Starting a Company
The conditions for registering a company in Warsaw depend on whether you are starting a capital company, a partnership or a sole proprietorship. For a sole proprietorship, extra restrictions apply for citizens who are not from the EU, UK, US or Switzerland. No startup capital is needed to register a partnership, but a limited liability capital company requires 5,000 zł ($1,309) in investment, and a joint-stock capital company would need to raise 50,000 zł ($12,350). Although you don’t need to be a resident to start a company in Poland, it must have a Poland-based director and you would need a business visa to travel to Poland to work there. Even then, the success of the application is not guaranteed. Hiring at least two Polish employees in your company would increase your chances.
When registering your company, you can consult the Polish government’s business website for help (biznes.gov.pl/en/firma/doing-business-in-poland/company-registration-in-poland). For direct advice, they also have a virtual assistant and phone number accessible (biznes.gov.pl/pl/centrum-pomoc). You may need a fluent Polish-speaker to translate for you, which is also advisable for the registration process itself. If registering a sole proprietorship and using your home address in Warsaw, you should inform your landlord, as they may be charged extra property taxes. The fee varies, and the process is carried out by district courts, taking around two weeks
Opening a bank account
You need only a residence permit and a passport to open a bank account in Poland. Certain banks that market to foreigners, such as Santander Bank Polska, ING Bank Śląski and Millennium Bank may need only your passport and proof of residence in your country of origin. The four biggest banks in Poland (PKO BP and the three mentioned above) offer both business and personal banking. You can transfer up to €10,000 ($11,500) to or from accounts in Poland without any declaration. ATMs (Bankomat) are widely available in Warsaw, though in more rural areas it is advisable to bring cash. Machines charge fees for foreign credit and debit cards. In most cases, you need a bank account in Poland to start a business there, unless it is a micro-company with few employees and a low turnover. For sole proprietorships, it is possible to run the business through your personal bank account with lower fees, although this may cause complications with paperwork.
The standard corporation tax rate in Poland is 19 percent. There is no separate capital gains tax. Companies with revenues below €2 million ($2.2million) may apply for a lower corporation tax rate of 9 percent. See the Polish government’s business website: biznes.gov.pl/en/firma. An additional minimum business income tax, deductible from standard corporation tax, was introduced in 2022 to target tax avoidance. It is levied on corporations reporting minimal profits or losses, at a rate equivalent to 10 percent of their tax base. The standard VAT rate is 23 percent but there are reduced rates of 8 percent and 5 percent on gas, electricity, particular foods, media and services. Income taxation in Poland is progressive with two brackets. The upper bracket pays 15,300 zł ($4,000) plus 32 percent on the excess over 120,000 zł ($31,400). Income tax is paid by all residents and non-residents employed in Poland. Personal income tax declarations are submitted annually between February and April 30. Companies in Warsaw are subject to research and development tax breaks, and new low-income enterprises have an exemption on 30 percent of their corporation tax for the six years after the launch of their product (see biznes.gov.pl/pl/portal/001099).
[Phone and internet]
Prices for monthly mobile phone plans in Poland range from 5 zł ($1.30)to 71 zł ($19). Popular providers are T-Mobile, Orange Polska, Play and Plus. Contract lengths tend to be one year. Home internet plans are usually two years. Netia is the exception with a nine-month contract offer, and Play offers a pay-as-you-go option. The main option for business internet is DSL TP from Orange Polska. Orange Polska also provides one of the two main plans for home internet, along with Netia’s Net24. Download speeds tend to vary between 10 Mbit/s and 80 Mbit/s. The average internet bill for 60 Mbit/s or more with unlimited data is 71 zł ($19).