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Starting a coffee shop in Poland

mullerriceman 2 | 23  
5 Aug 2009 /  #1
I've got an idea to start a coffee shop in a major town in Poland and apart from the obvious like renting a place, doing my homework about location and market research I wanted to know what certificates you need as regards licenses for serving food, operating a kitchen, health and safety, serving alcohol etc.

I plan to serve food (soups, cakes, sandwiches etc) and have evening functions which would include selling alcohol and hosting small music gigs.

Many thanks in advance.
Cardno85 31 | 976  
5 Aug 2009 /  #2
selling alcohol

This is gonna be a bit of a nightmare to be honest. Certificates you need invold tax registration, SANEPID (which is a total nightmare, and you can't get a liquor license without it) and then your license.

Good luck though.

[and before folk all jump on the offended bus, trying to do this in Glasgow is a bloody nightmare as well, this will just be more difficult as it is all in a different language.]
OP mullerriceman 2 | 23  
5 Aug 2009 /  #3
Thanks for replying so quick. I've already set myself up as an entreprenuer in Poland so have already got all personal documentation (NIP, PESEL, etc).

SANEPID I've heard about - i'll have to check that out, but what do you mean by invold tax reg and the second license you mentioned?
gumishu 12 | 6,045  
5 Aug 2009 /  #4

he meant alcohol licence i guess
OP mullerriceman 2 | 23  
5 Aug 2009 /  #5
Sorry, just re-read the post and it seems obvious now. Just checked out the SANEPID website for Warsaw and the English page is 'under construction'. Wonderful.
Sury 3 | 18  
8 Aug 2009 /  #6
Hi there, i opened a place last October in Czestochowa and went threw all the control stuff, it was not too difficult to do, i moved here from London last year and managed to get everything done in a 3 weeks !!!

I aslo have a place for rent in the centre of Czestochowa if your interested.
beckski 12 | 1,617  
9 Aug 2009 /  #7
I plan to serve food (soups, cakes, sandwiches etc) and have evening functions

I did a biz plan in college for operating a coffee shop. Make sure you advertise in the right spots. For example, try a nearby church, in order to acquire Sunday afternoon business.

Wishing you much success in new business venture.
LAGirl 9 | 496  
10 Aug 2009 /  #8
How about Starbuck I love Starbuck. now a Starbucks in Poland would be cool.
johnkelleran - | 9  
27 Aug 2009 /  #9
There are a lot of businesses in Poland, many of which are new. Don't get discouraged, just do it if you think you can make money. Poland needs better coffee and coffee shops. Good luck.
AmericanGirl - | 20  
27 Aug 2009 /  #10
There is a Starbucks in Warsaw- Ul. Nowy Swiat
28 Aug 2009 /  #11
My own experience of dealing in Poland and setting up a Polish business as a non Polish speaker is to do one of the following things.

1/ Hire a right hand man or woman - there are a number of excellent men and women who are honest and just dying for a chance to get on in life and will work hard for your business, if they have no money to begin with you can start with a wage and then create some sort of incentive down the line i.e to offer them a shareholding in the company if things work out, this way they know that their input will be rewarded and a stake in the business is the best way to motivate anyone - 'sweat capital' This way you won't lose a good person to another company down the line if they feel they want more money. You got to be fair with people and reward them for what they put in, as a foreigner you will need them to get you through so make sure they get a chance to advance themselves and don't be greedy.

2/Have a Polish partner / partners- find a like minded individual who has the same idea and go into business with them. If you intend to be in business and stay in this country longterm you have got to learn the language - yes I know its hard!!! but you have to do it. You need to be able to manage the various areas of your business and its going to be in Polish so you got to speak the lingo, invest in it like you would invest in any other part of your project. When you deal in english you pay more and never have full control.

My own experience with partnerships is that you need to put in the groundwork at the start. Sit down and really plan out what your roles in the business are and no rose tinted glasses. You have got to be realistic, make lists of expectations, of problems you foresee - Planning and legally contracted partnerships or company setup is the only way - Do everything legally and on paper and you will always know where you stand moving forward.

My own experience also is that residency is not always the way forward - you can be in this country and setup a business without having to hold a residency permit, residency puts you as an individual in the Polish taxsystem, healthsystem and social security i.e ZUS - My advice again here is get good advice - i.e get a tax adviser, or really good lawyer who can advise you on tax planning and how to run your business in the most cost effective, tax efficient way - so many people avoid good advice at the start and then 2years later when things are going good and they are paying massive tax they go and get advice and learn the hard way that they are paying too much.

planning and advice is the best way forward, talk to everyone, find someone who has done it already is maybe in a different city or type of business so does not feel like you are competition and will talk openly and honestly about the pluses and minus and pick their brain - nothing beats actual experience.

lastly good luck!!! - business can be tough but its great to work for yourself, hard at times because its a huge responsibility but in my opinion worth it in the end -

jworlledge 5 | 13  
14 Oct 2009 /  #12
How is this project going along? Where did you set it up? I am thinking of doing the same thing and in need of a company to do some finishing work in my retail space in the Lodz area. Any thoughts?
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
14 Oct 2009 /  #13

Are you planning to sell soft-drugs too? In that case you need to fill in form 57-A16 part 1 and 2. Oh, I forgot it was PL, not NL. In that case, you will be proscecuted rabiately as hashies are very bad for you; vodka is much healther and better for you.


M-G (good coffee)
4 Nov 2009 /  #14
if you are going to sell alcohol, you could have a visit from the local mafia. No joke.

Also, if you are renting/buying a shop within a building community, you will need permissions from:
- the building community(tenants/owners of flats above/around your lokal)- good luck with wanting to sell alcohol. If there is a shop in the same block, it could create problems.

- Sanepid/Urząd Miasta permissions for a food establishment,
- architects that are Sanepid approved to do surveys, create your plans/documents
- wait 2+ months for permission from Urząd for remont.

to satisfy the above groups you may need to:
-build new exhaust/ventilation/chimney fixtures,
- modify existing plumbling, electrical, alarm, media, build a disabled bathroom/make accessibility

but make sure that your business is correctly registered in the KRS for doing the kind of business you want to operate.

Misskend has a lot of good info.

get a Polish business partner and a goooood accountant!!

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