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New business start-up in Poland - opinions and ideas


Luke84 7 | 113
3 Aug 2015  #1
Hello Everyone,

I live in Poland for over 5 weeks now, I like it here and I'm in the process of adapting myself to entire culture etc. Long story short - I do work as programmer - remotely so I do take British income, my wife doesn't work, she is looking after baby and start thinking about going to work anytime soon.

Now the question or bit of advise is needed please. I don't know much about business in Poland but I would love to do something, either for me, both of us or her. Do you have any recommendations? Was thinking about buying little flats and renting them out but you will never know with tenants, they can simply stop paying or ruin the place... I had some of bad experience back in UK. I would like that thread to be a list of opinions on what you guys think would be good... I can speak Polish (not as people in TV), I cannot write it tho, my wife is Polish so she can both write and speak!

I would like to know on how English-speaking people find themselves in Poland... Cheers for all replies! Luke
InPolska 11 | 1,821
3 Aug 2015  #2
Hi! Renting property to tenants is often a lot of problems (my husband and I did have tenants for a few years both in Katowice and in Warsaw and we stopped) and in case of non payment by them, you are stuck. The ideal could be luxury place to rent to expats thru their companies (= rent paid).
OP Luke84 7 | 113
3 Aug 2015  #3
Thank you InPolska, that was my worry, I should say that budget for this business would be up to 150k PLN, ideally however around 100K PLN so not a chance getting any luxury at that price... I don't expect massive income, I would like around 1k-2k PLN after all expenses paid per month... I don't mind if that would kick in after 3-6 months and not straight away... Was also thinking about some transport company with buses, start with one bus and offer services to companies in 30-50km radius so can offer transport for employees, schools - for trips, weeding/funeral or even place to place... I know that is rather expensive to start, good 16-19 seater is 70K PLN, on top of that you need license which cost about 4K PLN and some advertising done... Other idea was a little coffee shop, something we seen in UK, with good coffee, sandwiches, Polish Zapiekanka, maybe jacked potatoes as never seen them here, etc... Again there is loads of places like that around and I'm not sure if my budget is enough. Any other ideas? :) I'm trying to get my head round it.
Sparks11 - | 335
3 Aug 2015  #4
I think that if anyone had any good ideas for a business, they would be doing it :) Renting is good because the value of your property usually increases year on year, plus you get the rent. You would just need to screen your potential renters before giving them the place. I've heard many stories of people following their restaurant/coffee shop dreams and failing after losing huge chunks of money, unless you have something unique and really know what you're doing, I'd stay away.
smurf 39 | 1,983
3 Aug 2015  #5
Any other ideas?

Betfair, spend a while learning betfair markets in your favourite sport. Internet gambling isn't taxed in Poland.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
3 Aug 2015  #6
@Luke: the problem with tenants who don't pay is that you cannot throw them out. We had tenants for a few years and then stopped since only problems, including one who left while owing us several months and after some serious damages (we even found the bathroom sink inside the bedroom closet ;)).

In Poland you may not ask potentual tenants about their financial situation so you don't know whether they'll be able to pay rent and one they are in your property, at best it is a miracle to be allowed to throw them out (and in some cases you may not).

Very risky business!
OP Luke84 7 | 113
3 Aug 2015  #7
Thanks Sparks11, I would consider that, but when I did some research, if I by a place let say in Chrzanow or any similar small town for up to 150K PLN I would be looking to get 500PLN per month, is that right? Plus 20% of tax from it... This is what I discovered looking at olx site. Again I don't think I want a lot in return - 1K PLN per month I would consider fair from 150K PLN investment, that is 12.5years to have your money back :) With Coffee shop - I always liked the idea but I must admit I don't have any experience in that and I don't know the subject. Maybe you can have some ideas on what my wife can do, what course she can attend? She is 30 and I'm 31... We don't have any mortgages or loans, we do have some small savings and I work, plus I get salary from UK every month - that may finish one day so I thought is sensible to start up something...

Smurf - I'm not great in sport - I'm sure if you have a good knowledge you can make some money that way. Back in UK I used to go to places like William Hill or Coral and play roulette, I was quite successful by putting some money on blacks :) however I cannot see myself as a gambler so I would like to avoid that way of making money - this is purely luck base these days, also house always win :)

@InPolska thanks for that, I will avoid the subject, I have to admit that I like to know on what my money do and where they sit, I also never put my eggs in one basket, therefor I'm trying to find out some idea. I do appreciate that people who has these sort of golden ideas already do their businesses but I don't think I could be a competition for many of them, specially if business is locally oriented and I'm in different part of Poland, if anything that may only work for good!
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
3 Aug 2015  #8
Maybe you can have some ideas on what my wife can do, what course she can attend? She is 30 and I'm 31

Well, what is she qualified to do?
tictactoe
3 Aug 2015  #9
I don't live in Poland but have you not thought of starting a shop up selling UK food for expats offering delivery in Poland by using a e - commerce site.

You could rent a small unit which also has a front counter for in shop sales as well as having a e - commerce side small storage and freezers.

Maybe the start of an empire !
OP Luke84 7 | 113
3 Aug 2015  #10
Delphiandomine - she finished some marketing school back in Poland only because that was "trendy" back in the old days - if I could summarize it that was waste of time as she never wanted to work in it. That is why she wants to do some courses, she finished photo course but there is so much competency around, also equipment you need to change quite often etc, she doesn't feel strong in that, she likes fitness, but she cannot teach any of it! It's difficult... I was thinking of a course for some sort of insurance broker for her, not many people like that in Poland, you work for yourself and you need to obtain the license, course price is around 1.5k-2k pln so not bad... Any other ideas are more than welcome;)

Hi tictactoe, that was an idea but to make it successful, shop would have to be in Krakow, Warsaw, Poznan etc - big towns where there is many of us, Polish people seems to hate our food (that is a feedback got from many Poles I know), You can buy UK food in many stores like LIDL or Biedronka so there is no point importing anything, plus food there is more expensive - especially meat! With e-commerce, I was thinking about something but food wouldn't be great - we don't have Saturday delivery in Poland, also deliveries are pretty slow, it will cost premium (if that would be possible) to deliver for next day... :)
cms 9 | 1,287
3 Aug 2015  #11
The only sensible idea here so far is renting flats - yes it does come with some pitfalls but far less risk than any of the other ideas. essentially you have only one risk to manage - finding decent tenants. However you wont get that return from a place that cost PLN 150k - rather think of borrowing some from the bank and getting a modern place you can rent to a young family, in my experience they are the best tenants as the mum will always try and avoid upheaval and they don't have to time to drink or party.

With a transport company or a café there are far more moving parts and things that can go wrong. As for gambling for a living well good luck with that.

ps. if you are within striking distance of Krakow then your wife could learn book-keeping, some kind of IT skills or a slightly off beat language like Dutch or Swedish and there would be plenty of choice of jobs in a shared service centre.
OP Luke84 7 | 113
3 Aug 2015  #12
Thanks cms, I would consider that but I would need to check on what sort of return I will be looking at... Professional couples are always the best, specially in big cities! Transport company - my father in law had something like that, small local firm, he had two buses, but he retired and he didn't wanted to carry on with this, however he is walking encyclopedia when it's coming to know-how for that business, also he knows loads of people within that business - from both ends - customers and other companies + drivers... Again I can already see a risk in that sort of business as the investment is quite big, the bus itself it would be something for 70K PLN with probably 400K KM on the clock!!! so you can imagine on how many things can go wrong!

Coffee shop - nice but more on shelf with dreams, gambling - nope, thanks.

That is a very interesting thing, is book-keeping very popular in Poland, I wonder on how many weeks you need to learn to be trustworthy and educated book-keeper... I would think about that surely!

Hello again everyone!

How about other idea, again something with a minimal profit each month...
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
5 Aug 2015  #13
she finished photo course but there is so much competency around, also equipment you need to change quite often etc, she doesn't feel strong in that

Photography is actually the most viable idea. People always want photographs, and she could branch into opening a modelling agency at the same time. It's the kind of business that can be run from home, and the equipment doesn't need updated. A friend does it, and his start-up costs were roughly 3k PLN - that was for a fully equipped home studio. A camera and lenses will set you back no more than 3-4k PLN, so it's a total of 7,000. Furthermore, in the process - she can learn editing skills and then also work for foreign clients - which can also bring in decent money.

There are so many niches within photography where you can earn good money, and there are a lack of good photographers in small towns in Poland.

Speaking of photography - I can guide you in the right direction if you're interested. Female photographers are always in demand, especially for things like pregnancy sessions and mother/baby sessions.
OP Luke84 7 | 113
5 Aug 2015  #14
Thank you very much delphiandomine , that look descent, we have couple of macs in home, we have nice camera (was nice when we purchased it) Nikon 5100 with two lenses and proper flash, she finished a course as well in Krakow... I may need to talk to wife about that as she has no idea on what she wants to do...
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
5 Aug 2015  #15
The 5100 will do the job perfectly. You'll want to add some filters and other basic things, and maybe another lens to make sure that you've got all situations covered. As you're in a small town, even if you don't have space at home, it should be easy enough to rent some space for a studio without paying much money.

The other useful thing about photography is that it doesn't have much commitment in terms of being away from home, and you can't really lose money on it. Models are easy to find (for free - so called "TFP" or "time for prints") to practice on - so she can get lots of experience without much effort. If you can put together a home studio, it's even better as people will travel to her for photo sessions.
BasPK
10 Aug 2015  #16
Hey Guys,

While you guys are having a great discussion about ideas, i would like to discuss my case as well. I am located in Pakistan, was living in UK (Studied and Worked in a bank). Long story short, i moved away from my original field and started a business in Pakistan (Software Development - Web, Apps etc). It's going great, 90% of clients are Americans, Canadian and Europeans. I am thinking to move to poland on business visa. I want to know what is the requirement for establishing your business in the long run? How much should you be making per annum? is 10,000 PLN a month enough to survive for a family of three? (i.e Couple and a kid)? Cheers
Wulkan - | 3,255
10 Aug 2015  #17
I am thinking to move to poland on business visa.

The question is why? Why do you want to move your business to Poland?
cms 9 | 1,287
10 Aug 2015  #18
Yes you could live comfortably on 10k net per month assuming no private school.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
10 Aug 2015  #19
English speaking private school, yes. But there are many relatively inexpensive private schools that are Polish.
OP Luke84 7 | 113
10 Aug 2015  #20
Hi BasPK,

If you are planning to move here you need to have somewhere to stay, obviously if you want to do business in here that would be pricey - you need to pay around 1K PLN only for having a company (regardless if you make a profit or not), then obviously tax of 20% - from your income,

for your business you need good internet connection and backup - I have two lines, one with Orange - that is 80mb/s for 90PLN and mobile internet with play (in my location I cannot get over 20mb/s) for another 90PLN, as you are from outside of EU you cannot buy property in Poland, so you need to rent - you don't want to live in small villages as they may suffer from electricity cut, luck of internet etc = so no business, you need to rent in the city - you should be able to find something for you and your family for around 3.5K PLN, you will have maintenance cost like electricity, water, heating etc, that should cost you about 1K per month, you need food - we are family of three with small baby (10 months old) so we spend about 2.5K PLN per month (I would say we are saving and not really going out), now car and insurance, perhaps you will buy a car, I don't know what sort of car you want but something reliable can be purchased for 10K PLN-30K PLN as a one off payment (cars are much more expensive here than in UK) on petrol you will spend (going shopping etc) I'm guessing 200-300PLN per month, insurance for it and other costs would be probably about 200-300PLN per month, life insurance for you and your missus - 300-500PLN per month (if you want something descent), private school - in my area they cost about 350PLN but they are not English schools - they are expensive..., for Gym you shouldn't spend more than 200PLN per month, mobile phone - if you will be calling your family probably from 100PLN, these are averages, everyone has a different lifestyle, but from what I have calculated you need around 10K to survive... so you need to earn around 12K+ there is no saving to be made... Of course if you want to rent office or something - these prices are going dramatically up! I think you will be better of going to UK, if you can work anywhere you can get nice house in Bristol for 900pounds per month (that is 3 bedroom! ) you can still work from home, visit some potential customers etc etc, food will cost you less, kid can go to good school etc. I don't want to put you off but this is as realistic as it can get...
delphiandomine 85 | 17,823
10 Aug 2015  #21
you need to pay around 1K PLN only for having a company (regardless if you make a profit or not), then obviously tax of 20% - from your income,

No, not in the beginning. The beginning only requires around 420zl (or something) a month. Tax is very low on the self employed as there are very generous deductions, but he cannot become self employed as a non-EU citizen.

we are family of three with small baby (10 months old) so we spend about 2.5K PLN per month

Blimey, that's not normal at all.
OP Luke84 7 | 113
10 Aug 2015  #22
@delphiandomine,

I thought that only Poles will pay smaller ZUS and this is not a subject to immigrants... Again I don't know 100%, that might be some deductions etc.

With food, you made me worried... Do I spent a lot? Baby milk (Bebilon 2 thing) is about 100PLN per month, then you have nappies and other baby stuff, baby cost us about 1K PLN in general, dog (cocker spaniel) about 400 PLN, take aways roughly 500PLN per month, then you have sweets, fizzy drinks, regular food and we really need to spend 2.5K per month....
Pol attorney 2 | 106
10 Aug 2015  #23
There are many options to start a successful business in Poland if you find a niche of some type. and there are many of them if you look at it from the right angle and search long enough.

There are tens of thousands of jobless employees in Poland, old and young, both blue and white collar (although I am thinking mainly about manual workers) who would take a job in the UK or Ireland for lower compensation than natives. so if you find any businesses in the uk which would hire cheaper Polish employees, then the plan would work just fine.

It would be necessary to register an employment agency in Poland and hire 1 or 2 employees in Poland and england who would find job opportunities in England and match them with potential Polish employees.
kmnaushahi - | 1
16 Dec 2015  #24
Hello,

I am Pakistani and currently living in Ghana and working in I.T. Company as a warehouse Manager. I am thinking to move to Poland, Warsaw on business visa. I want to know what is the requirement establishing your business (I.T. Shop) in the long run? How much should you be making per annum? how much in a month for survive for a family of five ? (i.e. Couple and 3 kid)
PolCan
3 Apr 2016  #25
@kmnaushahi

Pakistanis aren't welcome in Poland. Stay out.
laaries2 - | 1
16 Aug 2016  #26
Merged: Business Start-Up

Hi I'm looking for Business ideas to start up in Poland. I'm currently living in the UK as well as in Poland. I go back and forth. My only problem is... We are living in a small town and there are quite a few number of shops already established! Every idea I come up with my husband shots them down!! He's afraid of taking risks. Any suggestions for what has been known to work??
Ladipo
23 Sep 2016  #27
Hello everyone, i am totally new to this forum but i have been reading questions and feedback or possible answers. my wife is polish she would help and my polish is average but we leave in the London.i intend to startup a retail store in warsaw, dealing in shirts and accessories alike (it is a well known U.K brand). But, do you think this kind of business can succeed in Poland. or would you advise that i do it just online instead of having a store and paying rent? thank you guys in advance for your responses.
Wulkan - | 3,255
23 Sep 2016  #28
or would you advise that i do it just online

Do it online
mirzabakht
30 Sep 2017  #29
Hi I live in india and want to start wholesale business of leather jackets and bags in poland .please help me with your valuable advice as to how do go about it
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,100
30 Sep 2017  #30
wholesale business of leather jackets and bags in Poland

Leather jackets is not good idea. Bags maybe. We have enormous competition. Set up website in Polish and check the market.


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