Ah, Vince, you should be sending these questions to me ;)
- Does this sound right? (it came from a reliable source so would be be inclined to believe it)
No, it's not right. The NIP is a 'tax identification number' - in short, a unique identifier for your business. It's separate to the concept of VAT registration/numbers. But this is correct - without VAT registration, you can't claim back the VAT on purchases.
- As a sole trader company set up, can you get a 'company' VAT number or do you need to be set up as a SP Z.o.o type of scenario?
Yep - you can register for VAT. You'll get a separate number for this - something like "PL 2343 2834 4594 2345". You'll have this in addition to the NIP and REGON.
I will probably have 2 streams of business - one languages and one IT and would like differentiate in the marketing, while maintaining the core name e.g. abc - IT and abc - Languages.
Poland is quite brilliant in this respect - you can have a name (for instance - VINCERULES) and then advertise quite easily as VINCERULES-LANGUAGES or VINCERULES-IT - or even as something totally different. It's quite common for companies to be registered as something quite strange, but to trade as something totally different - I know one example where the company name is totally, completely different to the actual trading name. There's not even a requirement to say "trading as" - you just trade as whatever you want. Just make sure that you have the relevant PKD codes registered and you're good to go.
As a sole trader company(or whatever it is called), can you be set up more than once?
Nope, only one registration for all - the only requirement is the PKD codes must be registered.