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The big step: moving to Warsaw and taking everything with me to Poland


MrComric 1 | 21    
12 Jan 2018  #1
Dear all,

Last year, I posted on this forum with question related to studies at Kozminski University, SGH etc... It was there, that a certain DominicB advised me against any of these studies so, among other, this encouraged me to look out for internships. After a lengthy discussion, I got accepted for an internship at UBS in Lugano, Switzerland. Yet, given the high cost of living, I thanked for it in the end. So to finally deal with the dilemma between working and studying, I attended SGH summer school last summer and was most displeased by its low level of professionalism and education compared to the university I attended during my year of graduation.

Since that time, I started a small bicycle company, getting myself around with a few thousand euros a month and worked on getting my CFA Level I as I graduated last year as a Financial Economist. With internships and short term projects done for Deloitte and the European Investment Bank, it appeared to me that the taxes in my country are over the top. Not only was I paying too much in terms of income tax, but the state also demanded more than 25% of my corporate revenue. I was searching for a way out but I didn't want to leave my home empty-handed: without a job, without a house, without a companion.

But luckily I did have my Polish girlfriend, now fiancée, who suggested I should move to Warsaw. Given the lower corporate tax rate of 19% instead of 34% in Belgium, this enticed me immediately. But I hesitated. Luxembourg was far more interesting to me as I can speak fluently in French, Dutch and English and I wanted to boost my German from intermediate to fluent as well. But she, an Italian translator and Polish (PR specialized) philologist by training, didn't speak any French nor German.

Yet, then, the Brexit came. A few months ago, I got an inbox mail from a Polish recruiter I befriended, saying that one of the big London banks was coming to Warsaw hiring Dutch & French speakers. I mailed them almost immediately, and making a long story short, after some trips to Poland and back, I got the job. The job, of course, did not pay as well as it would do in Brussels or Luxembourg, but relative to Polish cost of living, I make more as a starter than more mother-in-law. Hence, I got enough money from my smal company, to thrive on savings for a few years. So there I was, all of a sudden I had a great job, a companion but still not a place to stay. My future in-laws wanted to give me an attic room, but given their strict home policy on separate sleeping and before marriage sexuality, I passed for that. Fortunately, I volunteered during my studies as a buddy for international students and I mailed around for the few Poles I guided around back in the day. After a lot of texting around, I found a temporary place to stay.

So here I am, a multilingual young entrepreneur, 23 years of age, working for a great international banking company. Ready to conquer the world. But actually I don't have anything. I don't know what I should do next. So I made a list of questions:

* I have no employees, nor stock for my small company, but it's was erected as a Belgian limited. Can I take my company to Poland and continue my activities here (and hence paying Polish taxes) and/or should I first have to liquidate it and convert it into a SpA zoo?

* Given the fact my fiancée and I, will wait for a few more years before getting married, children are for now out of the question. So the central question is renting/buying an apartment/house in Warsaw. I have heard that the rent/buy ratio is high (meaning that the amount of rent you pay of an annual basis covers more than 5% of the buying price). So would it be more interesting to buy an apartment now and sell it in a few years - when we are going for children - or not?

- What are the laws concerned to short term reselling? Meaning: if I buy a house/flat now and I resell it within two to three years, do I have to pay additional taxes? (I am Belgian, we have taxes on anything)

- Is it normal that Polish flats get rented fully furnished? I've gone through olx.pl already and a lot of flats are displayed fully furnished. Just wondering.

* I'll have to get my car from Belgium to Poland. It's a Mercedes Sprinter (registered as company car). Should I import it through legal ways or don't I have to worry about this because 'European Union'?

* Are there any benefits tied to Polish citizenship? Belgium doesn't allow the denial of Belgian citizenship once received, so I would be Belgo-Polish if I got Polish citizenship.

* I have heard Poles are quite hard working even when it comes to weekend studies. So I wonder if there are any language courses available, especially in Polish and German. The work language won't be Polish as it will be English and, depending on the day of the week or the customer, Dutch and French. So, getting around with some basic Polish would be nice. I've seen that Polonicum does these kind of things for Polish, but I haven't quite seen something for German yet. So if you know something about that, it would be great.

Sorry for the long message,

Best regards,

MrComric
OP MrComric 1 | 21    
12 Jan 2018  #2
Sorry for the double post, but all of a sudden I can't edit my message anymore. Anyway, I wanted also to get the following question answered. It is not that much of an important question however, but knowing the answer to it can spare me a lot of trouble in the future.

I collect national honors, i.e.: medals, grand crosses, orders and sashes; as a hobby. I've heard already that some countries have laws on this, prohibiting trade in these objects. So I wondered if for instance having (bought/exchanged) and thus not wearing the Order Orła Białego, would be illegal in Poland or not.
cms 9 | 1,290    
12 Jan 2018  #3
Someone else can answer the rest of your questions but re your limited company then you cannot convert the Belgian entity into a Polish entity. You would have to liquidate it and then start a new Polish entity, which given the small scale of the business seems a big hassle.

You would pay Belgium corporate income tax on your companies earnings, and then tax on any dividends you pay to yourself would attract Polish tax of 19 percent.
Alexbrz 3 | 70    
12 Jan 2018  #4
I'll do the questions i know for you (En veel plezier in Warsaw! Nederlander in Tricity hier)

* Given the fact my fiancée and I, will wait for a few more years before getting married, children are for now out of the question. So the central question is renting/buying an apartment/house in Warsaw. I have heard that the rent/buy ratio is high (meaning that the amount of rent you pay of an annual basis covers more than 5% of the buying price). So would it be more interesting to buy an apartment now and sell it in a few years - when we are going for children - or not?

I would strongly advice to buy instead of rent. I did the same and monthly costs are the same, if not lower than renting plus ofcourse, in the end you've pad for something, instead of TO someone.

- What are the laws concerned to short term reselling? Meaning: if I buy a house/flat now and I resell it within two to three years, do I have to pay additional taxes? (I am Belgian, we have taxes on anything)

I'm not aware of "additional" taxes but you do pay tax on "profit" if you resell in a certain amount of time. I think it was 3 or 5 years but im not sure.

- Is it normal that Polish flats get rented fully furnished? I've gone through olx.pl already and a lot of flats are displayed fully furnished. Just wondering.

Yes. That was a surprise for me too. Its different than in Benelux. Even the house i bought was partially furnished.

* I'll have to get my car from Belgium to Poland. It's a Mercedes Sprinter (registered as company car). Should I import it through legal ways or don't I have to worry about this because 'European Union'?

-its best to register it in Poland if you plan on staying here. No road taxes/car taxes as we know them in many other countries "you pay the tax in the fuel" which i also cheaper than BE or NL. Because its a van registering it will be very cheap, you dont have to pay the import tax on business vehicles. You'll have to translate the carpapers, and pay a small fee for importing it. There are companies that will help you with it for a small fee, which i'd highly recommend. It'll cost you less than 100euro and saves you heaps of hassle. You should be all done for under 1000zl with a Van.

* Are there any benefits tied to Polish citizenship? Belgium doesn't allow the denial of Belgian citizenship once received, so I would be Belgo-Polish if I got Polish citizenship.

i dont see any immediate benefits tied to Polish citizenship for a Belgian. Unless you'd like to buy property on the german-polish border. Plus you'd have to stay in Poland for a long while before you can get citizenship anyways.

* I have heard Poles are quite hard working even when it comes to weekend studies. So I wonder if there are any language courses available, especially in Polish and German. The work language won't be Polish as it will be English and, depending on the day of the week or the customer, Dutch and French. So, getting around with some basic Polish would be nice. I've seen that Polonicum does these kind of things for Polish, but I haven't quite seen something for German yet. So if you know something about that, it would be great.

All language courses are, in general, done in English to Polish. This to be able to answer the demand of the diverse group of foreigners. But i'm sure that in Warsaw, you'll be able to find a private tutor that can do it in German. Find yourself the Expats in Warsaw Facebook group (or sth similar). That has helped me to a lot of info in Tricity.

Hope i was of any help and good luck!



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