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Possibility of running economic activity by foreigners


Every foreigner, regardless of their citizenship and documents entitling them to stay in Poland, has the right to undertake and conduct business activity in the form of:

- a limited partnership;

- a partnership limited by shares;

- a limited liability company;

- a joint stock company.

Each foreigner may also join the aforementioned companies and acquire or get their shares or stocks, unless international agreements provide otherwise.

Note!  A foreigner who wants to conduct one of the four forms of activity listed above does not need to have the right to stay in Poland. Their presence in Poland, as a rule, is not required (if regulations allow it, they may, for example, register a company via the Internet or through a proxy).

Note! However, if a foreigner is planning to stay in Poland in order to conduct business activity, they may legalize his stay on the basis - obtain a visa or a temporary residence permit.



A foreigner may choose any form of running a business in Poland (i.e. they may set up a sole proprietorship or become a partner in any partnership or capital company) if they meet any of the following conditions:

  • - being a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area
  • - being a citizen of the United States of America or the Swiss Confederation
  • - being a citizen of Ukraine who resides in Poland legally and has a PESEL number

Attention! a spouse of a citizen of Ukraine, if they came to Poland from Ukraine in connection with military operations conducted on the territory of that country, may set up a company in Poland on the same terms as a citizen of Ukraine.

 Foreigners with a specific basis of residence in Poland may set up and run a business on the same terms as Polish citizens. This means that they may undertake and conduct any form of business activity permitted by Polish law. The foreigners include migrants who stay in Poland on the basis of:

- a permanent residence permit;

- a residence permit for a long-term EU resident;

- a temporary residence permit granted to a family member of a foreigner for the purpose of family reunification;

- a temporary residence permit granted for the purpose of studying;

- a temporary residence permit granted on the basis of other circumstances (i.e. a long-term EU resident's residence permit, issued by an EU Member State other than Poland);

- a temporary residence permit granted on the basis of other circumstances (i.e. being a family member of the foreigner described in the above point);

- a temporary residence permit, provided that they are married to a Polish citizen living in Poland;

- a temporary residence permit granted for the purpose of economic activity (issued due to the continuation of already conducted economic activity on the basis of an entry in the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity.

- participation in a support programme for foreigners (for example Poland Business Harbour).

Note! Spouses of Polish citizens have the right to run a business as a result of their marriage, provided that their stay is based on a temporary residence permit. It does not matter on what basis it was issued. The provisions regulate the access of spouses of Polish citizens to the labour market in a different manner. In this case, it is important whether the temporary residence permit was issued on the basis of a concluded marriage.

More information on the procedure for legalizing the stay and work of Polish citizens' spouses is available in the tab: ARRIVAL AND STAY IN POLAND OF A FAMILY MEMBER.

This group also includes foreigners in Poland who have been granted:

- refugee status;

- subsidiary protection;

- a residence permit for humanitarian reasons or a tolerated stay permit;

Business activity on the same terms as Polish citizens may also be conducted by foreigners who have a valid Pole's Card and those who benefit from temporary protection in Poland.

Note! International agreements between individual countries and Poland may introduce additional restrictions or powers with regard to the possibility of conducting business activity. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that the international agreement regulating the issue does not apply to the foreigner's country of origin. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains an online treaty database where such information can be checked.

Family members of the foreigners to whom the aforementioned international agreements refer and who have temporary residence permits, may undertake and pursue economic activity on the same terms as the foreigners.

Family members who have temporary residence permits, granted in connection with arriving or staying in Poland in order to reunite with the family of foreigners (who have a temporary residence permit and conduct business activity on the basis of an entry in the business register made on the basis of reciprocity), may undertake and conduct economic activity on the same terms as the foreigners.

It’s worth knowing! People who are interested in running a business in Poland can contact the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), it offers training for entrepreneurs and organizes postgraduate studies in the field of entrepreneurship.

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