Business in Poland – What type of business entity to form?
Breaking into the Polish market can be a rewarding venture for many foreign nationals. Once the foreigners decide to establish a business, a primary consideration is the type of business entity to form. In the article at issue I will describe what kind of company might be set up in Poland by foreigners in accordance with Polish law regulations.
Act on Freedom of Economic Activity divide foreign businessmen into two groups. Some of them are authorized to conduct their business on the same terms as Polish citizens, when the other foreign nationals are subject to statutory limitations. According to Article 13 point 1 of Act on Freedom of Economic Activity foreigners from European Union, European Free Trade Association – parties to European Economic Area which may exercise their right to freedom of economic activity by virtue of contracts concluded by and between the States and European Community may undertake and pursue a business activity on the same terms as Polish citizens.
Analysis of above mentioned principle clearly shows that individuals who fulfill the conditions stated in Article 13 point 1 of Act on Freedom of Economic Activity may conduct their business in Poland in any form of a company. Thus, indicated businessmen may pursue an economic activity within the territory of Poland without any restrictions.
Regardless of the above, it has to be emphasized that on the same terms as Polish citizens also other foreigners than aforementioned may undertake business activity if they meet one of the following requirements:
1) they hold in Poland:
a) settlement permit
b) permit for tolerated stay
b) have the refugee status
2) they enjoy temporary protection in Poland
3) they are members of family who consist of EU citizens
If any of the aforesaid conditions shall not apply to foreign entrepreneurs then they may undertake and pursue business activity only in the form of:
a) limited partnership
b) joint-stock company
c) limited liability company
Businessmen have also a possibility to enter into the above stated companies or acquire shares. However, possibility to conduct individual business or economic activity in the form of civil law partnership, general partnership and professional partnership shall be excluded.
To sum up, an answer to the question stated in the title is ambiguous due to the fact that it depends on the fulfillment of the requirements indicated in Act on Freedom of Economic Activity. Thus, not all legal forms concerning business in Poland are always available to foreign nationals.