Poland has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and is one of the best scenarios for establishing an onshore business in the European setting. By establishing a company in Poland, it is possible to benefit from reduced taxation and a convenient location (in the heart of Europe), and of optimising margins through one of Central Europe's largest markets based on a low cost of labour.

Poland offers a wide range of financial incentives for foreign investors intending to set up in the country, including loans of up to 50% of set-up expenses in some special zones and incentives envisaged by European Union programmes.

The following types of company can be established in Poland:

  • Limited Liability Company (sp.zo.o): mainly used for medium-small sized businesses; requires a minimum share capital of 50,000 zloty (about € 12,800) and no restriction on foreign partners. Annual accounts must be prepared and kept at headquarters.
  • Joint-Stock Company (SA): mainly used for medium-large sized businesses that need to raise public funds; requires a minimum share capital of 500,000 zloty (about € 127,000) and provides for a dual administration system (Board of Directors and Supervisory Board). In accordance with the law, 8% of annual profits should be set aside (up to a maximum of 30% of the share capital), and annual accounts and a Board of Auditors are mandatory.
  • General Partnership – Partnership: Polish legislation envisages for four corporate forms:
    • Registered partnership: all partners have unlimited liability
    • Limited liability partnership: some partners have limited liability
    • Professional partnership
    • Partnership by shares
  • Sole Proprietorship: this is the simplest and least regulated corporate form, mainly used by small businesses. The partner has unlimited liability and profits are taxed according to the rates of natural persons.

POLAND

Poland Flag
Average start-up times 5-10 days
Availability of pre-established (ready-made) companies Yes
Accounting Annual
Secretary No
Nominee Shareholder Yes
Nominee Director Yes
Average taxation

The basic tax rate is 19% of the taxable amount. Income from Polish investment funds (including funds invested in real estate) is tax-exempt. Companies operating in the Special Economic Zones (ZES) benefit from tax relief, ranging from 30 to 50%.

Published information about the company's directors

The names of directors and shareholders appear in the Public Register.

Accounting obligations Annual
Legislation and controls

The Polish Business Register (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy - National Court Register) is managed by the Polish Ministry of Justice.

In Poland, business activity is regulated by the Code of Commercial Companies (15/09/2000, amended on 15/01/2004) and the Law on Freedom of Economic Activity of 02/07/2004.

Confidentiality Bearer shares are not permitted
Time Zone UTC+1
Currency Polish złoty
Risk indicators Average political risk: 27%
  • Expropriation and breaches of contract: 34%
  • Risk of war and civil unrest: 23%
  • Transfer of capital and convertibility: 23%
Average credit risk: 41%
  • Failure to pay by sovereign counterpart: 32%
  • Failure to pay by bank counterpart: 45%
  • Failure to pay by corporate counterpart: 45%
GDP growth 2,8%