Posts Tagged ‘zus’

Opening a company in Poland

Friday, September 19th, 2008

For whatever reason you may decide to trade through your own company in Poland. Therefore you want to start a Polish company. Just like in the UK there are different types of company including:

  • spólka z. o. o. (z ograniczoną odpowiadzalnością) – private limited company (a UK ltd company). You have to draw up documents at a notary and have at least a bond capital of 50 000 PLN.
  • spólka akcyna – public company – (a UK plc). No idea what the process is here but I guess if you were interested in opening an S.A. you would be talking to an accountant and not reading some guy’s Blog on the Internet..
  • działalność jako osoba fizyczna (self-employed) – the simplest way to start!

The simplest method to start trading is to therefore go self-employed. This blog post describes the steps to do that.

Things to do before you start:

  1. PESEL: In theory anyone including foreigners (who might not yet have a Pesel) can register a company, but I don’t know what extra hassles you might have if you don’t have a Pesel. When I started my company they wanted the Pesel everywhere so I guess it’s better to have it. If you don’t already have a Pesel then see here: how to get a Pesel
  2. PKD code: for the Central Statistics Office (GUS – Głowny Urząd Statystyczny) you have to tell them what the nature of your business will be. There are codes for various categories and you have to pick one. For example code 62.01.Z is software development, code 85.49.A is teaching foreign languages. These codes are called PKD codes – Polska Klasyfikacja Działalnośći – Polish activity classifications. At this stage you should therefore look up what codes you want to use. A new list was published in 2007 so make sure you use the PKD 2007 list and not an older one. I used this website to find my codes: PKD codes. Also another tip is that it’s better to put too many codes rather than have to add a code later because each change incurs a 50 PLN fee. So if you think there’s a chance you might venture into other fields at a later stage then it might be worth adding the code for it now.  But be careful if you do this because which codes you have listed may adversely affect which tax schemes you can apply for.

Now you’re ready:

  1. Wpis do ewidencji – first job is to go to the Urząd Miasta where you live and ask to do a ‘wpis do ewidencji’. Basically this is just an entry to their register of your business. You have to fill out a form and pay a fee which varies from office to office. I paid 100 PLN. When I did it the guy was very helpful and showed me exactly how to fill out the form. I checked my PKD codes in the book they had and also had to choose a date when the company officially starts. Here is the next tip – choose the 1st of the month – it will make life simpler later on. Depending on how efficient the office is you will get a confirmation of your wpis do ewidencji a few days later in the post. I have heard that sometimes it takes a couple of weeks though. Another point worth mentioning is that a company name is optional – you can either specifiy a name such as “Green Widgets” or you can leave the name blank in which case you will trade under your own name, e.g. “John Smith”.
  2. REGON - next job is to fill out form RG-1 from GUS (see above) to get your REGON number. This is where you need your PKD codes (although I also had to supply a code when I did the wpis do ewidencji). In the old days you would have to go to your nearest GUS office to do this but in a refreshing drive of efficiency you can now do this online via their website (link above). Even more efficiently (and suprisingly!) the guy asked if I wanted to do this with him when I did the wpis do ewidencji! Great – two jobs done at once!
  3. Bank account – my understanding is that your company is required to have its own bank account. I didn’t check this though so I may be mistaken. In any case once you have your REGON and Wpis it’s very simple to open a bank account for your company. According to the website you just need some ID, regon and wpis.
  4. NIP-1- Go to the Urząd Skarbowy and fill out form NIP-1 (info on NIP forms here).  This form is to either apply for a NIP or update your existing NIP for physical persons who are self-employed.
  5. Income tax form – Also at the Urząd Skarbowy you need to fill out a ‘declaration about starting an economic activity for the purposes of declaring income tax’.  In Polish this is a zawiadomienie o rozpoczęciu prowadzenia działalności gospodarczej dla celów ewidencyjnych podatku dochodowego.  On this form you specify which tax scheme you want.
  6. Ledger form – Another form at the Urząd Skarbowy.  On this form you declare that you will run a ledger of income and outgoings at a given address.  Note that this has to be on paper that an inspector can come and check if needed.  Therefore if you want to run your accounts on computer you are legally required to print out your records each month and keep them on file.
  7. ZUS - you have until 7 days after the date your company officially starts (the date you gave in step 1) to register your company with ZUS so that you can make social insurance payments. You have to fill out form ZUS ZFA to register your company as an employer to open an employer account (konto płatnik). You will also need to fill out form ZUS ZUA to register yourself as an employee. Again you need the proof of your wpis to do this. They ask you for your REGON but you can always provide that later if you are still waiting for it. You can find instructions in English and German about how to fill out all of their forms here: ZUS

Choosing a tax scheme:

You can choose from:

  • zasady ogólne – “general rules” – this is the default option
  • ryczałt
  • karta podatkowa

At the time of writing I haven’t had a chance to read up too much on these so I apologise that the info here is a little scant. If it helps there is some info in Polish here and also here. The pros and cons of these schemes include things such as paying a flat rate of 19% tax, not being required to keep a record of accounts, being able to split your tax burden with your spouse etc.. etc..

Also I haven’t mentioned here about registering for VAT which is a requirement if your income will exceed 20 000 EUR in a year.

But I hope the information I have given is useful and will help get you started. If anyone has any feedback, corrections, experiences, more info etc.. then as always please let me know.

Good luck

Registering a UK company as an employer in Poland

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I have a UK company which I ran before I moved to Poland. Having now lived in Poland for a while I figured that I should do something about my residency situation as per my last blog post about Polish residency.

Therefore I spent a long time on the phone to the Inland Revenue back in the UK, and made a couple of visits to ZUS and the Urząd Skarbowy here in Poland.

I decided that I would continue to pay myself from my UK company but I would become a Polish resident employee.

The Inland Revenue said that I could continue to put myself through my pay roll if I wanted (Class X for National Insurance and tax group NT) or I could just take money out of the company against an invoice.

Polish Social Insurance – ZUS

ZUS said that I needed to register my UK company as an employer in Poland and open an “employer account” called a konto płatnik to make social insurance payments. The alternative was to pay the employee (i.e. myself) gross, and have the employee sign a declaration that the employee has the responsibility of paying both the employer’s and employee’s social insurance payments.

Option 1 – konto płatnik – to do this you have to fill out form ZUS ZPA. But to do that you need a tax number (NIP) from the Urząd Skarbowy. To get the NIP you have to fill out form NIP-2. But because your company is foreign you have to apply directly to Warsaw and enclose certain documentation:
* company documents (such as formation certificate)
* translations by a sworn translator of these documents
* declaration (in Polish) that you are not supplying bank account details becase you do not wish to make use of Polish VAT returns

The Warsaw address for a NIP-2 for a foreign company is:
Drugi Urząd Skarbowy Warszawa Śródmieście
ul. Jagiellońska 15

Telephone +48 (0)22 5845100 or 831 9194 or 831 9195
There is information about this in English and German on the zus website.

Option 2 – employee pays both employer’s and employee’s ZUS:
The employee and employer should sign an agreement that the employee takes the responsibility of paying the employer’s side of the social insurance payments.
In Polish this is called:
“umowa z pracownikiem o przyjęciu roli płatnika z przedsiebiorstwem nie mającym oddziału w Polsce”.

Polish tax – Urząd Skarbowy

This side seems simpler. My understand from what they told me is that my company simply pays the employee a gross salary and the tax bill is determined the following year. Not like the more complicated PAYE system in the UK with different tax codes etc..!
The Polish system is that in February 2009 the employer fills out a PIT-11 form for each employee which shows how much that employee was paid for the 2008 year. The employee then has until April 2009 to pay his/her tax bill.

After going through all this information I decided not to use my UK company to do this afterall – I figured that if the ZUS was going to be hassle then it would be simpler to just open a new company in Poland and have that company pay my ZUS. My Polish company can simply invoice my UK company as necessary to move funds.

My next blog post will be about how to set up a Polish company.