General information on doing business
The conditions for commencing and conducting business activity by entrepreneurs in Poland are governed by the Business Act of 6 March 2018. The rules for commencing, conducting and terminating business activity by foreign persons are governed by separate provisions, in particular the Act on the rules governing the participation of foreign undertakings and other foreign persons in commercial activities in Poland.
Entrepreneurs conducting business or professional activity on their own behalf operating as commercial law companies, foundations and associations and other entities are subject to entry in the business register of the National Court Register (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy - KRS);
Entrepreneurs conducting business activity as single operators (i.e. natural persons and partners in civil-law partnerships) are subject to entry in the Central Business Register (Centralna Ewidencja Działalności Gospodarczej - CEIDG) in accordance with the rules defined in the Central Register and Information Repository on Economic Activity and Information Point for Businesses Act of 6 March 2018.
The Polish business register
The National Court Register is a central IT database consisting of three separate registers:
- the business register,
- the associations register, other social and professional organisations, foundations and public healthcare institutions,
- the register of insolvent debtors (replaced by the National Register of Debtors on 1 December 2021).
The National Court Register was established pursuant to the National Court Register Act of 20 August 1997 and has been operational since 1 January 2001.
The National Court Register is aimed at providing universal, quick and reliable access to information on the legal status of the registered entities (Central Information Office of the National Court Register), the key aspects of their financial situation and on the manner in which these entities are represented.
Under the Polish registration procedure, the applicants’ requests are verified by the registry court.
Under Article 23 of the National Court Register Act, the registry court carries out substantive checks on the application for entry in the Register and on the accompanying documents. The court also verifies the accuracy of the entity’s identification data (name and surname, PESEL [the civil registration number], the entity’s name or company, REGON [the national official business register number] and the KRS number); the court also verifies other data in the application if it has reasonable doubt as to their veracity.
Since 1 July 2021 the procedure for registering in the KRS business register has been carried out exclusively on-line.
The applications and documents constituting grounds for entry are submitted by entrepreneurs using the IT system of the Ministry of Justice and made available free of charge in the Repository of Registration Files after the conclusion of the procedure.
The applications (forms) and documents submitted by entrepreneurs before 1 July 2021 are available (in paper form only) at the seat of the registry court competent for the entrepreneur concerned.
Financial documents concerning entrepreneurs entered in the National Court Register are stored and made available on-line free of charge at the dedicated Repository of Financial Documents.
The National Court Register is part of the Business Registers Interconnection System (BRIS), referred to in Article 22 of Directive (EU) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 relating to certain aspects of company law (OJ L 169 of 30 June 2017, p. 46-127), (‘system of interconnection of registers’). Pursuant to Article 4a of the KRS Act, the Central Information Office of the KRS uses the system of interconnection of registers to:
(1) make available free of charge up to date information on limited liability companies, joint stock companies, limited equity partnerships, European companies and branches of foreign entrepreneurs operating in Poland and information concerning the removal of these entities from the KRS and the list of documents referred to in Article 4(4a) of the KRS Act;
(2) make available copies of documents submitted in paper form and documents submitted in the electronic form referred to in Article 4(3a) of the KRS Act;
(3) transmit to the dedicated registers information on the opening of liquidation procedures, the conclusion of liquidations procedures, bankruptcy declarations, the conclusion of insolvency proceedings and on the removal of the companies referred to in point 1;
transmit to the dedicated registers information on transboundary mergers.
Is access to the Polish business register free of charge?
Yes, access to the National Court Register is free.
How to search the Polish business register
You can search the Polish business register by using the following search terms:
- the entity’s number in the registry (KRS number);
- tax identification number (NIP);
- REGON identification number;
- the name of the entity.
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