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U.S. Citizen Moving to Poland - opening business?


Thomas486 1 | 1
29 Jul 2013 #1
I am a natural born U.S. citizen wanting to permanently move to Poland. I am not sure on how to go about this I am looking at buying a house there and living there. I do have family there but well of course over time we lost all contact with them. I do not want to become a citizen there because I run a business here in the US and doing so I will lose my US citizenship and my business. If anyone could help that would be greatly appreciated.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
29 Jul 2013 #2
I think only option for you is to open business in Poland. Otherwise you will not get permit to stay here. Few other EU countries offer permit to stay in exchange for investment in house, but not Poland.
DominicB - | 2,678
29 Jul 2013 #3
Too many unknowns here to give a useful answer. How old are you? Are you single, or do you have any dependents? Do you have any degrees or professional certificates? If so, do you have any relevant experience in a professional field? Do you speak Polish, and at what level? Do you plan to find work in Poland? I notice that you own a lawn care business. How big is it, and will it guarantee you sufficient income to live in Poland? You mentioned buying a house in Poland. Cash down, or how do you expect to finance it? WHERE do you want to live in Poland? Most of all, why exactly do you want to move to Poland? (Because you have family here is not an answer to that question).

Like I said, your questin is far too vague to even begin answering.

BTW, I'm originally from up the line in Dupont. When I was a kid, long long ago, my dad used to take us to Shamokin to watch the cute little trains.
OP Thomas486 1 | 1
2 Aug 2013 #4
I am single, 28 years old, certified lawn care technician, I have 8 year experience. I am currently taking Polish language classes, level wise I would say that I am a beginner. I do plan on starting a business in Poland, not sure if lawn care would be my business of choice there. My business isn't really that big I have a fleet of 34 men and I try to average out at least $10 million a year (including snow removal). I did find a house in Boleslawiec for $500,000 USD I plan on putting cash down. And the real reason why I do want to live there is because it is my home country I might of not been born there but the connection to the mother land is still alive and well as it is in my father and grandfather. The reason of my families immigration to America is because of Nazi control and my great grandfather fled in fear of his life that the Nazi's might find out about his "secret", really he had a gay lover and he knew if he'd stay he would be killed or sent to a concentration camp.
DominicB - | 2,678
2 Aug 2013 #5
Because of the particulars of you case, you should make an appointment with someone at the Polish Embassy in New York to discuss your options. You're unlikely to get a satisfactory answer here. There are special visas for businessmen and investors.

Rather than starting your own business, it might be better to invest in or become a partner in an already established business. As you probably know, Bolesławiec is famed for its porcelain. You could, for example, start a business in partnership with the local porcelain factories to import and promote their wares in the US.

Another possibility is connected with the touristic potential of the Lower Silesian area, which offers a lot but is tragically underexpoited and underdeveloped. It could do with a lot more American tourists. Lower Silesia has the highest density of castles and palaces in all of Europe. My own family was impressed when they came here to visit me. I can give you a good contact there: Marian Piasecki, who owns and operates the Park of Miniature Castles and Palaces in Kowary. He's a truly amazing and inspiring individual, and, even if you don't partner directly with him, he can give you tons of ideas and leads about the tourist industry in Lower Silesia. You can contact him by e-mail here: poczta@park-miniatur.com

As for getting residence, that's probably not going to be a problem. The person you want to talk to is Tomasz Bruder, the director of the Department for Alien Affairs at the Urząd Wojewódzki in Wrocław, which is where you woll have to apply for your residency permit. He's a cool guy and very helpful, one of those rare civil servants that is a true servant.

I take it you've visited Bolesławiec. If not, do some thorough research and visit. Check out what businesses are already established and evaluate your possible future role in the local economy. An ambassador is going to be much more impressed by concrete and realistic plans than by vague ideas, even is they are backed up by a stack of cash.

You do have a ton of possibilites open to you. Do your research and come up with a solid plan, and nothing is going to stand in your way.

Good luck!

PS: $500,000 buys a heck of a lot of house in Bolesławiec. I mean, like a luxury house, even by American standards. Be careful of investing in real estate until you know the local market well. It might be wise to rent before then until you do your research. There are a lot of unscrupulous operators in that business. Also, work through a reliable local intermediary when buying real estate. Find someone you can trust, and don't do anything before then. The last thing you want to do is get stuck with an albatross that you could not possibly sell except at a huge loss.
tomski 1 | 12
9 Aug 2013 #6
Small world. I was born in Scranton myself. How long have you been in Poland DominicB?
DominicB - | 2,678
9 Aug 2013 #7
Eleven years. Went to Prep and the U. If your house in Shamokin was standing in 1977, I was in it. I used to work during the summers for PG&W as a flat rate inspector, and I personally inspected all the homes in Shamokin.

I live in Wrocław now. It's a great city and the whole Lower Silesia area is really interesting. You'll like it here.

You might want to contact Barbara and John Alaszewski to find out more about starting a business in Bolesławiec. Read about them here:

discoverpl.polacy.co.uk/art,life_in_poland_8211_the_blue_beetroot,3677.html

This is their e-mail: johnandbarbara@o2.pl

It's worth flying out to Poland and staying a couple of weeks in the area. That will help you get oriented and make contacts.

Between Marian Piasecki and this couple, you'll get lots of good leads into business possibilities in the area. Like I said above, the tourist potential of the area is an oyster just waiting to be opened up. You could really make a difference and a good living to boot. Good luck!
tomski 1 | 12
10 Aug 2013 #8
The other guy was the one looking for info about moving and starting a business. I just happened to read the thread and noticed you were from PA, thought it was pretty cool. I ran into another guy from Peckville on a flight to Alaska, just last week. I also know a guy that retired from PG&W. What made you move to Poland, if you don't mind me being nosey?
DominicB - | 2,678
10 Aug 2013 #9
Came here on a sabbatical, and liked it so much I decided to stay for another year, and then a third, and so on. I made a lot of great professional contacts here, and some very close friends, too. Although I'm not making the money I used to make in the States by a long shot, I have a lot of freedom about how I do science, and I can dabble in things I never would do if I remained in the States. I've done a lot of interesting stuff since I've been here in all areas of biology and medicine. I'm also filling a big need helping Polish scientists get their work published in good journals. I also mentor highschool students who want to study in the west, and that's personally satisfying as well. I've gotten students accepted to top schools like London School of Economics, Stanford, Brown and Bates, among others. Getting one student ready to study diplomacy at Georgetown, and trying my best to get one into Harvey Mudd.

By the way, I was walking in the town square in Wrocław with a student once, and heard these two people walking behind us speaking English with a thick valley accent laced with plenty of henna's. Turned out they were from Dickson City, and we did know people in common. That is a small world.

I see you're coming to visit Poland soon. I've answered on your thread. You'll enjoy Poznan. Cool town square, and everything worth seeing is really close together. Plenty of good food, too. The Indonesian restaurant right off the square on ul. Żydowska is a personal favorite (it's called Warung Bali). The animated model of the city in the Franciscan Monastery is a must see (there's actually two models, and they're both worth seeing). The National Museum has a great art colection. And of course, the little goats on the tower of the town hall at noon are great. Walking around Malta, Poznan's Central Park, is cool, too. Although I advised you not to go to Gdańsk, there's plenty to see there, too. Take a boatride to Westerplatte, where the first shots of WWII were fired.
przypadkowa
10 Aug 2013 #10
Thomas486
I was living in USA for 15 years, i left because I did not like it, but Im still US cistizen with american passport.
Sorry, but I can not imagine US citizen living in Poland :)
tomski 1 | 12
10 Aug 2013 #11
That's awesome! Sounds like you are doing good things, nice to hear that sort of story. I wish the best for you and the students you help.

Oh that's too funny about the people from Dickson. You really are from da valley if you know about henna or however you spell it, seen it lots of ways. My parents used to own a pizza place in Peckville on Main Street. My sister owns it now. The guy I ran into actually knew my parents, and remembered me from when I was a little kid. I was shocked when he said it to me. I went back to the Valley a few years ago, wow is it different now.

Yeah, I got your replies. Thank you for the info! I do appreciate it. I'm so torn about skipping Gdansk... I know I'm not going to see every single thing, but I wanted to have a few cities checked off. Thanks for the tip on the restaurant, I'll check it out. Although I'm looking forward to some authentic polish food. Haven't had any since my grandfather passed away. I'll check out the other places you mentioned!
dariusz 1 | 13
17 Aug 2013 #12
If you are of Polish dissent you can apply for dual citizenship that is what I did
chrison2wheels
10 Oct 2013 #13
I'm thinking of moving to Poland as well and I live just outside of Scranton, PA closer to Lords Valley. Was born in Poland but came here as a child in 80s. Now 46, would like to retire in Poland but not really sure how much I need. Currently have about $600,000 in 401K and then some savings and house I plant to sell (roughly $200,000). Would most likely rent an apartment. I don't care to own anything as I have no kids to leave it to. So will 800 thousand dollars last me 20-30 years. Getting about 4% interest ($32,000) per year, plus Social Security will kick in at 62. Thanks.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Oct 2013 #14
So we know that you don't have to worry about money. Now think better what you're going to do there in Poland, because people without job live shorter.
chrison2wheels
10 Oct 2013 #15
I read here that a couple will need net 7000 zloty to live an average live. So that's $26,000. But I was 3 years old when my parents moved to USA so I get no benefits, no medical, no dental. I'm clueless how much medical insurance cost. Here in USA it's $16,000 per year. Also would like to have a car and travel a lot to see Poland as I can't remember anything about the country and my parents never wanted to go back. I have some family but never seen them, most are in other countries in EU. Will I be able to stay legally? I was born there but have nothing to prove it (parents lost all papers)

I also had German citizenship as we lived in Germany before moving to USA.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Oct 2013 #16
If you were born in Poland from Polish parents, then it must be possible to regain papers. Somewhere in Poland you must be registered. If you have German papers, that's also enough to live in Poland (German id or passport) because of EU. Here you have info about insurance cost:

nfz.gov.pl/new/index.php?katnr=2&dzialnr=1&artnr=1443

So it looks like: 7576pln at the beginning and later 340pln/month
I think that an average cash a couple dispose per month is around 4000zł, but then some of them own flat. And Polish average is low, so your 7000 could be a good number for traveling. It makes difference where you rent a flat, while in small town it can costs 1000zł for big apartment and in Warsaw 3000zł for the same size.
chrison2wheels
10 Oct 2013 #17
Thank you very much. I'm not sure how many citizenships can one have. I have no clue what my parents did when we got German cit and then USA. Hopefully, I did not loose the Polish one. Now my dad lives in Germany and mom in Spain. Crazy how we Polish people are all scattered all over the place.
HRMatEMU - | 5
26 Oct 2013 #18
Merged: Questions regarding opening business by a US citizen in Poland

Hi everyone --

In short order, roughly, the next 6 years -- I will be looking to move to Poland and open an American style Inn -- I expect to employ approximately 10 people (possibly more) and connect with the tourism scene between Krakow and Wrocław. Presently, I am in my junior year at Eastern Michigan University; My major is Hotel & Restaurant Management, and my minors are in International Business and International Business Law. I should be done with all of my chosen degree fields in the next 4 years -- not that age matters, but I am working on my second career (in my 40's), and have already retired from the United States Navy after 18 years.

I've read similar threads of US citizens looking to operate a business in Poland, and have gleaned some information, albeit none specifically for my situation.

I am of Polish dissent (great-grandparents are buried in NE Poland, still have living family in NE Poland), but was born in Michigan, USA.

I am wondering if anyone can guide me in the following questions:

1) Will I have to relinquish my US Citizenship in order to operate my own business in Poland?
2) If no, is it possible to maintain dual citizenship? (The United States recognizes a dual citizenship, does Poland?)
3) Is it a "must" to speak fluent Polish, or will any fluency work?
4) How difficult is it to establish a business in Poland?
5) What are the steps, that you would recommend, to be taken to establish a business in Poland?

An American style Inn -- for those that do not know -- is a hotel / bed & breakfast, but offers bigger rooms with American style amenities, and amenities that appeal to more discerning guests. I am presently a SBO (small business owner) and expect to move my business with me (I make my own line of bath and body products, which will be distributed in my inn as well as be for sale to the public).

I may, depending on the response I receive initially have more questions to ask as they arise.

Thank you for your help --it's greatly appreciated.
suttonmat - | 2
27 Oct 2013 #19
Polish environment is very friendly for new businesses) so, join our community))welcome)
jon357 63 | 14,254
27 Oct 2013 #20
1) Will I have to relinquish my US Citizenship in order to operate my own business in Poland?

No

2) If no, is it possible to maintain dual citizenship? (The United States recognizes a dual citizenship, does Poland?)

Yes, however you should use your Polish ID while entering or leaving Poland.

3) Is it a "must" to speak fluent Polish, or will any fluency work?

You will find it easier if you have a decent degree of fluency in Polish. Not being able to speak comfortably (with or without the usual 2nd language mistakes) would put you at a disadvantage and Polish passport or not, you would be very much the outsider, not at all considered Polish.

4) How difficult is it to establish a business in Poland?

Establish in what sense? Actually setting up the legal entity is a pain in the ass as is most of the bureaucracy of running one.

5) What are the steps, that you would recommend, to be taken to establish a business in Poland?

The answer to that depends on so many factors - many to do with money.

Have you spent much time in Poland?
Harry
27 Oct 2013 #21
I am of Polish dissent (great-grandparents are buried in NE Poland, still have living family in NE Poland), but was born in Michigan, USA.

Do you actually qualify for Polish citizenship? I'd be guessing that your grandparent(s) left Poland before or shortly after WWII, which means they (or your parent(s)) could have lost their Polish nationality by, for example, taking other citizenship, serving in other military, etc.

1) Will I have to relinquish my US Citizenship in order to operate my own business in Poland?

Most certainly not.

2) If no, is it possible to maintain dual citizenship? (The United States recognizes a dual citizenship, does Poland?)

Yes it is. Poland permits dual citizenship but will treat you as an exclusively Polish citizen if you have Polish citizenship.

3) Is it a "must" to speak fluent Polish, or will any fluency work?

For where you want to be (i.e. outside a major city), it is going to be utterly essential to be fluent in Polish.

4) How difficult is it to establish a business in Poland?

It's not difficult but it is a serious pain in the ar0e.

5) What are the steps, that you would recommend, to be taken to establish a business in Poland?

Go and stay at these two places for a start bluebeetroot.com and kanialodge.com.pl/en.
jkb - | 198
27 Oct 2013 #22
1) Will I have to relinquish my US Citizenship in order to operate my own business in Poland?

No, not at all.

2) If no, is it possible to maintain dual citizenship? (The United States recognizes a dual citizenship, does Poland?)

Yes, a lot of people do that. If you have / gain dual citizenship, Poland will recognize you solely as its citizen.

3) Is it a "must" to speak fluent Polish, or will any fluency work?

Depends on what position do you intend on taking.

4) How difficult is it to establish a business in Poland?

Depends on the type of business. Sole proprietorships are quite easy to establish, provided that you're a citizen or permanent resident. LLCs, C companies (their polish counterparts, that is) are a bit more complicated and have to be established through our court registry.

5) What are the steps, that you would recommend, to be taken to establish a business in Poland?

Again, depends greatly on the type of business.

Please also remember, that since you are an American citizen, you are obliged to file taxes with the U.S. IRS no matter where you live and work. If you decide to open a sole proprietorship in Poland, on top of polish social security / medical national premiums, you will have to pay the SE tax in the U.S. To avoid that double taxation, before you start your sole proprietor's business, you need to obtain proper certification from ZUS (or SSA, i don't recall which one atm) in order to present it with your U.S. taxes to be able not to file Schedule SE and pay SE tax on all business earnings.

Good luck!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
27 Oct 2013 #23
5) What are the steps, that you would recommend, to be taken to establish a business in Poland?

I would recommend living and working in Poland, perhaps in a small town for a year before you do anything else. It will give you a taste of the real Poland, and let you understand what kind of difficulties lie ahead. I wouldn't open a business blindly here - I could take you to many, many businesses that failed in Poznan with foreign owners.

I would say that no education will prepare you for what you'll find here.
HRMatEMU - | 5
28 Oct 2013 #24
To answer previous questions regarding residing/traveling extensively in Poland --

Yes, I have lived (briefly) in Poland, and have traveled there in 1969, 1973, 1974, 1977 and 1979. I lived there one full summer in 1979... of course, all while she was occupied. My husband and I will be going to see family again in April of next year (and touring the countryside).

I am against building "new" -- does anyone know if it is possible to refurbish an existing home to make a suitable B&B/inn? I would imagine that we would choose a place in between Krakow and Gliwice, as my husband is a General Motors employee of 10 years.

I appreciate all of the responses thus far.
Harry
28 Oct 2013 #25
I am against building "new" -- does anyone know if it is possible to refurbish an existing home to make a suitable B&B/inn?

It's most certainly possible, it's just very likely to be more work. And if it's a building old enough to be protected, much more work. Polish bureaucrats really love their red tape: if you need to knock out a supporting wall in order to gain a single millimetre of legally required space, they will require you to knock out that supporting wall.

I would imagine that we would choose a place in between Krakow and Gliwice, as my husband is a General Motors employee of 10 years.

While Katowice is many things, a tourist attraction is not one of them.
HRMatEMU - | 5
28 Oct 2013 #26
?? I never said anything about Katowice....
Harry
28 Oct 2013 #27
Er, are you aware of what is in between Gliwice and Krakow?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
28 Oct 2013 #28
A lot of grim, gritty mining towns?

To the OP - if you want to make a success of such a thing, you'd be best to consider somewhere in the Beskidy mountains - Wisła would be a great bet, as would Szczryk - but it would cost you a hell of a lot of money to even buy the building. Zwardon could be an interesting outside bet - there's not much there now, but when the D3 highway gets finished in Slovakia (part of it is under construction now) and connected to the S69 expressway (which is nearly finished) - then Zwardon will be much more accessible. Prices will also be dramatically lower there than in Wisla.
HRMatEMU - | 5
28 Oct 2013 #29
yes -- smaller towns, villages and lots of forest ... and the A4. :)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
28 Oct 2013 #30
The problem is that the area simply isn't that appealing to tourists. The A4 means that there's no reason to stop there (especially as the motorway will be open to Korczowa at the end of next year) - and it's well known that people don't like going off the motorway if they can help it.

For me, I look at the map and see Ruda Slaska, Katowice, Myslowice and other very grim towns. Why would I as a tourist stop there, when I can carry on and stop in Krakow, or Opole/Wroclaw?

There's not much demand in Poland for off-motorway hotel facilities.


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