Together with the growing awareness of Poles about entrepreneurship, as well as the growing willingness to look for new paths of self-realization, we can note the growing popularity of established business activities. No wonder that the Polish Internet is constantly flooded with countless questions on topics related to starting a business. What is worth knowing about this topic?
Although the bureaucracy and the amount of time devoted to the business registration process are still being criticized, it is worth noting that starting your own business in recent years has become much simpler. It is also worth to learn the basic features that characterize running a business, ie the stages that we must include, that the process of setting up your own company, for example, is effective and efficient, without causing unnecessary troubles and complications. How does Polish law define a business activity, how it defines its objectives and what it requires so that it can be legally assumed? Let’s look at the issue of economic activity in Poland comprehensively.
Economic activity according to Polish law
- Economic activity is defined first by the Law of Entrepreneurs Act as an integral part of the sphere connected with them. In the third article, we read that economic activity is organized gainful activity carried out in our own (our name), keeping the continuous mode. It is conducted by an entrepreneur, in the letters of the regulations referred to as a natural person. There is one important condition – the income it receives from operations cannot be less than half (50%) of the minimum wage in any month (currently PLN 2,100 gross).
- The second definition of economic activity exists in the Tax Ordinance. We read there that activities defined in the Act on the Law of Entrepreneurs are included in the business activity, adding their own definition. We read in addition that the term in question is: free professions and other gainful activities, which we perform on our own behalf and on our own or someone else’s account.
- The Act on the social insurance system gives the right to be a business owner: artists and musicians, entities running private schools, partners in partner companies or limited partnerships or running a business as a freelancer
- The Act on the tax on goods and services is an economic activity called all activities of service providers, farmers, producers, traders, and freelancers. In the case of the last group, it deserves the title of business, even if any activity within the scope of a free profession was taken only once.
- In turn, the Act on income tax is an economic activity as a gainful activity of a productive, construction, service and mining nature. It must only be done in an organized and continuous manner.
What are the business objectives according to the legal letters?
The objectives that guide entrepreneurs running a business under the law are divided into two categories.
- External objectives – paying taxes, fees and tributes to the state treasury, creating the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and paying insurance premiums to ZUS
- Internal goals – the fulfillment of financial assumptions, profitability, development, etc.
The rules assigned to the business
- The principle of freedom of conducting
- The principle of fair competition
- The principle of self-responsibility for obligations
- The principle of legal equality of all economic entities
- The principle of respect for consumer rights
- The principle of state support for small and growing enterprises
Who can set up a business?
No specialist qualifications are required to successfully set up a business. We do not have to be qualified specialists in the field of the market in which we want to act. However, people who want to employ better, to have adequate – although partial – education. An important condition is only the action within the limits of the law and compliance with the principles of health and safety both by the entrepreneur and the employees employed by him.
The process of establishing a business
In order to establish our business activity turned out to be efficient, effective and not incurring additional problems, it is worth getting acquainted with the chronological process of creating our own company and preparing for the below-mentioned collection of documents and visiting relevant offices.
- First, we determine the nature and form of our business, find the industry and market section in which we will operate and select the path of one-person activity, or in cooperation with others on the basis of, for example, a joint-stock company or a limited liability company
- It is worth creating a business plan in which we will consider the potential costs that we will incur during the setting up process and what we will want to do
- It will be necessary to determine the amount of financial contribution that we will allocate for the “start-up” of our activity
- Once we’ve decided everything, it’s time to register in the Central Register and Information System on Business, that is, to register all the information about our future business. They will be publicly available, e.g. in the Public Information Bulletin. This process is described in more detail in the above-linked text.
- If the registration process in CEIDG is successful and there are no disqualifying reasons, we have a free hand to implement our business plan. The first will be to set up a company bank account. If our company will operate large amounts in the future, we have no other choice – from January 2017, each company transaction over PLN 15,000 must be paid by bank transfer. We do not necessarily need to set up a previously unused account – we can also rename our private one. However, it will be necessary to inform the tax office and ZUS about this fact.
Offices, which we must visit:
- The next stage will be a visit to the Tax Office. We will have to create our tax identification number (NIP) in it, register as a VAT payer, as well as the tax settlement method.
- Then we will have to go to the Central Statistical Office (GUS). There, we get another ID number, this time – REGON. If we are a public company, we receive it immediately. If not – he will be sent by mail to the month from submitting the application to the CEIDG database.
- We will also not avoid a visit to the Social Insurance Institution, during which we report our company as a new contribution payer. In print, which we place in the office, we enclose our tax identification number, REGON number, our personal data, company bank account number, as well as the number of the entry in the company records and the number of our ID card.
- We visit the offices of the National Labor Inspectorate and Sanepid if we plan to hire employees. For the first office in such a case, we have time to go up to 30 days after registering the activity, and to the second – 14 days (two weeks).
- Next, we need to obtain a license (see next headline) or permit our business to be fully legal and comply with applicable laws.
- The last important step in setting up the business will be to decide who will deal with the accounting – we can settle it with the help of a person employed for this role, an online accounting program or going to the office offering services in the accounting.
The state has provided for an additional concession authority for a selected type of economic activity if it is of particular importance to the public interest or the state’s good and security. It is granted for a period of 5 to 50 years. It belongs to this group:
- Running a casino or a games room
- Providing chwilówek and loans
- Offering air transport
- Dissemination of radio and television programs and programs
- Running a security company offering services in the protection of people or property
- Extraction, exploration or processing of deposits from mines
- Manufacture of weapons, ammunition, explosives
- Manufacture of goods for the needs of the army and police
- Production, processing, and distribution of fuels and their trading
As you can see, setting up a business is a time-consuming piece of bread, but with the right luck (to hit the right niche in the market) it can be our best decision in life, which we will never regret. It is only worth properly preparing for the complex process of setting up our business, remembering relevant documents and costs.