Amendment of economic law in Poland – A few practical remarks about the “Business Constitution” package.

The Business Constitution is a package of 5 acts that comes into force on 30 April 2018 and at the same time repeals the Act from 2004 on the freedom of business activity. Its aim is to reform and simplify the regulations on conducting business. The most important of the acts is the Law of entrepreneurs, which will determine the most important rights of the entrepreneur and the rules of conducting business. Although the amendment covers a great part of economic law, most of the existing regulations remain in force, only their transfer from derogated to newly introduced legal acts has taken place.

However, there are some key changes introduced by the Constitution of Business and concern the following areas:

1.Relations  entrepreneur-official

The new regulations introduce the basic legal principles relating to entrepreneurs, such as:

-presumption of the honesty of the entrepreneur, which relieves him of the necessity of proving his fairness and requires the resolution of doubts in his favour

– “what is not prohibited is allowed” – an entrepreneur may run a business in a free manner, if he does not violate the prohibitions or restrictions stipulated in law

-friendly interpretation of regulations – unclear legal provisions will be resolved in favour of entrepreneurs

  1. Institutional guarantee

Under the new regulations, a Common Commission of the Government and Entrepreneurs will be established, being a permanent forum for discussion and cooperation between ministries and representatives of entrepreneurs. A Small and Medium-sized Entrepreneurs’ Ombudsman will also be appointed, which is the intervention body at the request of which the offices will be obliged to issue explanations of complicated legal regulations. In addition, the Ombudsman will have the right to suspend any control if there is a serious suspicion of violation of law by officials, as well as assistance in organizing mediation between entrepreneurs and administrative bodies

  1. Starting a business

As part of the Business Constitution, a starter pack was prepared to help entrepreneurs start their business:

– introduction of the so-called non-registration activity – the smallest scale activity (monthly income up to 50% of the minimum wage) will not be considered as an economic activity – it concerns especially small trade or occasional provided services.

– relief at start – exemption from social security contributions for beginning entrepreneurs for the first six months of running a business – incentive to start a business

  1. Suspension of business activity

By dint of the changes proposed in the Constitution of Business, it will be possible to suspend the operation of the company (registered in CEIDG) for any specified period (currently only for 24 months) or for an indefinite period. After the suspension period has elapsed, the business will resume automatically. If the entrepreneur forgets to submit a request for resumption, they will not be removed from the register (as it is now).

5.Contact with offices

The new regulations will deform the communication between offices and the entrepreneur – with the consent or at the request of the entrepreneur, official matters (or individual actions, e.g. calls to fill formal gaps) can be dealt with by phone, e-mail or other means of communication. In addition, due to the liquidation of the REGON number, the entrepreneur in contacts with offices will use only the NIP number.

  1. Using proxies

Publication of information about a proxy in CEIDG will be tantamount to granting a power of attorney in writing.

  1. Rationed activity

Three basic forms will remain: concessions, permits and registers of regulated activity. Licenses and consents will be removed as separate forms of regulation. In addition, there will be introduced a rule that permits cannot be discretionary and should always be granted if the entrepreneur meets the conditions provided for by law.

  1. Running a business by foreigners

The Business Constitution introduces one piece of legislation, in which all regulations concerning the rules of participation of foreign entrepreneurs in the economic trade in Poland will be found. Until now, these regulations have been scattered in various laws. Most of the regulations of the new Act on the rules of the participation of foreign entrepreneurs and other foreign persons in the economic turnover on the territory of the Republic of Poland, which are of key importance for the activities of foreign entrepreneurs in Poland, remain unchanged. The institution of branches of foreign entrepreneurs is left (minor changes have been introduced in the matter of their liquidation) and representations (some technical changes concern the issue of submitting an application for entry in the register of representations).