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Suggestions for starting a business in Poland ( I have 50/60,000 USD )


gosc113
6 Jan 2015  #31
Poland is not a cheap country anymore.

I think the BPO / outsourcing sector would disagree with you. Labour costs in Poland are still lower than in most other EU countries, Canada and the US.

If you can set up a business that involves using local labour you should be able to compete on prices with the US / Canada other EU countries e.g. IT development, precision manufacturing (China does the mass stuff cheaper) etc
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
6 Jan 2015  #32
YES, Poland is MORE expensive than Canada.

Oh...

Damn.

Now that is a bad news for me :/
Monitor 14 | 1,821
6 Jan 2015  #33
Of course it isn't more expensive than Canada. But it seems you cannot even do simle market research and compare rent prices...
pigsy 7 | 305
7 Jan 2015  #34
Just to clarify if its a rented place you will need around 20sq m for 2 bunk beds ie 4 beds so 60 beds will be 30 bunk beds hence 600 sq metres plus bathrooms and reception area and or common area.That has to be somewhere by the transportation or centre as people who go there need convenient public transportation also,so rent for that kind of place in major city like warsaw will be over 35000pln plus vat23% only, plus 2 months kausia(security).This doesnt even include cost of beds,refrigerators,and other relevant furniture and bathroom fixtures not to mention undisclosed cash for permissions,architect,construction costs and decoration.In my opinion no way can one even start a 60 bed hostel with that kind of money and survive even 3 months.

And Poland is expensive then Usa or canada in my opinion to build a hotel/motel or an hostel.You can look at loopnet.com and look for yourself the prices of hotel/motels sold in usa/canda for much cheaper prices.
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
7 Jan 2015  #35
Of course it isn't more expensive than Canada. But it seems you cannot even do simle market research and compare rent prices...

As i said, it is a brand new idea to be started just in the middle of 2016, so i am still triggering data for Market Research. I just came here (and on another places) to have some insights of promising cities. After that i will look for the rent prices (of course i know the rent levels at Krakow or Warsaw, but i have no idea of Katowice, for example).
Wroclaw Boy
7 Jan 2015  #36
I think the competition would put me off most in that industry. How can you compete with other budget hotels and their vast resources.
Harry
7 Jan 2015  #37
you will need around 20sq m for 2 bunk beds

ROFL! 14 sqm is more than enough for two bunk-beds.

I just came here (and on another places) to have some insights of promising cities.

Your problem is going to be less deciding which city and more finding a suitable property in any city.

How can you compete with other budget hotels and their vast resources.

Hostels and budget hotels aren't really the same sector of the market here.
Although with that said, I do personally think that there's a gap in the market in Poland for easyhotel style ultra-budget operations.
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
7 Jan 2015  #38
Your problem is going to be less deciding which city and more finding a suitable property in any city.

I Was thinking about that.

I am trying to find locations on internet to have an idea of prices, but all sites are in Polish-Only version (no need for unpolite observations about the fact that this is obvious, i know) and google chrome is terrible to translate polish-english or polish-portuguese.

How can you compete with other budget hotels and their vast resources.

Technically hostels doesn't compete with budget hotels, they are much cheaper. Eg: 20 zloty per night to sleep in a room with 5 other people at a Hostel, while a budget hotel charges 3 times more than that.
pigsy 7 | 305
7 Jan 2015  #39
if these help..

poland.businessesforsale.com
cinek 2 | 337
7 Jan 2015  #40
I am trying to find locations on internet to have an idea of prices, but all sites are in Polish-Only version

I'm sorry to say this, but the above plus your lack of any experience in what life in Poland looks like in winter makes your idea completely not doable. Some time ago we (I and my wife) were looking for a place to start a kindergarten and also started on internet offers. And I can say you from my experience, that what you see on the web page photos very often differs very much from what you'll see when you're on place. If you want to make a place where people can sleep, wash, eat you must obey very strict rules that are required by Polish law that concern things like number of emergency exits, number and quality of bathrooms, width of doors, fire-proof materials, ventilations etc. Additionally, you must make sure that the place will be warm enough in winter, so you must be able to asses the quality of heating system, windows (yes, the quality of windows is very important when the temp outside is -20C) yourself.

You have no idea (and so had I) about how detailed Polish law is, when it comes to building anything that will be a public place, so you will have to hire a Polish construction law experts (probably at least 3 - one for general construction one fire-man and one sanitary system expert - of course they usually speak only Polish) for help, what makes your costs much higher. If you never heard about Sanepid and Nadzór Budowlany then forget about doing it yourself. You'll need a Polish partner who has at least some experience in building anything in Poland to start thinking about that.

Cinek
pigsy 7 | 305
7 Jan 2015  #41
If you never heard about Sanepid and Nadzór Budowlany then forget about doing it yourself. You'll need a Polish partner who has at least some experience in building anything in Poland to start thinking about that.

I agree there same way like some posters think 14 sq m will be allowed for 2 bunk beds for 4 people to sleep cannot be fire/health hazardand serious code engforcement voilation.

If one dont want a Polish partner then a polish consultant is required for sure.
And Polish law is almost similar to western law if not tougher and rigid.
Harry
7 Jan 2015  #42
14 sq m will be allowed for 2 bunk beds for 4 people to sleep cannot be fire/health hazardand serious code engforcement voilation.

I've just looked back over some files and as of 2011 that space was entirely legal for that many people. Although of course it is entirely possible that regulations have changed since then.

If one dont want a Polish partner then a polish consultant is required for sure.

The problem there is knowing whether one's Polish consultant has a clue about what he claims to be a consultant on. Not so long ago there was somebody here who claimed to be a consultant on matters related to convenience stores but in reality didn't know the difference between a convenience store and a sandwich shop!
pigsy 7 | 305
7 Jan 2015  #43
convenience store and a sandwich shop!

A sandwich shop is known as a deli in states which is dedicated to make hot/cold sandwiches,coldcuts and salad/soups,,and although most conv stores are also equiped with making sandwiches and sell salads/soups.Guess some people rely on google then on practical experiences.
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
7 Jan 2015  #44
I'm sorry to say this, but the above plus your lack of any experience in what life in Poland looks like in winter makes your idea completely not doable.

I lived in Poland..
(I Dont speak polish yet, because it is an incredibly difficult language for Latins, our grammar/phonetic is very different from Slavic one)

You'll need a Polish partner who has at least some experience in building anything in Poland to start thinking about that.

I have a polish partner, with a good understanding of Polish Law (but no understanding of tourism industry, which is my function hehe).
But also him doesn't know cities outside the three bigger ones (Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow), so we are seeing for some undiscovered places.
Harry
7 Jan 2015  #45
A sandwich shop is known as a deli in states which is dedicated to make hot/cold sandwiches,coldcuts and salad/soups,

The specific sandwich shop in question was this one: freshpoint.pl/restauracje/. It's not a business opportunity I would recommend getting involved in; some of the best located former Freshpoint locations have become Starbucks and Polish media has reported that the owner of the brand is either selling or closing the remaining locations.

Although perhaps the OP might want to consider a sandwich shop, there certainly seems to be space in the market for well made sandwiches and so on.

The supposed consultant on convenience stores claimed that Freshpoint is the same company as Zabka! LOL!
Zabka is a chain of convenience stores operated by Mid Europa Partners. I don't think I would really recommend a Zabka store as a business opportunity (although it is an infinitely better opportunity than Freshpoint).

most conv stores are also equiped with making sandwiches and sell salads/soups.

Zabkas and the like make sandwiches?! Have you ever set foot in a Zabka? Yes, some of them do sell prepacked rolls/sandwiches, but they most certainly to not make sandwiches.

Guess some people rely on google then on practical experiences.

Clearly some people do. Personally I have worked for both Mid Europa Partners and Amrest.

But also him doesn't know cities outside the three bigger ones (Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow), so we are seeing for some undiscovered places.

Have you considered Lublin?
johnny reb 17 | 3,614
7 Jan 2015  #46
No one answered this original question yet.

In the country that i lived before (Chile) is not difficult to find investors to good ideas. But unfortunately a socialist government make all investors run away. How is it at Poland?

Any Polish citizen takers to that question ?

Do not waste your money just for the sake of going to Poland to open a business here. Unless you really have a plan, fully understand your business and industry and are aware of what you are getting yourself into.

This is the best advice given to this thread yet.
My advise from learned experience is that when investing in a foreign country is to have a partner from that country who you
can trust.
It makes things go a lot smoother with the locals and the government.

With 50/60k usd bro you cannot even think of hotel motel or even an hostel.

Very good point as it sounds like a champagne dream on a beer budget.
To put 50k in perspective .... will buy you a nice new car or truck these days.
hostel-in-pl
7 Jan 2015  #47
As I wrote earlier - I'm a PL architect willing to help.

If you have any specific questions regarding polish requlations - just ask - instead of speculating.

And just to demystify and sort out some previous statements (and forgive me for maybe stating the obvious):

1. 60k is enough to open a hostel for 50 beds - but it is WITHOUT a cost of buying/renting a property.

2. You will need an polish architect to do almost anything more than just a renovation (like "reparing what is broken/degraded/non-functioning", for example: adding a bathroom is not "renovation")

3. The benefit of above (hiring an architect) is that in PL the most common practice is that architect takes care of everything - all building permits and paperwork. And the architect is the one that hires other needed specialists (construction, sanitary, HVAC, etc.) - so you can have one point of contact and one fixed price. You can even have design&build kind of contract.

4. The downside is that you'll need a building permit for almost any changes that you want to make in the building. And getting a building permit takes up to 3 months (or even 6 months is special cases).

5. There is no need for "palm greasing" or bribery - AT ALL. That's a myth - it was never-ever the case in my 15+ years of practice in architecture field. You just have to know all the regulations and building codes requirements and proceed accordingly.

6. Yes, the polish regulations are detailed and complicated - but you have to hire a specialist to handle this anyway - so it's a transparent process for you. For a hostels regulations are far less strict than for hotels - so that's a plus.

7. The architect fee is 15%-20% of building costs for a small investment like this - this includes ALL specialist fees that architect is subcontracting. For a bigger investments this is around 5%.
johnny reb 17 | 3,614
7 Jan 2015  #48
1.

60k is enough to open a hostel for 50 beds - but it is WITHOUT a cost of buying/renting a property.

But WITHOUT owning the building or property........?????
So you still have to buy the property and 50 bed hostel with $48,000 since you get $12,000 for your services ?
2.Are you really required to hire an architec to sketch out a plan for a throne or can your sub contractor do that ?
3.

And the architect is the one that hires other needed specialists (construction, sanitary, HVAC, etc.) - so you can have one point of contact and one fixed price.

So you can't hire the specialists (sub contractors) yourself ?
4.

And getting a building permit takes up to 3 months

And this isn't something you can't apply for yourself ?
5.

You just have to know all the regulations and building codes requirements and proceed accordingly.

A copy of these are not available free at the building department with a partner that knows the laws. And aren't your sub contractors/specialists required to know these laws if they are licensed ?

6.

but you have to hire a specialist to handle this anyway

So the licensed sub contractor/specialist that you hire is required to know these laws, right ?
7.

The architect fee is 15%-20% of building costs for a small investment like this - this includes ALL specialist fees that architect is subcontracting.

20% of 60k is $12,000 in your pocket for doing what most everything old Levi and his Polish partner could do themselves.
quote by Levi BR

I have a polish partner, with a good understanding of Polish Law

So why pay someone $12,000 of your $60,000 leaving you $48,000 for the building and property when you already have
a partner that knows the Polish laws and regulations ?????
Architecs are for people with lots of money and few brains.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
7 Jan 2015  #49
And this isn't something you can't apply for yourself ?

I think that he wanted to point out cost of the building adaptation.

A copy of these are not available free at the building department with a partner that knows the laws. And aren't your sub contractors/specialists required to know these laws if they are licensed ?

I think he wanted to say that cheap architect may know these laws better than Polish partner.

After that i will look for the rent prices (of course i know the rent levels at Krakow or Warsaw, but i have no idea of Katowice, for example).

It's really 5min to roughly compare rent prices in major Polish cities. If you know price levels in Kraków and Warszawa, then tell us are they cheaper than Vancouver's or more expensive?

renting houses in Poland

renting in Poland
hostel-in-pl
7 Jan 2015  #50
@johnny reb - why are you attacking me?

"Architecs are for people with lots of money and few brains." Thanks a lot - if it was written by OP you won't be seeing me again. But this is the info for OP not for you.

I'm not advertising my services. I just want OP to have a complete outlook on what is needed. And how much it costs if you want someone to DO IT FOR YOU.

My point is that you CAN have someone doing it for you.

1. Believe it or not, but you have to have a full-blown project to do even basic changes like divide one big room in half or enlarge a bathroom by 10%

2. That project has to be made by 3 to 5 certified specialists including architect (no, sketch won't do) - you CAN'T do it yourself
3. On top of that project you have to have all kinds of permissions and approvals - you can get it for yourself
4. Project + paperwork has to be filed for granting building permission - you can do it for yourself

And it will cost you that much - if you want someone to take care of it.
But hey - it's not the architect's fee (I wish) - architect's fee for a project is only 25% of that cost - so it's a 5% of investments - but it just a sidenote from "rich" architect without a brain :P

The rest is a cost of other certified specialist and for getting a various permissions and approvals.

So this 20% cost breakup is:

5%
architect fees

10%
for getting approvals and fees for specialists other than architect

5%
for getting all the permissions - you can save that cost by doing it for yourself
It is doable, all regulations all easily accessible in internet (in polish), but it's not an easy job to do - but all you need is someone that speaks polish and have enough time and determination.
johnny reb 17 | 3,614
7 Jan 2015  #51
I do apologize to you sir.
As you can see I was asking those things as questions to you.
I am surely not an expert on how things work in Poland.
That's why I was asking.
Sorry you are so sensative as I meant no disrespect to you.

Architecs are for people with lots of money and few brains.

Let me rephrase that:
"Architecs in America are for people with lots of money and few brains."
That's because you can build your own home or put an addition on yourself without
hiring a architec simply by getting a home owners permit.
Even though I still highly doubt $60k would be enough to buy/build a 50 bed hostel that
would pass inspection.
Again, my sincere apology for upsetting you.
Thank you for your expertness.
pigsy 7 | 305
7 Jan 2015  #52
Architecs are for people with lots of money and few brains.

Absolutely wrong.in every country and project architects play a major role and can also increase or decrease the cost of the project by 100% or more. They know the project more then the developer abd can guide you with the cost effectiveness of the materials to be used.Plus a local architect is always helpfull as he/she knows the local municipality and there requirements.

A friend of mine built a cold storage in sidelce area and an requirement was to leave some percentage of green area which would leave him with no parking an architect suggested a cement mesh for the parking area counting every whole as green area which could also be used as parking and his project went on.

The supposed consultant on convenience stores claimed that Freshpoint is the same company as Zabka! LOL!

hope this puts your LOL* back in your mouth.
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BBabka_(sie%C4%87_sklep%C3%B3w)
"W 2009 roku Żabka Polska S.A. otworzyła nową sieć sklepów convenience w konwencji deli (oferujące markowe produkty FMCG oraz usługi, których asortyment został poszerzony o dania gotowe oraz ciepłe przekąski i napoje) pod marką Freshmarket[6]. Sieć liczy obecnie ponad 500 sklepów[7]."
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
7 Jan 2015  #53
It's really 5min to roughly compare rent prices in major Polish cities. If you know price levels in Kraków and Warszawa, then tell us are they cheaper than Vancouver's or more expensive?

1st: Why so much bitterness Monitor?

2nd: In Which part of " I Dont Speak Polish yet" you didnt understood?

3rd: Cheaper. But as i said, i dont know the other cities, just Krakow and Warsaw. Anyway, thanks for your images, i will try to translate them.
hostel-in-pl
8 Jan 2015  #54
I'll explain "60k is enough to open a hostel for 50 beds - but it is WITHOUT a cost of buying/renting a property"

For a 60k you CAN'T possibly buy a property - at least not for a hostel.
in PL you have to calculate 1.5k$ per 1 sqm (which is roughly 11 square foot) when buying a property in bigger city.
Maybe you could go lower for bigger properties in a not-so-good shape - but then you have to calculate cost of renovation and adaptation.

============================================

so for 60K $ you could buy a 30 sqm mini-flat/studio (320 square foot) and get it finished and ready for renting. And then you can rent it for 400$ per month. So not so great ROI.

============================================

that 60K $ is barely enough to cover the costs of hostel renovation and a building adaptation.
You can't possibly buy a properties for that kind of money - you have to rent it or get a credit loan to buy it
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
8 Jan 2015  #55
but it is WITHOUT a cost of buying/renting a property"

Hi!
Thanks for your advice!
I am not thinking about buying a property.

The option that i have is an investor buying a property that is suitable for the business, agree with the needed reforms and then rent it to me at market value.

So those 60K USD would be for:

1 - Furnishing
2 - Adequations to abide the building to the law (like emergency exits, things like that)
3 - Rent (Do in Poland i also need to pay 2 months in advance like in another countries?)
4 - Etc

Another question that i have:

Since just my partner speak Polish, do i really need to speak polish to start this business? I am starting it but i fear that until the end of 2016 it will not be possible.
Wroclaw Boy
8 Jan 2015  #56
do i really need to speak polish to start this business?

No, you don't really need to. But i can guarantee you will become incredibly frustrated using her as a translator. You will ask for her to translate a straight forward question and expect a simple yes or no answer and she and the other Polish party will prattle on for ages. Not many people in Poland speak English to the degree required for business so she will end up doing all the talking, i hope she has a business mind.

It takes a while to adjust to the way things are in Poland, its completely different to what most people are used to especially regarding business.
hostel-in-pl
8 Jan 2015  #57
So those 60K USD would be for:

If so, for 60k it is doable.
It's a tight budget, but if you choose your property wisely (to minimize construction works costs) you should be ok.

Since just my partner speak Polish, do i really need to speak polish to start this business

You don't have to speak polish - but you have be prepared to sign some legal documents that are written only in polish and to trust your partner to give you a green light to do that.

Of course you can always translate that documents but it can be frustrating to do that every time you want to sign something.
As for the hostel staff - you can always hire english-speaking staff (it won't cost you extra).
Harry
8 Jan 2015  #58
hope this puts your LOL* back in your mouth.

ROFL!!! You absolute star!
There are many qualities that people look for with regard to consultants. However, one of the most fundamental qualities is the ability to accurately read words which are five letters long!

I said:

The supposed consultant on convenience stores claimed that Freshpoint is the same company as Zabka!

It's a claim you yourself made here, here and here.
Please do not post excessive links to fragments of other users' posts.

and you reply with

Żabka Polska S.A. ... Freshmarket

.
LOL!

A very good suggestion for anybody who is starting a business in Poland would be to check that anybody who is offering you his services as a consultant is able to tell the difference between the words 'point' and 'market'.

dont know the other cities, just Krakow and Warsaw.

Krakow draws a lot of people who might use a hostel, but the market there may well be saturated already. Plus the city council is trying to move towards higher budget visitors.

Warsaw has space for a hostel but your costs here will be a lot higher than in other Polish cities.
elija - | 1
22 Jun 2015  #59
Merged: Starting a new business in Poland as a Foreign

Hi, can anyone please help me regarding starting a company in Poland as a non-EU ?


Home / Work / Suggestions for starting a business in Poland ( I have 50/60,000 USD )
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