Persons from non- EU countries, including citizens of Ukraine, may operate in Poland provided that the necessary conditions are laid down by law. Doing business for foreign nationals in Poland is possible if:
Foreigners from EU countries can start a business in Poland under the same conditions as Polish citizens. Additional requirements apply to third-country nationals. The legal act regulating the conduct of business of foreign nationals in Poland is in 2018. March 6 Law on the Rules for the Participation of Foreign Entrepreneurs and Other Foreign Persons in the Economic Circulation in the Territory of the Republic of Poland. According to Article 4 of this law. 1 and 2 d. foreigners from, inter alia, Eastern Bloc countries with a permanent residence permit in Poland, a long-term resident’s residence permit in the European Union or a temporary residence permit issued for study purposes or if the foreigner is married to a Polish citizen residing in Poland may register a company in Poland register. Such activities may also be carried out by non-EU refugees with refugee status who are subject to:
- subsidiary protection in Poland,
- temporary protection,
- “tolerance status” permission has been obtained
- or they have a “Polish card” (Polish: ” Karta Polaka “).
The exception is the possibility to be an entrepreneur under a temporary residence permit issued for the continuation of previous activities in Poland, based on an entry in the Central Register of Economic Activities ( Centralna Ewidencja i Informacja o Działalności Gospodarczej ) . For that reason, an alien who has a temporary residence permit issued for circumstances other than continuous economic activity in Poland or who has a temporary residence permit but has no family ties in Poland may not pursue an economic activity. According to the regulations for foreign nationals conducting business in Poland, an alien must meet at least one of the above legal requirements (if he wants to provide services in the country as a natural person conducting business)
Is it possible to start a foreign business in Poland by setting up a sole proprietorship?
Yes, possible under the same conditions as a Polish citizen and can register a company, but must meet the following conditions:
- is a national of a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area
- is a national of another country and must, inter alia:
- permanent residence permit
- long-term resident’s residence permit in the European Union
- temporary residence permit issued, inter alia, for: reunification with a family legally residing in Poland, university education
- refugee status
- additional protection
- permission to stay for humanitarian reasons or to be granted tolerance status
- temporary residence permit and are married to a Polish national residing in Polish territory,
- a temporary residence permit for the purpose of pursuing an economic activity issued in connection with the continuation of an existing business activity on the basis of an entry in the Central Register of Economic Activity
- temporary protection in Poland
- a valid Polish card.
Doing business for foreign nationals in Poland with LONG-TERM RESIDENT status
In order for an alien to be entered in the central register of economic activities, the possibility of applying for a long-term resident’s residence permit in the EU may be considered. A temporary residence permit is issued for a maximum of 3 years, while a long-term resident’s residence permit in the EU with a continuous stay in Poland must be issued for 5 years. Five years of residence covers all periods of legal and uninterrupted stay of an alien in Poland and other EU countries. An uninterrupted period of stay does not mean that an alien cannot go and visit his family abroad. The period of stay outside the EU may not exceed 6 months, and all periods related to departure from Poland may not exceed 10 months in 5 years. It is therefore worth taking into account the length of the former third-country national’s stay in Poland and other EU countries in order to obtain long-term EU resident status and registration in the Central Register of Economic Activities.
This law allows foreigners from third countries to carry out economic activities in Poland without additional requirements only in the form of a limited partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability company and a joint stock company. Foreigners may also acquire shares in and join such companies, unless international agreements provide otherwise. Thus, a Ukrainian citizen can be a partner of Polish companies by acquiring shares in them, together with a Polish citizen can create a company and be its chairman, so it can be part of the representative bodies. In this case, he may have an employment contract or other civil law contract, such as a service contract, which will be the basis for the payment of remuneration. In addition, if a foreigner is a partner in a limited liability company, he may be required under the articles of association to periodically re-provide services to the enterprise for which he is entitled to remuneration. The legal basis for such actions is Article 176 of the Commercial Companies Code. The most popular company set up by Eastern European citizens is limited liability company .