Freedom of doing business in Poland and exceptions (licences, concessions and permits) – EU entities do business in Poland on the same terms as Polish entities entities, the Member States of EFTA belonging to the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland may take up and carry out business activity on the same condition as Polish nationals.
Polish economy is part of the EU internal market and the Polish legislation is compatible with the EU law. The core of the Polish law governing the economic activity is the Polish Act on Freedom of Economic Activity of 2 July 2004.
In Poland there is a basic principle of the freedom of undertaking business activity. As a rule, the most important condition to start business activity in Poland is to register it in a relevant register. All businesses operating in Poland are registered in one of the two registers: 1) Central Register and Information on Economic Activity – kept by the Ministry of Economy. This nationwide register covers sole proprietorships and civil law partnerships. 2) The National Court Register – is kept nationwide for partnerships, companies, associations, foundations, branches and representative offices of foreign entrepreneurs. The principle of freedom of business activity is sometimes subject to limitations. The exceptions specified in respective legal provisions relate to strategic sectors of the state economy, like judiciary system or banking sector. In such cases, doing business in Poland is subject to being granted a concession, licence or permit. Concession is, for example, required in the business activity connected with production, storage, transmission, distribution and trading in fuels or energy. A license is required in order to operate road or rail transport. A permit is, in turn, required for a number of regulated activities, including production of spirits and tobacco products, insurance, operations within pharmaceutical industry or business activity within Special Economic Zones. In addition to the entry in the relevant register, the entrepreneur needs to make notifications to the Tax Office in order to be assigned tax identification number. There are also requirements connected with the notifications to the National Insurance Office and the Main Statistical Office.