Inwestor

WE GUIDE INVESTORS TO THEIR DESTINATION

DAWG is a certified partner of PAIH and it houses the Investor Assistance Centre (COI) and the Investor and Exporter Assistance Centre (COIE). Their task is to increase the level of internationalization of Polish companies through comprehensive services concerning starting a business in the region, organizing and implementing export and comprehensive servicing of foreign and domestic investors in Lower Silesia.

DAWG is a partner for the local authorities of the Lower Silesian Voivodship, acting as an intermediary between investors interested in setting up businesses in the region and the local governments and authorities with investment land or the appropriate infrastructure.

Lower Silesia

Presentation of the Lower Silesian Voivodship

OUR ACTIVITIES ARE SUPPORTED BY:

    • Ministry of Development
    • Polish Investment and Trade Agency
    • Polish Agency for Enterprise Development
    • Lower Silesia Regional Office in Brussels
    • Wirtschaftsförderungn Sachsen GmbH
    • Foreign Trade Offices of PAIH

The policy of local authorities is aimed at making it easier for foreign investors to enter our market. The biggest world concerns decided to build their own factories from scratch in the region. The voivodeship is rich in highly qualified personnel.

Leaders among the industries and business sectors with the largest investments include:

  • banking and insurance
  • automotive industry
  • food production
  • machinery, chemical and non-metal industries
  • electronics industry
  • fuel stations
  • supermarket and hypermarket chain
  • hotels & restaurants

LOWER SILESIA

The Lower Silesian Voivodship is one of 16 voivodships in Poland. Its capital city is Wrocław. It was created in 1999 as a result of merger of the previous voivodships: Wrocław, Legnica, Jelenia Góra, Wałbrzych and part of Leszno and Kalisz. It covers an area of 19,947 sq. km, which is 6.4% of Poland's total area. The Lower Silesian Voivodship is situated in the south-western part of the country, bordering the Czech Republic (with the counties of Hradec, Liberec, Olomouc and Pardubice) and Germany (with the federal state of Saxony). In its area there are 26 poviats, 4 cities with poviat rights (Wrocław, Jelenia Góra, Wałbrzych, Legnica), 169 gminas, 91 towns, 2,527 rural settlements and 2,326 villages. According to CSO statistics, in 2018 the voivodeship was inhabited by 2,901.2 thousand people (including 1,506.2 thousand women). Urban areas were inhabited by 1,990.5 thousand people, while rural areas were inhabited by 910.7 thousand people.

LABOUR MARKET

Average employment in the business sector in 2019 was 1.4% higher than in 2018.  In 2019, according to the results of the Labour Force Survey, economically active people were 2275 thousand, employed people were 1257 thousand and unemployed people were 43 thousand, in both groups there was an increase in relation to the previous year. The employment rate - 55.3% (1.1 p.p. higher y/y), and the unemployment rate remained at the level of 2018. - 3,3%. The share of Lower Silesian economically active in the corresponding group in Poland was 7.5%, the share of employed and unemployed was 7.6% and 7.7%, respectively.

Compared to 2018, there was both a lower inflow of unemployed people (by 10.2%) and an outflow from the unemployment register (by 9.0%). The registered unemployment rate at the end of December 2019 stood at 4.6% and was 0.6 percentage points lower than in the country and in December of the previous year. The unemployment rate recorded at the end of 2019 was the lowest figure in years.

In 2019, average monthly nominal gross wages in the business sector grew faster on an annualized basis than in the previous year (up 7.5% on an annualized basis vs. an increase of 7.0% in 2018)

ECONOMY

The Lower Silesian Voivodship is counted among economic leaders in Poland.

According to preliminary estimates, in 2018 the share of the Lower Silesian Voivodship in the creation of gross domestic product in Poland (at current prices) was 8.3% (0.1 p.p. lower than in 2017). The value of GDP per capita in 2018 was PLN 60447 (109.8% of the average for the country

In 2019, registered new entities were 31.3 thousand, deregistered entities were 23.8 thousand (3.7% and 10.2% less, respectively, in relation to 2018).

The Gross Domestic Product of Poland for 2017 amounts to PLN 1,989,351 million, and the GDP of Lower Silesia amounts to PLN 166,095 million (source: Gross Domestic Product - Regional Accounts 2015-2017, CSO).

The structure of the economy of the Lower Silesian Voivodship is based on three basic pillars: services, industry and trade. The first two types of business activity play a significant role in shaping the region's economic potential. Trade sector should play a supplementary role to key industries and services for the development of the region's economy, which proves the existing economic balance. A possible domination of trade could indicate the economic stagnation of the region. In Lower Silesia, trade generates 24.1% of sales revenue (the corresponding figures for industry are 32.5% and for other sectors, including services - 43.4%) (source: Statistical Yearbook of Lower Silesian Voivodship 2019, CSO). Thus, trade activities occupy a proper place in the economic structure.

The share of the generation of this value by type of activity is distributed as follows:

trade; repair of motor vehicles; transport and storage; accommodation and catering; information and communication - 25.4%;
industry - 32.5%;
construction - 6.9%;
agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing - 1.5%
financial and insurance activities, real estate services - 8.6%;
other services - 25.1%.

TOURISM

Tourism is one of the basic branches of development in the Lower Silesian Voivodship. Environmental conditions, the lie of the land, the wealth of nature, health beneficial microclimate, unique places and numerous monuments - also UNESCO World Heritage sites - make the region eagerly visited by tourists.

Lower Silesia can boast areas of magnificent forests, river floodplains with landscape parks, unique fauna and flora, picturesque lowland, mountain and rocky landscapes. Our region is also a multitude of historic cities and towns with wonderful cultural monuments and modern infrastructure, ski trails, ski lifts, toboggan runs, bike trails, horse riding centers, canoeing and rafting, glider flights, and rock climbing.

Architectural gems

Of great importance for Lower Silesian tourism is the region's extraordinary cultural wealth. There are numerous top-class monuments, which are true pearls of architecture. On the UNESCO World Heritage List there are:

Centennial Hall in Wroclaw - monumental cylindrical edifice of the Centennial Hall with a diameter of 65 meters and a height of 45 meters.
Church of Peace in Świdnica - a 17th century building considered to be the largest wooden church in Europe.
Church of Peace in Jawor - was built between 1654 and 1655.

Nature's wealth

Undoubtedly a unique tourist attraction of the region on a European, and even worldwide scale, are the Karkonosze - formerly known as the Giant Mountains. It is the highest mountain range of the Sudetes and the Czech Republic, and belongs to the UNESCO World Network.

Lower Silesia has been known for its mineral waters since the Middle Ages. There are a dozen or so spas with varied therapeutic offers and unique microclimates. Spa waters support the treatment of: rheumatism, neuralgia, heart disease, skin disease, circulatory system, digestive system and others.

Spa qualities of the region

The province has a complex of health resorts and hospitals, where both the elderly and children find professional care. The Lower Silesia Sanatoria Company includes facilities located in the most beautiful parts of the region. The submontane, mild and refreshing climate is conducive to treatment, and the health properties of the mineral springs occurring here (bicarbonate-soda-calcium-magnesium oxalates) have been known for several hundred years.

The beautifully situated towns, apart from their spa qualities, also have an interesting cultural and tourist offer. The healing qualities of the local waters made the towns of the region fashionable spa resorts. In the 19th century Frederic Chopin, among others, was a frequent guest here.

Castles and palaces

Lower Silesia is also a land of castles and palaces. No other region in Poland has such a number of these buildings. Every fourth castle and palace is located in Lower Silesia. The most famous are: Grodno Castle from the 12th century, Bolkow, Chojnik and Czocha castles from the 13th century and Książ from the 13th century which was given its present shape in the 18th and 19th centuries.  During World War II the castle was used as Hitler's headquarters for secret underground passages and corridors.

Rich cultural offer

Equally rich is the cultural offer of Lower Silesia. For example, Wrocław is the cradle of works by world-class artists Jerzy Grotowski and Henryk Tomaszewski. It is also the venue of numerous festivals, the best known of which is the International Oratory-Cantata Festival Wratislavia Cantans, which has been held for over 40 years. The cultural background of Lower Silesia consists of 60 theaters, 3 philharmonic halls, an opera house, over 1oo museums, numerous art galleries and cinemas.

The fastest growing region in Europe

A record number of investments, a record number of new jobs and a record high expenditure on development - recent years have brought Lower Silesia into the European league. Modern economy is becoming our calling card. We invest in innovations and research and development. We support academic centers, we develop transport infrastructure, we dynamize development of tourism, including business tourism and spa tourism. What makes us one of the most attractive and most dynamically developing regions? It is passion, clear goals, convenient location, huge wealth of mineral resources, openness to investors, good infrastructure, centuries-old history, the contact of various cultures and customs, the beauty of landscapes, numerous universities and well-educated people.

Connected all over Europe

Efficient and convenient transport system is very important for our development. In this respect a dense road network is one of the voivodeship's strong points. The route Berlin - Dresden - Wroclaw - Katowice - Przemysl - Lvov - Kiev is the main element of the region's transport system. By 2020, the construction of several other important sections, e.g. from Szczecin via Wrocław to Prague, will have been completed. Railroad, air and water transport connections connect us with the whole of Europe. Efficient communication and a very convenient location between Germany and Russia make Lower Silesia the leader in terms of investment attractiveness, not only in Poland. It also ranks quite high in comparison with other European Union regions, taking the 100th place out of 275.

The region's greatest strengths and advantages:

    • high level of economic development
    • attractive location in relation to sales markets
    • developed transport infrastructure
    • high level of industrial development
    • significant regional market absorption
    • numerous special economic zones
    • developed network of business environment infrastructure
    • numerous universities
    • the highest number of patents in Poland
    • high level of professional qualifications of the inhabitants
    • developed agriculture
    • cultural richness
    • large natural resources
INFORMATIONAL PRO-BIZ SERVICE:

The pro biz service is intended to facilitate foreign investors' access to information on the conditions for undertaking business activity in Poland and on business support instruments, as well as to facilitate the implementation of foreign direct investments in the country.

FREE SERVICES:
    • offer of available warehouse and office space and investment areas
    • current reports - economic situation
    • handling investor visits in selected locations
    • information about investment incentives in the region and the country
    • information about the economic potential of the region and entities looking for investors
    • information about legal and administrative regulations concerning business activity in Poland
    • aftercare
    • searching for sub-suppliers for Polish and foreign investors

Lower Silesia is considered a very attractive region for foreign investors. The policy of local authorities is aimed at facilitating foreign investors' entry into our market. The world's largest corporations have decided to build their own factories from scratch. This testifies to the deep trust and conviction that Lower Silesia is not only an attractive place to build factories, but also a region rich in highly qualified personnel.

Over the last 20 years, Lower Silesia has become one of the leaders in Polish economic rankings. According to the Gdańsk Institute for Market Economics, the Lower Silesian Voivodship has been in the lead in terms of investment attractiveness and quality of life. The highest rating was given to such factors as: activity towards investors, transport accessibility, economic infrastructure, social infrastructure. In terms of attractiveness for high-tech business, the region was ranked 5th. Its strength was evidenced by, inter alia: a large number of students, high transport accessibility, a very high density of business support institutions, significant opportunities to invest in SEZ, high purchasing power of enterprises, developed social infrastructure and above-average labour productivity and favourable structure of the economy.

Lower Silesia offers a number of investment incentives to foreign companies:

Polish Investment Zone

After more than 20 years of operation of special economic zones, by the Act of 10 May 2018[1], the instrument of income tax exemption (CIT or PIT) was amended to adapt the regulations to the current market situation and to the needs of entrepreneurs. The amendment allows companies implementing new investments both on public and private land to benefit from the tax exemption throughout Poland[2]. At the same time, the existing permits for conducting business activity within special economic zones (SEZ) remain valid until the end of 2026. In addition, the amendment of 31 July 2019 also allows support for investments in areas with undeveloped mineral deposits, thus significantly expanding the range of locations where entrepreneurs can receive tax exemptions.

More information can be found >>HERE<<.

Government Grants

Government grants are awarded pursuant to the Program for the Support of Investments of Significant Importance to the Polish Economy for 2011 - 2030 (the "Program") adopted by the Council of Ministers on July 5, 2011. (amended on October 1, 2019).

More information can be found >>HERE<<.

Government incentives in SEZ

A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is an administratively separate part of Poland's territory designated for business activity on preferential terms. The SEZ is a place subject to special reduced tax treatment where an entrepreneur may set up a business in a specially prepared area and run it without paying income tax.

There are three Special Economic Zones in Lower Silesia:

Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone "INVEST-PARK"

The Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone "INVEST-PARK" was established in 1997 and covers the area of 174 communes located in 3 provinces of south-western Poland (Lower Silesia, Opole and Wielkopolska provinces). Thanks to investments of global giants such as Toyota, Mercedes, Volkswagen or Umicore, not only the automotive industry but also related branches, such as metal and plastics processing, as well as logistics and warehousing services for this sector, are developing in south-western Poland. Almost 50% of companies operating in the WSEZ are representatives of small and medium business. Micro-enterprises have also invested in the zone. The WSEZ "INVEST-PARK" was also distinguished for the dynamics of development of companies, which located their plants there. First of all, another project of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland gained recognition. Thanks to investments of Japanese company Poland became the second, apart from Asia, center producing modern hybrid drives. The Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone "INVEST-PARK" is especially recommended for investments in Europe and appreciated for its quality and comprehensiveness of service for entrepreneurs.

For more information about the SEZ, visit: www.invest-park.com.pl

Legnica Special Economic Zone

The Legnica Special Economic Zone, established in 1997, occupies a part of south-western Poland's Lower Silesia Province, one of the most dynamically developing regions in Poland, and includes over 1361 ha of investment areas. The favourable location of the voivodship in the vicinity of the German and Czech borders, a dense network of constantly developing roads and railroads ensuring connections with neighbouring regions - both Polish and European, the fast pace of development of the region, qualified staff and the availability of attractive investment areas all contribute to the location of investments in the voivodship.

For more information about the SEZ, visit: https://lsse.eu

Kamiennogórska SEZ of Small Business 

Kamienna Góra Special Economic Zone for Small Business (KSSEMP) was established in 1997. The area of KSSEMP covers the following poviats: Jeleniogórski, Kamiennogórski, Lubański, Lwówecki, the city of Jelenia Góra, Milicki, Trzebnicki, Zgorzelecki, Kępiński, Ostrowski, Bolesławiecki. The Zone's basic task is to issue, in the name of the Minister competent for economy, decisions on support which are the basis for granting public aid to economic entities within its area of competence. Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna Małej Przedsiębiorczości S.A. (SSEMP S.A.) in Kamienna Góra operates in 63 communes, including 33 towns in Lower Silesia and Greater Poland voivodships. The area covers about 800 thousand ha, which is about 2.5% of the whole country's area and is inhabited by more than 800 thousand people. The KSSEMP area is located in south-western Poland near the border with the Federal Republic of Germany and the Czech Republic. The KSSEMP investment areas are located near important national and international communication routes: S3 expressway, A4 freeway and A18 freeway.

For more information about the SEZ, visit: www.ssemp.pl

Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone (TSSE), Subzone Wrocław-Kobierzyce

It is the only zone whose management board is located outside of Lower Silesia.
There is also a subzone of the Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone with a total area of 1,632.31 ha. It is the only zone whose management board is located outside of Lower Silesia. 

For more information about the SEZ, visit: www.tsse.pl

Industrial and Technology Parks

Industrial and technological parks are places where thanks to bringing together companies from one industry and research and development institutions supporting them, their rapid development is possible. These are more and more commonly used pro-development solutions in our country. The facilities offered by them are addressed both to Polish and foreign entrepreneurs.

Despite many similar characteristics of industrial and technological parks (mission, goals, forms of operation, organization, etc.) this is a category of highly diversified entities. Each park has an individual character, resulting from regional social, cultural and economic conditions and available growth factors. There is no single universal park model or organizational template that guarantees success. Individual initiatives reflect the specific nature of the local scientific and business environment, the type of economy and industrial traditions, as well as cultural determinants of entrepreneurship.

A technology park is a set of separate real estate with technical infrastructure, created in order to make the flow of knowledge and technology between research units and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs, using modern technologies, are offered services there:

  • Advice on business creation and development,
  • technology transfer,
  • transforming research and development results into technological innovations,
  • creating favorable conditions for doing business.

An industrial and technological park, on the other hand, is a group of separate real estate properties together with the infrastructure left after restructured or liquidated companies and other properties attached to them. Parks of this type are created with the participation of local authorities in order to provide preferential conditions for conducting business activity, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The goals set for industrial and technology parks are primarily:

  • Filling the offered space with market-efficient companies using modern technologies,
  • attracting investors,
  • job creation.
Local investment incentives
Investment incentives in municipalities - real estate tax exemption

One of the basic investment incentives available to entrepreneurs in municipalities is exemption from local taxes and charges. The Act of 12 January 1991 on Local Taxes and Fees (hereinafter referred to as the TLFA) gives municipal councils the power to set tax rates and establish subjective exemptions from the taxes and fees provided for therein. The exemption from the real estate tax is of fundamental importance for entrepreneurs.

Subject of property tax

Property taxes are subject to:

  1. grounds,
  2. buildings or parts thereof,
  3. structures or parts thereof related to the conduct of a business.
Property taxpayers

Real estate tax payers are natural persons, legal persons, organizational entities, including unincorporated companies, which are owners or autonomous possessors of real estate or civil structures, perpetual usufructuaries of land or owners of real estate or parts thereof or civil structures or parts thereof being the property of the State Treasury or a local government unit if the possession results from an agreement concluded with the owner, Agricultural Property Agency or from another legal title, as well as without a legal title.

The amount of the real estate tax is determined by the municipal council by way of a resolution, but the annual rates cannot exceed the limits set out in the U.p.o.l.

Exemption from property tax

The municipal council, by way of a resolution, may establish a property tax exemption for entrepreneurs as one of the forms of public aid.

The aid resulting from the exemption from real estate tax corresponds to the value of the tax exemption. What is worth emphasizing is that the tax aid under resolutions of municipal councils is the so-called automatic aid, which means that an entrepreneur is automatically entitled to exemption after fulfilling the conditions set out in the resolution of the municipal council. However, it is always required to notify the intention to use the aid in accordance with the model notification, which should be specified in the resolution of the municipal council. Any investment expenditure incurred before the exemption is granted cannot be considered eligible costs.

Exemptions in local taxes and fees may be introduced taking into account the conditions specified in:

  • Decree of the Council of Ministers issued pursuant to Article 20d of the A.l.t. (currently in force Ordinance of the Council of Ministers of 5 August 2008 on conditions for exemptions from real estate tax and tax on means of transport, constituting regional investment aid (Journal of Laws 2008, No. 146, item 927),
  • acts regulating the provision of assistance de minimis,
  • Acts governing the granting of aid under block exemptions.

Most often, municipal councils introduce exemptions on the basis of the ordinance of the Council of Ministers, which is a nationwide aid program, and under the aid de minimis

Exemption from real estate tax under the Regulation of the Council of Ministers

The Decree of the Council of Ministers on the conditions for exemptions from the real estate tax and the tax on means of transport, constituting regional investment aid, lays down framework conditions that must be met in order for a taxpayer to benefit from exemption from real estate tax as regional investment aid.

How the aid is calculated

The assistance provided may be calculated by reference to:

  1. costs of investment in tangible and intangible assets which are connected with the implementation of a new investment, or
  2. costs of creating jobs related to the realization of a new investment.
Conditions for granting the aid
  1. prior to the commencement of investment, notification of the intention to use the aid to the competent tax authority. The resolution of the municipal council should specify the manner and form in which such notification should be made. Only the costs incurred after the submission of a notification can be counted as covered by the aid,
  2. A commitment by the entrepreneur to cover at least 25% of eligible costs from its own resources or from external sources of financing (not coming from public aid),
  3. Maintain the investment in the region for at least 5 years, or at least 3 years in the case of SMEs, from the date of completion,
  4. in the case of aid calculated on the basis of the costs of creating new jobs, the condition is that they are created no later than 3 years from the date of completion of the investment and that employment is maintained at a level not lower than the average of the 12 months preceding the creation of the jobs and that the newly created jobs are maintained for a period of at least 5 years, and in the case of SMEs for at least 3 years, from the date of their creation.
Exemption from property tax under the de minimis aid

The municipal council (gmina council) may introduce, by way of a resolution on an aid programme, tax exemptions in line with solutions based on Community aid regulations de minimiswhich exempts the aid from the notification obligation, however, the draft resolution must be communicated to the President of OCCP.

The basic legal act governing the provision of assistance de minimis is Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid (Official Journal of the EU L 352 of 24.12.2013)which allows aid to be granted also in the road transport sector.

de minimis assistance range de minimis

This regulation sets a range of de minimis aid of EUR 200,000 and EUR 100,000 in the road transport sector, per operator, for three consecutive financial years. This aid is calculated by adding the aid received in the current year and the two preceding years, and the sum of the aid cannot exceed 200 thousand euros (100 thousand euros in the road transport sector).

Range of application

Resolutions on de minimis aid exemption may, in principle, apply to all local taxes and charges and may be adopted irrespective of resolutions providing for other types of assistance (regional, under block exemptions). In such a situation, however, the rules for the application of exemptions should be distinguished because of the possibility of their duplication.

Obligation to issue de minimis aid certificates

The Act on proceedings in public aid cases introduces the obligation to issue certificates stating that the public aid granted is aid de minimis.

Research and Development Centres

Entrepreneurs who conduct innovative activity, especially in the field of research and development works, can apply for the status of CBR. The amended act gives them the possibility to receive, inter alia, under the de minimis aid rules, exemption from real estate tax and agricultural and forestry tax. The total sum may amount to EUR 200 thousand over three consecutive years.

Moreover, CBRs may deduct from the tax base the amount allocated to the innovation fund. Its amount, however, cannot be higher than 20 percent of the revenue obtained in a given month.

An entrepreneur who applies for the status of CBR for his company should achieve net revenues from sales of goods, products and financial operations for the previous fiscal year of at least EUR 1.2 million according to the rules specified in the Accounting Act. At least 20 percent of this amount should be net revenues from sales of own research and development services. In addition, the entrepreneur is required to submit a statement on the absence of arrears in the payment of taxes and social and health insurance contributions."

An entrepreneur applying for the CBR status is also obliged to submit an application to the minister, which includes the company's name, seat and address, designation of the legal form, NIP and REGON numbers and data on net revenue (as specified in Article 17(2)(1) and (2)). The documentation must also include a description of research or research and development work performed in the last fiscal year, as well as the results, and a list of accreditations obtained, patents or applications in practice.

Pursuant to the Law on Freedom of Economic Activity of July 2, 2004. (Journal of Laws 2015, item 584, as amended). foreign persons from the Member States of the European Union and the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) may take up and pursue economic activity on the same principles as Polish entrepreneurs.

As a general rule, other foreign persons have the right, unless otherwise provided by international agreements, to engage in and carry on business only in the form of companies:

  • limited partnership
  • limited joint-stock partnership
  • limited liability company
  • stock company

They also have the right to join the above-mentioned companies and subscribe for or purchase their shares.
Moreover, foreign entrepreneurs may conduct business activity in the form of a branch, as well as establish representative offices in Poland.

A foreign person within the meaning of the Act is:

  • a natural person residing abroad who does not have Polish citizenship
  • legal entity based abroad
  • an organizational entity, not being a legal person, with legal capacity, with its seat abroad.

A foreign entrepreneur within the meaning of the Act is a foreign person carrying out business activities abroad.

1. forms of doing business - introduction

In Poland, business activity may be conducted in forms similar to those found in other European countries. Among the available forms of activity one can distinguish:

  • spółki handlowe, dzielące się na:
    • spółki kapitałowe (spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością oraz akcyjna)
    • spółki osobowe (spółka jawna, partnerska, komandytowa, komandytowo-akcyjna)
  • branch of a foreign entrepreneur
  • representative office of a foreign entrepreneur
  • individual business activity (including as part of a civil partnership).

Cooperatives, associations, foundations and cross-border forms, such as the European Company or the European Grouping of Economic Interests, which may also serve to conduct business in Poland, are beyond the scope of this study.

2. freedom to engage in economic activity

In Poland, the principle of freedom to undertake economic activity applies. It means that everyone - on equal rights - has the right to undertake economic activity of his own choice.
The principle of economic freedom, however, is not absolute. The subjective restrictions (relating to who can undertake economic activity) and object restrictions (relating to the conditions that must be met for carrying out a given activity) are of fundamental importance.

2.1 Subjective restrictions

Under the same principles as Polish citizens (e.g. with respect to choosing the form of conducting business activity), business activity may be undertaken and performed by natural persons, legal entities and other organizational units with legal capacity:

  1. from Member States of the European Union;
  2. from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein;
  3. from countries that are not parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, pursuant to agreements concluded by such countries with the European Community and its Member States;
  4. citizens of countries other than those listed above, who are family members of persons listed in points 1 to 3 above, have a residence permit pursuant to the Act on Foreigners, are under protection in Poland pursuant to the Act on granting protection to foreigners within the territory of the Republic of Poland (e.g. have a permit to settle or a tolerated stay in Poland, have refugee status) or have the Card of the Pole.

Powyższe wyliczenie obejmuje podmioty, które w najszerszym zakresie mogą korzystać ze swobody przedsiębiorczości. Inne osoby mogą jedynie prowadzić działalność gospodarczą w formie spółki: (i) komandytowej, (ii) komandytowo-akcyjnej, (iii) z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością albo (iv) akcyjnej. Umowy międzynarodowe mogą jednak przyznawać osobom spoza katalogu szersze uprawnienia.

2.2 Subject Matter Limitations

In terms of subject-matter restrictions, the most important are those requiring the entrepreneur to obtain a prior administrative decision authorizing it to undertake the activity in question.

2.2.1 Concessions

Concessions are issued in areas of economic activity that are of particular importance due to the security of the state or citizens or other important public interest.
The requirement to obtain a concession applies to activities in the field:

  • exploration and prospecting of hydrocarbon deposits and solid minerals under mining ownership, extraction of minerals from deposits, underground storage of substances without tanks and underground storage of waste
  • wytwarzania i obrotu materiałami wybuchowymi, bronią i amunicją oraz wyrobami i technologią o przeznaczeniu wojskowym lub policyjnym
  • generation, processing, storage, transmission, distribution and trade of fuels and energy
  • protection of persons and property
  • broadcasting of radio and television programmes, excluding those broadcast exclusively in a data communication system which are not distributed by terrestrial, satellite or cable networks
  • przewozów lotniczych
  • prowadzenia kasyna gry.

Before issuing a concession, the administrative authority may verify whether the entrepreneur meets the conditions for carrying out the business activity covered by the concession and whether he gives a guarantee of proper performance of such activity.
Sometimes the number of available concessions is limited. In such a case, the administration organises a tender. There is a possibility to obtain a so-called promise, i.e. a promise to issue the concession after fulfilling certain conditions. The promise is issued for a minimum of 6 months. During the period of its validity it is not possible to refuse to grant the concession unless the entrepreneur has failed to meet the required conditions or the data included in the application for the promise has changed.

2.2.2 Permits, licenses, consents

Another manifestation of the restriction of economic freedom in question is the requirement that the entrepreneur obtain a permit, license or approval. The different nomenclature does not mean, however, that we are dealing with different acts. All these forms of administrative decision are equivalent - they cause the same legal effect in terms of the possibility to carry out economic activity. For all these forms, therefore, hereinafter we will use the collective term permission.
A permission allows you to take up and carry out a specific type of business activity if the entrepreneur meets the requirements set by the Act.
The following are some examples of activities that require a permit:
- business activities in a special economic zone,
- operation of a regulated market (stock exchange and over-the-counter market)
- operation of a pension fund
- banking operations involving risk of funds entrusted under any reimbursable title
- operation of a collective water supply or collective sewage disposal conducting regular and special regular transport
- conducting insurance activity on the territory of the Republic of Poland
- conducting postal activity
- activity of an investment fund.
The permit is granted to the entrepreneur after a prior determination that he meets the conditions set out in the Act. These conditions include, among others, the protection of human life and health, public safety and order, state secrecy and the specificity of business activities covered by the permit. Detailed regulations on the procedure for issuing permits have been included in individual acts. Fulfillment by the entrepreneur of the conditions for carrying out a certain activity obliges the administrative authority to grant a permit.

3. the most common forms of conducting business activity in Poland

The most popular forms of business activity are commercial companies, in particular limited liability company and general partnership. It should be noted, however, that recently the largest increase concerned limited partnerships and limited joint-stock partnerships. The above is dictated by the possibility of tax optimization within the structure of the above companies due to taxation of revenues at the level of partners of such companies and not the companies themselves. It should be pointed out, however, that there are plans to amend the Corporate Income Tax Act, which will introduce corporate income taxation of limited partnerships and limited joint-stock partnerships, which in effect will reduce the attractiveness of these forms of business.
Many natural persons choose the form of the so-called individual business activity. Within the private sector, these entities account for approximately 76% of all entrepreneurs. Running an individual business can also take place within the framework of a civil partnership, i.e. an association of at least two entities for the purpose of jointly running a profit-making activity. In contrast to commercial companies, a civil partnership is not a separate legal entity - only its partners are such entities.
Foreign investors also use the form of a branch, through which they can conduct business in Poland to the same extent as in the country of their headquarters.

3.1 Trading companies

A commercial company is a form of cooperation for profit of at least two persons, except for a limited liability company and a joint-stock company, which can be established by one entity, unless the founder is a one-person limited liability company.
The company is established by concluding a contract, in which the partners undertake to strive to achieve a common goal by making contributions and possibly by cooperation in another specified manner.
Functioning of commercial companies is regulated by:
- legal regulations
- partners or shareholders in the contract or in the articles of association
In partnerships the most important are the persons of the partners, their qualifications and work performed. In capital companies, the emphasis is on the capital provided by partners, on which the company's functioning is based. Partners are not liable for the company's obligations - they only risk the contribution they have made, which may not be recovered if the business fails.

3.2 Branch of a foreign entrepreneur

A foreign entrepreneur may conduct business activities in Poland through a branch office to the extent that they are conducted in the country of their registered office.

3.3 Representation

Having a representative office in Poland allows a foreign entrepreneur to carry out activities only within the scope of its advertising and promotion.

4 Criteria for choosing a particular form of business
4.1 Country of origin of the investor

The country of origin of an investor is crucial for the possibility of conducting business activity in Poland. As indicated in detail in para. 2.1 above, persons from outside the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and countries with which the European Community and its member states have not concluded agreements on the freedom of establishment, as well as persons who do not meet the prerequisites of the Act on Aliens, the Act on Granting Protection to Aliens in the Territory of the Republic of Poland or the Act on the Card of the Pole have the possibility to choose to conduct business activity limited to companies: (i) limited partnership, (ii) limited joint-stock partnership, (iii) limited liability company and (iv) joint-stock company.

4.2 Type of activity

In principle, business activity may be conducted in any form prescribed by law. Sometimes, however, the law prescribes the use of a strictly specified form of activity, such as in the case of banks, insurance companies and public pension companies, which may operate only in the form of a joint stock company.

4.3 Scale of operations

As a general rule, partnerships (except for the limited joint-stock partnership) are intended for business activities of smaller sizes, while capital companies and limited joint-stock partnerships - for more significant business ventures. The above is mainly connected with the distribution of risk that investors agree to take on, the necessity of their personal involvement in running the company's affairs and the possibilities of raising capital from the market.
4.4 Liability of the investor for the obligations of the entity through which he runs business
In a general partnership, unlimited liability for the obligations of the company is borne by all its partners. In a limited partnership and a limited joint-stock partnership, this rule fully applies to general partners. It is possible to optimize the scope of liability by appropriately designing the structure of a limited partnership or a limited joint-stock partnership (a capital company as the only general partner). A limited partner in a limited partnership is liable up to the amount of the limited partnership sum, and a shareholder in a limited joint-stock partnership is not liable for the company's obligations.
On the other hand, in capital companies, partners are not liable for the company's obligations. Their risk is limited to the contributions made in case of failure of the business.

The Investor and Exporter Service Department of DAWG offers extensive support during the investment process as well as post-investment care. The whole system is based on the One-Stop-Shop principle. Investors who contact the Lower Silesian Agency of Economic Cooperation can be guaranteed comprehensive support throughout the entire investment process.

WE OFFER:

    • offer of available warehouse and office space and investment areas,
    • current reports - economic situation
    • handling investor visits in selected locations
    • information about investment incentives in the region and the country
    • information about the economic potential of the region and entities looking for investors
    • information about legal and administrative regulations concerning business activity in Poland
    • preparation of grant applications
    • aftercare
    • searching for sub-suppliers for Polish and foreign investors

Aftercare segments:

  • support for employee recruitment and training
  • identification of local suppliers
  • cooperation and support in efforts to expand investment areas
  • assistance in searching for land for expansion
  • export promotion

Poland is currently the largest beneficiary of EU funds, and domestic and foreign investors planning to start or expand their businesses can count on many opportunities for support from EU funds, either in the form of grants or other forms of support such as preferential loans. Grants are awarded to specific investment projects on the basis of competitions or other qualification procedures (depending on the form of assistance). Subsidies from EU funds are subject to general limits on the amount of aid a company can receive (for more information on regional aid, see Investment incentives).

In the financial perspective of the European Union for 2014-2020 Poland received 82.5 billion euros from the budget of the Cohesion Policy, which will be used for such purposes as scientific research, development of infrastructure and entrepreneurship, digitization of the country and professional activation.  Poland is currently negotiating with the European Commission the shape of its national operational programmes to be financed by Cohesion Policy. A part of the available pool of EU funds will most probably be allocated to the following National Operational Programmes:

 

Programme   

Funds allocated
from 2014 to 2020
(in billion euro)

Infrastructure and Environment27,41
Smart Growth  8,61
Knowledge Education Development4,69
Digital Poland2,17
Eastern Poland2,00
Technical Support0,70

Each of the above programs has its own priorities for assistance and plans for distribution of funds. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about potential EU funding support for your investment project.

Poland has been one of the big winners in recent negotiations due to an increase in both agricultural and cohesion policy funding. As the largest developing country in the EU, Poland receives the majority of funds from the EU's cohesion policy budget.

(Source: KPRM,European Council Outcome. Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020)

  • Embassies and Consulates of the Republic of Poland
  • Self-government of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship
  • Polish Investment and Trade Agency
  • Foreign Trade Offices of PAIH
  • Regional Office of the Lower Silesia Voivodship in Brussels
  • IOB: Western Chamber of Commerce, Lower Silesian Chamber of Commerce, Polish - Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Polish - Czech Chamber of Commerce, Polish - Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, British - Polish Chamber of Commerce, Polish - American Chamber of Commerce, French-Polish Chamber of Commerce, Polish - Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce, Polish-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK), National Investment and Privatization Agency in Minsk (Belarus), SSC Izba Handlowa Sp. z o.o., Central European Chamber of Commerce (IGEŚ), Nevada State Economic Development Agency, Brest Special Economic Zone State Company, IHK Leipzig, Saxony Economic Development Agency, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Polish-Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Lower Silesian Tourist Organization
  • Wrocław Agglomeration Development Agency, Karkonosze Regional Development Agency, Wrocław Regional Development Agency
  • Lower Silesian Intermediate Body
  • Lower Silesian Park of Innovation and Science, Wrocław Technology Transfer Center, Wrocław Technology Park
  • numerous special economic zones
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