open 17 beers, because you're in business sucker. Have fun paying ZUS!


So that's the process. If anyone would like to add anything feel free, but I think I covered it. Remember that this is ONLY for Americans, even Canadians can't open a sole entrepreneurship business. Have fun!
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oipivo



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 160
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It posted twice, so I edited it. Ahem. Sorry.

Last edited by oipivo on Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 890
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had delays which were personal due to some dependencies on others but to catch up on where I am:

Recap:

Registered my apartment lease.

Opened a bank account.

Created my company.

Got my NIP and REGON.

Newest activities:

My file is open at the Office of Foreigners. These are apparently usually located near the Passport Office for citizens. The cash payment desk is shared between these two office. Cost was 340 zl.

I went to the meeting with four copies of everything. Some things need four, some need three, some only need one. You do need the originals as well but they only want to look at them for a verification.

I had gone to the office on the day when I had 46 remaining and was told not to worry about the 45 day limitation. More on this in a minute. I received the Polish list of things I needed as well as an English version but....

The two versions are completely different in layout. Now, you would think that the English version, with about 8-10 pages, would be more relevant than the double-sided, one page, Polish version which is mostly a list of things needed. You would be wrong. There are things on the Polish paper which are not in the English one. The one thing I found was a planning concern was that I had to get a document from the Tax Authority saying I was current on my taxes. It was across the street from the Foreigners office but has a 7 calendar period to produce the letter. It cost 21 zl. and was ready the next Friday. I went in on the Monday after picking it up.

I submitted my application with 33 days remaining of my initial 90 day entry. The day of submssion was a pothole in the road. Due to their take-a-number system I had a different clerk. She was not happy that I missed the 45 day mark and told me that I had to sign a paper stating that I applied and only gave them 33 days of time. This worried me a little since I wasleaving for the states in 3 days. Despite it being in Polish, I signed. Then she went looking for the deficiencies and told me to get some additional paperwork. That really didn't bother me and was pretty much like about 2/3 of the bureaucratic, rules-bound government workers I have encountered in my life.

What did bother me was that she told me the creation of the entrepreneur-level company was insufficient and I needed the higher-lvel company created. This was in order to get my work permit. I was a bit ragged that evening thinking whether I had wasted my time setting up the company and contemplating the possibility that I was going to end up over the border in Ukraine for a few months marking time to rebuild my Schengen timer while also keeping my apartment in Poland.

My accountant said this was not correct, as did a couple of other teachers I ran this by. When I returned the next day with a few additional pieces of paper I got the original Inspector who had told me not to worry about the 45 day mark.

Americans (and citizens of a dozen or so other countries) are not bound by the 90 day rule in the same way others are. While the Schengen timer of 90 days out of 180 is not affected. Poland allows us to leave POLAND and return to POLAND for an addiitional 90 days. The key part is that you have not restarted you Schengen timer, only your Polish one. Don't venture back via Berlin or elsewhere since you will have used your 90 days in 180 for the other Schengen countries. Many take care of this with a quick border hop over to Ukraine although any non-Schengen countries work for this purpose.

So, things I needed (I took 4 copies of EVERYTHING):

* The application plus two complete copies.
* Your registration that you live at your address legally.
* Bank account information including deposits and such.
* My lease (in Polish, not English).
* NIP Assignment from Tax Authority.
* Company registration with NIP & REGON.
* Your Tax clearance letter.
* Receipts for paying ZUS and the statement that shows you are current.
* A photocopy of EVERY PAGE of your passport plus three more of the main page (photo one) and the page with the stamp or visa you entered on.
* Utility bills even if they are not in your name but for your address.

* I also gave them copies of receipts where I bought office supplies & equipment, paid my landlord, established a bank account and contact information of my accountant.

I am back in the States right now. Before I left my Inspector gave me the name and phone number of the next person in the office who will be handling my case. I will be contacted with requests for any additional paperwork and when to contact them for an interview appointment.

SO, my new 90 days will start when I return in mid-March.

Hope that helps.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 978
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
I truly don't understand why you're being so pig-headed about this Smile He had it confirmed by a lawyer... Dynow, myself and others have always said it is possible to, first do all of the things that you need to do to set up a dzialnosc gospodarcza. Second, take all that paperwork which you get from setting up the dzialnosc, along with things like a zameldowanie, (you can get it for three months on a passport stamp) renter's contract, your first cable bill etc. to the Urzad Cudzoziemcow and apply for a residency card. No work permit is needed, the business is your work permit. I don't actually know what a work permit or work visa looks like, it seems archaic to me, where do you even get such a thing? You're either here working as an EU citizen, have a dzialnosc or are married and thus able to work under Polish law. Work permit what?
having it confirmed by a lawyer doesn't mean jack. We've been through this loads of times before:

Different immigration offices interpret the rules differently. The office in Warsaw has sent me letters demanding a work permit the last three years I've applied (I have had a dzialnosc), and it's also listed on their website as a required document for people conducting business activity. I haven't heard of anyone getting residency here without first having a WP.

This may well be a case in point:
ecocks wrote:
What did bother me was that she told me the creation of the entrepreneur-level company was insufficient and I needed the higher-lvel company created. This was in order to get my work permit. I was a bit ragged that evening thinking whether I had wasted my time setting up the company and contemplating the possibility that I was going to end up over the border in Ukraine for a few months marking time to rebuild my Schengen timer while also keeping my apartment in Poland.
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jahalf



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a question that I don't think was addressed.

Is what you do in this business completely up to you or are you restricted to one kind of service, in your case teaching ESL? I also translate documents and I'd want to be able to do that as well.
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