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Registration as a Sole Trader in Poland


Paulus 4 | 5
8 Jan 2013 #1
Hi All,

I am currently considering registering myself as a Sole Trader.

Can anybody advise the route to take and more importantly can I do this online?

Many thanks in advance for your responses

Paul
jon357 63 | 15,309
8 Jan 2013 #2
There are probably 50 threads here already about that and I would suggest using the search function. However.

Basically, you need to go to the town hall and fill in a form specifying the types of work you want to do. They can't refuse any more to let you do this. They will give you a piece of paper. You need to take that to the tax office and fill in a form specifying the method of bookkeeping you will use and giving a bank account number. Contrary to the advice that some tax offices give, you don't need a separate bank account. You also need to go to the Main Office of Statistics (GUS) and get a pointless number called a REGON. Another bit of paper. You used to need to take that back to the tax office and may still. The final thing you need to do is to register for social insurance (ZUS). You will need to either be registered at an address (this ends soon) and/or have a document from the owner of a property giving permission for the registered office to be there.

The order in which you need to do these steps has changed over the years and there are certain inconsistencies from city to city but basically the town hall is the first step and the ZUS is the last step.

You may find it easier to pay someone to do all this, however it is worth mentioning that the people who do it for money don't always do it either well or quickly and may give you incorrect information. If you do it yourself, you may find it easier in a small town rather than a city. I did it once in Warsaw. The whole process took just over a week and involved a lot of waiting and a lot of pointless form filling. Keep all documents.

You need to complete all these steps in order to get the rubber stamp made up, without which you won't be able to issue a bill for any work done.

A correction. Re. a tenancy agreement, as far as I remember it doesn't need to specify commercial use however it certainly mustn't contain a clause forbidding it. Even though registration at an address ends soon, there will still be a need to prove your right to operate a business from whatever address you give. If you have a friend with an office, they can give you a (signed and stamped) letter to say you have permission to operate from that address, however that letter is for the tax office which may put some people off doing it.

If you are not a citizen of an EU member state, there may be further complications about proving the basis of your presence in PL. I had to do that before but not after Poland's EU entry. You will, in any case, find out during the process.

The order in which you need to do these steps has changed over the years and people here have reported certain inconsistencies from city to city. I did it twice for myself in Warsaw and a couple of times for other people. The whole process took between a week and involved a lot of legwork, form filling and waiting in queues. It also obviously needs to be done in Polish. You will also need to show photo ID like a passport at each stage.

Be aware that bureaucrats in Poland are not known for either consistency or efficiency and in the dozen or so years I have been here there have been numerous small changes in the way they interpret the rules. The tax office is by far the worst and you may find that on Monday you are told one thing, on Tuesday you are told the opposite and on Wednesday you find that neither are correct.

Be aware that you may (and almost certainly will) be given conflicting advice by people who say they are 100% certain the are fit. This is normal here. I can confirm that the steps above were correct when I did it and I doubt there have been more than minor changes since.

Good luck and enjoy!
wielkipies
11 Jun 2013 #3
[Moved from]: Sole trader in Poland - a few questions about filling out MoneyBookers form

Hello,
I am from Poland I am a sole trader.

How shall I fill in this form?

moneybookers.com/ads/merchant-account/resources/pdfs/skrill-merchant-questionnaire.pdf

Company Name - My name and surname?
Merchant Trading name - My name and surname too?
Company Registration number - blank?
VAT Registration Number: blank?

Thanks
Simonetta
24 Jul 2013 #4
I would like to set up an English language school in Warsaw. Do I have to form a company or can I set up as a sole trader. What documents do I need? Any information would help. Thank you
whdsolutions
11 Mar 2014 #5
Merged: UK Sole Trader - Moving to Poland - How do I register as a sole trader here?

Hi there

I am a UK national and my wife is Polish.

We are moving to Poland in the Summer and I am taking my 'Sole Trader Business' with me as I am a web-developer.

I was just wondering what I would need to do to register myself as a Sole Trader (or equivalent) in Poland.

I may want to have my wife as a Partner at some point as she will be given a salary to do my Polish paperwork.

Help is much appreciated!
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
11 Mar 2014 #6
In a nutshell, for the first 2 years you have to pay (figures in GBP approx.) 85 a month to the NI office whether you make a penny or not. After that, 200 a month, ditto.

Tax is about 20%, but you get a tax free allowance of about 600 p.a.
An accountant can set you back 70 a month, but if you look hard you'll find some will do it for 30-40 if your accounts are simple-ish.

Best thing to do is find a good but not expensive accountant. Took me a very long time.
whdsolutions
11 Mar 2014 #7
£85 and £200 p/cm on NI - WOW!!!
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
11 Mar 2014 #8
Or more precisely, I think it's PLN431.18 and PLN1050 respectively, although one established and respected poster here said he 'only' pays PLN985 a month.

For the self-employed it's a flat rate (but perhaps higher for higher incomes, not sure) and has to be paid to Uncle Zus whether you made a shilling that month or not.

The NI or ZUS may not sound a lot until you realise that earnings here are a lot less than the UK, by and large.

Even if you're going to web develop for companies back in the UK, if the Polish Inland Revenue decide "the centre of your activities" are in Poland, you have to pay tax to Poland, AFAIK.
Harry
11 Mar 2014 #9
Or more precisely, I think it's PLN431.18 and PLN1050 respectively

ZUS for Feb 2014 (account numbers and amounts due):
83 1010 1023 0000 2613 9510 0000
661,92-----------

---------------------------------------------------------
78 1010 1023 0000 2613 9520 0000
270,40-----------

---------------------------------------------------------
73 1010 1023 0000 2613 9530 0000
55,07-----------
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
11 Mar 2014 #10
ZUS for Feb 2014 (account numbers and amounts due)

Honestly, I've no idea how that's so that you're on 'just' 987.39. If they won't charge you just for asking, please ask your accountant why you get that small discount (any discount being better than nic), because as I said before mine has already warned me to expect some figure just over 1000PLN in 2016, no maybes, no ifs, no buts. I think it was 1050 or 1080. Now it's 431.18.

I hope all goes well, OP.

Things seem rather quiet at present, either because of tensions in the region or because it's just one of those things only effecting some of us (or just me). Bear this sort of thing in mind when committing to a business as the NI has to be paid, come rain or shine.
Harry
12 Mar 2014 #11
I said before mine has already warned me to expect some figure just over 1000PLN in 2016

I expect it will be over 1,000 by then. But for now it is the amounts that I have told you.

why you get that small discount

I'm not. You appear to be getting bad advice. I would suggest that you contact your accountant and ask them why they are telling you that the full amount you need to pay is 1053zl (or whatever) when the actually amounts and bank account numbers are 83 1010 1023 0000 2613 9510 0000, 661,92; 78 1010 1023 0000 2613 9520 0000, 270,40; and 73 1010 1023 0000 2613 9530 0000, 55,07.

I have got a pretty good idea what their reply will be but you need to ask them so that you can learn a valuable lesson about the differences between an accountant in the UK and an accountant in Poland.

Bear this sort of thing in mind when committing to a business as the NI has to be paid, come rain or shine.

Which is one of the reasons that foreigner who don't have regular business can be better off just working on an umowa o dzielo basis for a person who is registered as a sole trader. The other big benefit of course being that there is no ZUS at all to be paid by a foreigner under when employed under that basis.
whdsolutions
12 Mar 2014 #12
This thread is very interesting. The amount paid to ZUS / NI ain't going to stop me from moving to Poland - Such a beautiful place to bring up my child as she speaks both English and Polish.

My in-laws (both) who live in Poland actually work for ZUS (70 years combined), so they will be able to discuss further on our arrival!!!
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
12 Mar 2014 #13
I expect it will be over 1,000 by then. But for now it is the amounts that I have told you.

No, at least 2 of them told me it was a thousand and something now. I can't find the notes for that, but I can find the present intro ZUS 431.18

contact your accountant and ask them why

I asked a few weeks ago, I think I posted at the time, they just said that's the figure now and I recall their laughter when I expressed my fear at what it would be in 2 years, anyway whatever it was I said it was back then is what they told me it was now if not on the 2 year intro. I'm not asking again, they up the bill when I ask a question. Don't tell me to find someone else, it was a nightmare finding anyone at all sub 300zl a month. Something like 5 out of 7 here wanted 300 or 250 a month plus VAT for fees

working on an umowa o dzielo

ZUS clamped down on what sort of work they'll allow for that and people told one of the accountants that they suddenly faced back claims for unpaid ZUS. Don't shoot the messenger, I'm, just reporting what I was told. Additionally, Donek (Tusk) is supposed to have said something about ending these contracts or ending the ZUSless element of them. Do a news search if you have time, and you might find the story somewhere. Like I say, this is what I heard, might've read it here from someone else, but if I was told correctly then TPTB or the unions aren't wearing it any more for those contracts and the current situation is they've scaled back what they will allow those contracts to be applied to.

That's what I heard anyway, if it turns out to be untrue or misreported, perhaps you can set the record straight.
reddeniro
24 Mar 2014 #14
Is it possible that ZUS varies in different Voivodships? I believe it shouldn't.

This is mine after my initial two years -

51 - 716,99

52 - 270,40

53 - 55,07

= 1042.46
legate - | 46
24 Mar 2014 #15
Is it possible that ZUS varies in different Voivodships? I believe it shouldn't.

No, it doesn't
reddeniro
24 Mar 2014 #16
So Harry, (see above) it seems either you or I are paying the wrong amount!
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
24 Mar 2014 #17
51 - 716,99 52 - 270,40 53 - 55,07

For any newcomers browsing and wondering what the 51, 52, 53 means: it refers to the ZUS account numbers for contribution category.

= 1042.46

Am pretty sure that's the figure I heard too (I recognise the zloty part of that figure anyway)
Harry
27 Mar 2014 #18
So Harry, (see above) it seems either you or I are paying the wrong amount!

Nope, you are making the voluntary contributions to ZUS which entitle you to sick pay from ZUS. I'm not, because firstly the amount that's paid out is hardly worth bothering with, secondly because the hassle involved in claiming that money is immense, thirdly because the chances I'll claim that money is very low and finally because there are better plans of that type out there.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
27 Mar 2014 #19
Mr Harry, how do we get ZUS to agree to that reduction on contributions to their account 51 ?

My accountant has never told me any part of the contribution is voluntary. This prompts some supplementary questions:

What element of the introductory 2-year ZUS is also voluntary? The same figure of about 55 zl?

Does the sole trader have to prove payment to an alternative private version of ZUS if not paying ZUS ?

I'd ask my accountant but they don't seem to want to bother answering questions as they never get back to me with any answers.
Harry
27 Mar 2014 #20
Mr Harry, how do we get ZUS to agree to that reduction on contributions to their account 51 ?

You need to register that choice with ZUS. I did it when I first registered my company with ZUS.

My accountant has never told me any part of the contribution is voluntary.

Remember I referred above to "a valuable lesson about the differences between an accountant in the UK and an accountant in Poland"? There is your lesson: what are called accountants in Poland are basically what we'd call a bookkeeper in the UK.

What element of the introductory 2-year ZUS is also voluntary? The same figure of about 55 zl?

As far as I am aware, that is the only voluntary element for sole traders.

Does the sole trader have to prove payment to an alternative private version of ZUS if not paying ZUS ?

As far as I am aware, no; I have certainly never been asked to evidence that.

I'd ask my accountant but they don't seem to want to bother answering questions as they never get back to me with any answers.

So tell them that answering a few questions per year from you is one of the things you pay them for.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
27 Mar 2014 #21
Thank you, Mr H, for the answers. I have a feeling that it's too late to change the ZUS reg now and if I ask the accountant to they'll either charge me more than the saving or flat refuse.

So tell them that answering a few questions per year from you is one of the things you pay them for.

Unfortunately, it was hard enough to even find this accountant, all the others wanted 350-400 or more a month. I am a bit scared of losing their help, even if they are (as you probably rightly point out) just a glorified bookkeeper.


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