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What do I as a foreigner need to know before setting up a business in Poland?


Midod 1 | 5
16 Jan 2014  #1
Hello everyone,

I'm a Moroccan guy living in Poland for almost one year now, I do like the country and everyday I get to know the real nice poles (culture and history..) so I tought why not starting a business here in few years (1 or 2 years max) you may think it's too early to ask this questions but I need to know few things:

-Right now I'm evaluating this project between 200.000pln - 300.000pln, I can bring on table from 10.000pln to 15.000pln, my question is as a foreigner investor can I apply for a loan for the difference?

-If not, having a polish partner will make it easier to get accepted by some polish banks?

-Do you have some examples of banks dealing with foreigner entrepreneur in Poalnd?

-I want also a small preview about the taxes and law, or web links explaining this.

-And if you can provide for me some consultancy agents contact will be nice too.

My idea is to open a coffee shop with moroccan-polish Ciastko, morroccan kawa & herbata, + other stuff, I want to put smile in students and active people faces every morning and maybe also be part of there celebrations if the business go bigger (weddings, and parties...)

I have arranged list of Moroccan suppliers (furniture & design, traditional ingerdients...), I'll need to hire one Moroccan Baker and 2 or 3 polish employees

Dzienkuje bardzo for reading this and I'm waiting for your answers or feedbacks, ideas!!
pullingstrings - | 3
16 Jan 2014  #2
- I don't think a bank will lend you so much.
- Polish partner won't make a difference.
- The café/coffee shop market is saturated as it is.
- The banks are unlikely to lend for a retail project without proven track experience in that business.
- Students won't be able to afford to go there every morning, and banks know it.

only my two cents from Germany.
OP Midod 1 | 5
16 Jan 2014  #3
Thank you for your quick answer, as I said I'm seeking for opportunities and fields where I can start in, but you open my eyes in some real challenges with what you said, thanks again.

For you what could be a good small/meduim business in Poland this days?
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
16 Jan 2014  #4
For starters (pardon the pun, alright I'll get me coat) you need to budget for "ZUS" pension payments to the government which are due from day 1, profit or not. Didn't make 410PLN, only made 41PLN? Sorry, but ZUS is still payable! Although it can reduce your tax if paying tax, I believe.

I think that's now 410PLN a month for ZUS if it's your first business in Poland, for 24 months, then 1100PLN a month. After you have made about US$900 in profit, you have to pay tax. You might not have to pay ZUS if you pay a form of ZUS in your home country and can prove that -- but that might just be EU nationals in Poland only.

If you can't do your own accounting, budget 300PLN a month for an accountant, at least. If you make 150,000 (150K) PLN a year, you have to register for VAT. That bumps up the accountant's fee.

On top of that, budget for rents, local taxes in some areas, staff, advertising, etc.

Harry and some others on here know far more about these taxes, and will put you straight if I'm wrong, but this info is what I have gathered fairly recently from real, live accountants! Admittedly, some of them contradict each other, but they all seem agreed on the above stuff.
OP Midod 1 | 5
16 Jan 2014  #5
Dzieki this is really helpful.

And yes I had evaluate the total budget (rent, adv, salaries, furniture..) to approximatively 200.000pln then a leasing for a van and materials can cost up to 100.000pln payable in 5 or 6years, btw this evaluation is a theoric global one not specific to Poland (due to my accounting background) this why I posted this thread to get your feedbacks :)

and to be honest I can afford paying this capital by my own but I dnt want to risk my small fortune in one project, so I'm checking what banks or maybe partner can offer.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
16 Jan 2014  #6
Dzieki this is really helpful.

You're welcome, of course.

I don't know if the following is true but someone just told me they think that the VAT limit is dropping to 50K PLN from 2016...

From 2016, the amount of the exemption of VAT will be approx.50 000 zł acc. to art. 287 Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax

That's the first I've heard of it, but it might be true, I don't know...

And apparently the limit for compulsory cash registers (tills) has dropped to 20K PLN.

Hopefully, one of the more clued up regulars will advise if the above is right or utter nonsense.
Maybe 12 | 409
16 Jan 2014  #7
Location, location, location. If you are going to open a Moroccan cafe you need to be in right place.

There is an Indian restaurant/bar/club in Gdynia near the beach.
plus.google.com/109404917972990768538/about?hl=en
Please note I don't mean to be crass by drawing a comparison between Indian and Moroccan cafes, rather since they are exotic to Poles, my point is they need to be in a location which would be sympathetic to something outside the norm. i.e a cosmopolitan area.

If you are looking for other investors or partners it might be worth approaching smaller hotels and look to partner in their restaurant business.

Secondly, having visited Marrakech and absolutely loved it, my wife went crazy for the scarfs, jewellery, pots, pans ornaments, not to mention carpets. If you have solid trade contacts in your home country importing such goods it would in my opinion be a winner.

Selling such goods on allegro as well.

A Moroccan restaurant, which also sold traditional pottery, carpets, jewellery and scarfs, an Aladdin's cave of treasures, now that might work.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
16 Jan 2014  #8
Useful link on how to set up a business
biurowirtualnewarszawa.pl/english/how-to-start-a-business-in-poland.html

A very detailed PDF in English about doing business in Poland (might be out of date in some places, I don't know) millercanfield.com/media/article/200244_M-C%20Poland%20Book%20_2013_.pdf
Harry
17 Jan 2014  #9
my question is as a foreigner investor can I apply for a loan for the difference?

You have absolutely zero chance of getting a bank to cover 95% of your investment; you'd be doing well to get even 50% out of them.

I think that's now 410PLN a month for ZUS if it's your first business in Poland, for 24 months, then 1100PLN a month.

I paid 972zl last month to ZUS; I have no idea what that was for.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
17 Jan 2014  #10
I paid 972zl last month to ZUS; I have no idea what that was for.

If you mean the figure isn't 1100, I assume it's the percentage they take if you're an employee or contractor. Otherwise, I assure you I have several emails telling me it's 1100 now for the self-employed. Maybe it's me, but I find the amount that ZUS take to be very high, and it is a drag on businesses commencing, even with the 410PLN introductory rate. Looking at my own projected figures, thanks to ZUS I would definitely make a loss for 14-18 months, if I started. Once ZUS kicked in at 1100 or perhaps more 2 years hence, the loss may return, further reducing the ability to advertise and source new revenue.

I know that I'm not saying anything you didn't realise before, it's just that I find it a very hard policy to understand. It seems to stifle new enterprise. Of course, successful and existing enterprises might rejoice at that fact.
Harry
17 Jan 2014  #11
If you mean the figure isn't 1100, I assume it's the percentage they take if you're an employee or contractor.

No, I mean that last month I paid ZUS 972zl as my payment for a person operating a dzialalnosc gospodarcza. Specifically:
Account number 83 1010 1023 0000 2613 9510 0000
656,09-----------
S 0 1 12 2 0 1 3
---------------------------------------------------------
Account number 78 1010 1023 0000 2613 9520 0000
261,73-----------
S 0 1 12 2 0 1 3
---------------------------------------------------------
Account number 73 1010 1023 0000 2613 9530 0000
54,58-----------
S 0 1 12 2 0 1 3
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
17 Jan 2014  #12
No, I mean that last month I paid ZUS 972zl

Then I honestly don't know how they calculate it, if that was your established biz self-employed rate. I wasn't aware that they'd slide it down like that. But good luck to you, I'm pleased they've somehow let you save some money. I doubt I'll ever have that luck, frankly ! :D
Harry
17 Jan 2014  #13
It's the same rate for everybody. You seem to be getting bad advice.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
17 Jan 2014  #14
I've just had a look at the email from the accountant that I kept, the other I deleted as their fee was pricey. This is a copy 'n' paste of what he said, I do solemnly swear ;o)

You understand the law correctly. Yes. You must pay ZUS but about 430 PLN
(from 01.2014) per month
for 2 years, then 1100PLN per month.
You don't need to pay the ZUS in Poland, if you pay to the other ZUS in
another EU country (for example in England), because you are working also in
other country.

OP Midod 1 | 5
17 Jan 2014  #15
Location, location, location. If you are going to open a Moroccan cafe you need to be in right place.

Yes for sure, I was visiting some cities; wroclaw, lodz, krakow..., I do like krakow but I still want to check all places (poznan, gdansk..) it depend also on the rent and the population (the target), but location is the main point

If you are looking for other investors or partners it might be worth approaching smaller hotels and look to partner in their restaurant business.

That's a good idea, I do have some contacts that could provide this goods to me, but I should 1st check the cost of importation and the sale price..

But thanks again good thoughts.
Wroclaw Boy
17 Jan 2014  #16
You have absolutely zero chance of getting a bank to cover 95% of your investment; you'd be doing well to get even 50% out of them.

Yup, be careful of your optimism Midod.


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