Which company type?
Overall there are six types of commerce companies that Polish entrepreneurs can start, usually referred to in Polish as spółki. The type a foreigner can set up depends on their status according to the Polish law.
You can choose from all six of them and be treated in the same way as every Polish businessman if you fulfil one of the following conditions:
- Possess a permanent residence card;
- Possess a long-term EU-resident card;
- Possess a temporary residence permit based on: family joining; long-term EU-resident permit; full-time higher education studies; marriage to a Polish citizen;
- Possess a refugee status;
- Are under subsidiary or temporary protection;
- Possess a tolerated stay permit;
- Possess a valid Pole’s Card.
In other cases you can only start the following types of ventures:
- Limited partnership
- Limited joint-stock partnership
- Limited liability company
- Joint-stock company
This also applies to foreigners not residing in Poland – if you want to start one of the enterprises above, just go for it. Unless you want to be employed in it and perform specific tasks, you are not required to apply for any permits.
Legalising your stay
There are however foreigners who wish to move to Poland and combine getting a residence card with conducting business activities in Poland. Those can apply for a temporary residence permit, provided they abide by the following points:
- Have health insurance
- Possess stable source of income
- Have been granted necessary permission to perform certain duties (if applicable)
- Have a permanent place of abode in Poland
The company set up by a foreigner needs to either bring in the previous tax year a revenue no lower than 12 times the average monthly income of people living in the voivodeship it is based in or has been employing at least 2 people entitled to legal work in Poland. Otherwise, it can also prove that it is on its way to achieve this through innovation and new technologies.
They also have to provide their most recent tax settlement, prove the absence of arrears in their or the company’s finances, show its main contract, balance sheets and all documents confirming its revenue (or confirming hiring 2 employees as mentioned above/making every effort to achieve this).
And voilà - after completing this, you are now a proud owner of your own company and you may enjoy your residence card if you decided to apply for it. Much success in your business!
 Foreigners not fulfilling the conditions listed above are excluded from starting two types of partnerships: general partnerships and limited liability partnerships in Poland.