Reading time: 8 minutes.
From this article, you will learn:
- What should the citizens of Ukraine know about the Polish PESEL number and trusted profile;
- What type of legal form should choose the Ukrainian entrepreneur;
How can citizens of Ukraine register their business activity in Poland.
Are you a citizen of Ukraine who wants to start a business in Poland ? Do you feel unsure about the conditions that you should fulfil? Check out our Q&A - the RSM Poland's experts prepared short answers for the most common questions and explained everything you need to know before setting up a company in our country.
Part 1 - staying in Poland
When is a Ukrainian citizen's stay in Poland considered legal?
A citizen of Ukraine resides legally in Poland given that:
- they have a valid residence permit,
- they are covered by temporary protection,
- they have the Pole's Card and left Ukraine in the period from February 24, 2022 and then legally came to Poland and declared their intention to stay on the territory of Poland.
The residence title and a temporary protection for Ukrainian nationals
The residence title is a permanent residence permit, a temporary residence permit, a passport in the case of entry into and residence on the territory of Poland in a visa-free travel movement or a certificate of a temporary protection issued by the Office for Foreigners.
Ukrainian nationals will be granted a temporary protection if they entered the territory of the Republic of Poland legally in the period from February 24, 2022 up to the date specified by the regulation of the Council of Ministers and declares the intention to stay in Poland. The stay is considered legal for a period of 18 months counting from February 24, 2022, i.e. until August 23, 2023.
Until when are the existing residence titles valid?
Under the provisions of the Act of 12 March 2022 on assistance to citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of that country, the period of legal residence of Ukrainian citizens in the territory of the Republic of Poland has been extended.
Legal stay in Poland: the first case
If the last day of a legal stay of a Ukrainian citizen in Poland on the basis of:
- national visa,
- temporary residence permit
falls on February 24, 2022 – the validity of the above-mentioned documents will be extended until December 31, 2022.
Legal stay in Poland: the second case
If the last day of a legal stay of a Ukrainian citizen in Poland on the basis of:
- Schengen visa issued in Poland or in another Schengen area country,
- a residence permit issued by another Schengen State,
- within the framework of a visa-free movement
falls in the period from February 24, 2022 and the stay had begun before that date – the legal stay will be extended by 18 months.
Legal stay in Poland: the third case
If the last day of validity of:
- residence cards,
- Polish identity documents of Ukrainian citizen,
- “consent for a tolerated stay” documents
issued to citizens of Ukraine falls as of February 24, 2022 – the validity period of these documents is extended by 18 months.
Can citizens of Ukraine run a business in Poland after the expiry of their residence permit?
If the residence permit had expired, the stay of the citizens of Ukraine on the territory of Poland ceases to be legal. In such a situation, the citizens of Ukraine will not be able to continue their economic activity in the territory of Poland, and their company will be removed from the CEIDG.
Citizens of Ukraine who has legally entered Poland directly from the territory of Ukraine after February 24, 2022, may submit an application for a temporary residence permit after 9 months from the date of entry - and not later than August 23, 2023. A temporary residence permit is issued for 3 years.
How to acquire a PESEL number?
A Ukrainian citizen whose stay in Poland is considered legal may obtain a PESEL number by submitting an appropriate application. That rule includes, in particular, Ukrainian citizens who entered Poland legally after February 24, 2022, due to the Russian aggression on Ukraine.
The application for granting a PESEL number should be submitted by a citizen of Ukraine in person, in writing, and with a handwritten signature. It can be presented to any executive body of a commune in Poland (e.g. at the Commune Office in a given commune or the City Hall in a given city).
On behalf of a person without legal capacity, or with limited legal capacity - e.g. on behalf of a minor child - the application for a PESEL number should be submitted by one of the parents, guardian, probation officer, temporary guardian, or the person exercising actual custody of the baby.
The citizen of Ukraine should fill in the application on his own. However, it is also possible for an employee of the authority to fill in the form based on the data provided by a citizen of Ukraine. The commune authority confirms identity based on a travel document, Pole's Card, or another document with a photo that allows identification. For the identification purpose of a person under 18 years old, it is also acceptable to use a birth certificate.
After acquiring all the needed information, the official enters the data into the PESEL register.
Even an invalidated document - as long, as it allows identification of a person - can be used to confirm an identity.
What are the deadlines for submitting the PESEL application?
The deadline for submitting the PESEL application is 60 days from the date of entry into the territory of Poland. This term applies if the Ukrainian citizen did not get registered by the commanding officer of the Polish Border Guard post during the border control.
Is acquiring a PESEL number tantamount to obtaining Polish citizenship?
No. Receiving a PESEL is not equivalent to getting Polish citizenship. The PESEL number serves for recording the population, including foreigners residing in Poland.
Is a trusted profile necessary?
No, although having a trusted profile generally simplifies contacts with offices and dealing with formal matters. The benefits of a trusted profile are particularly substantial in the case of people who want to run a business in Poland. It is helpful during signing off official documents while setting up or running a company.
The trusted profile is free of charge, and Ukrainian citizens can currently obtain a trusted profile in the process of acquiring a PESEL number.
Part 2 - preparing for business activity in Poland
A citizen of Ukraine wants to set up a company in Poland. What conditions should be fulfilled?
Ukrainian nationals may undertake and conduct business activity in Poland on the same terms as Polish citizens. This right is granted provided that the following conditions are jointly met:
- the stay of a citizen of Ukraine in Poland is considered legal
- Ukrainian citizen obtained a PESEL Number.
Such a person may establish both a sole proprietorship (registered in CEIDG – Central Registration and Information on Business) as well as any partnership or capital company (registered in KRS – National Court Register).
Is registration of a business activity always necessary?
No, although it is necessary in most cases. Economic activity may be unregistered if:
- the revenues from your activity in any month of 2022 will not exceed PLN 1,505 (50% of the minimum wage),
- during the last 60 months (5 years) you have not conducted any business activity.
What type of legal form should you choose for your business?
The provisions of the Polish law provide for several forms of business activity.
Legal forms that should be entered into the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity (CEIDG):
- sole traders (self-employed),
- partners in a civil law partnership composed of natural persons.
Legal forms that should be entered into the register of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register (KRS):
- capital companies.
Are there any limitations in choosing the legal form of business?
The regulations stipulate that some legal forms are reserved only for specific activities (e.g. representatives of the so-called liberal professions, such as architects, doctors, nurses, lawyers, legal advisers and tax advisers, may be partners in a partnership). On the other hand, certain types of business must be conducted in a specific legal form or require separate permits, so it is worth consulting a specialist before deciding on the form of running a business.
If you want to check whether the selected type of activity is subject to additional requirements - use the PKD code search engine.
What documents are required to register a sole trader business?
To register a sole proprietorship, you must complete the appropriate registration form and submit it to the Central Register and Information on Business Activity (CEIDG). It can be done in person at the CEIDG department in the relevant office or online using, for example, a trusted profile. To register a sole proprietorship you do not need any specific documents, apart from an identity document in case you visit the department of the Central Register and Information on Business Activity.
When registering a business, you should decide on basic matters, such as the name of your company, method of taxation, indication of the subject of activity, etc.
What documents are needed to register a company in the National Court Register?
There are several types of companies in Poland:
- a general partnership,
- a professional partnership,
- a limited partnership,
- a limited joint-stock partnership,
- a limited liability company,
- a simple joint-stock company,
- a joint-stock company.
The documents required for registration vary depending on the type of a company. These are documents such as signed articles of association, declarations of its partners and members of the management board, information on delivery address, evidence of payment of registration fees. In the case of some companies, it may be necessary to sign the articles of association at the notary’s office in Poland.