How to set up a trading company in Poland

How to set up a trading company in Poland

In today’s article we will discuss setting up a wholesale trading company in Poland.

A wholesale company is an organisation that sells goods or services in larger quantities, at wholesale prices and directly to other companies rather than to end consumers. It buys goods directly from the manufacturer or from intermediaries and then sells them on its trading floor or through a distribution network. Wholesalers may specialise in selling specific types of goods or offer a wide range of products. They can operate both regionally and internationally.

Let us look at the advantages of opening such a business in Poland.

  1. Geographical location: Poland is in the heart of Europe, which allows access to markets in other countries such as Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. This facilitates the export and import of goods, both within and outside the EU.
  2. Low cost of doing business: Poland has low trade taxes, cheap labour, low operating costs, inexpensive real estate and an important transport infrastructure. This makes Poland a preferred location to start this business.
  3. A well-developed trade network: wholesale companies in Poland have a well-developed trade network consisting of thousands of suppliers and distributors. For new entrepreneurs, this means access to a wide range of quality goods and accelerated delivery times.
  4. Government support: The Polish government provides a range of administrative and financial measures to support entrepreneurship. These include subsidies, tax exemptions, incentives for exporters, support for innovation and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.


What is needed to set up a commercial wholesaler in Poland?

Let’s take a closer look at the steps required to open a trading company in Poland:

  • Determine the form of legal organisation of your company. There are several forms in Poland, including common forms in Europe such as LLC or OAO. This may depend on how many owners your company will have, how finances will be regulated and other issues important to you.
  • Register the company with the Polish Companies Register and provide the necessary documents, such as your passport and documents related to the company form.
  • Open a bank account. You can do this at any bank in Poland, but you need to check the mandatory conditions for your company, which may vary from bank to bank.
  • Obtain a Polish tax number and register with the tax system so you can pay taxes in Poland.
  • Identify sources of supply for your business. You can find local suppliers in Poland, but also look for partners in other countries such as China or Korea.
  • Create a business plan to help you define goals, strategies and plans for the growth and development of your business.
  • Hire employees if necessary and start selling your products in bulk.


Registration of a legal entity

Let us look in more detail at registering as a legal entity. We will focus on the opening of a company with the legal form of a limited liability company (the equivalent of a limited liability company). This legal form is easier to open for foreigners, you do not need a residence permit, permanent residence or a Pole’s Card. What is needed:

  1. Choose a company name and check its uniqueness in the Polish register of companies.
  2. Determine the amount of share capital (minimum amount is EUR 5,000) and draw up the articles of association.
  3. Register the company in the National Court Register (KRS).
  4. Determine the PKD (business activity). According to the Classification of Business Activities this will be in this case: SECTION G- Wholesale and retail trade, groups – 45,45,46.2,46.3,46.4,46.5,46.7
  5. Obtain your NIP (tax identification number) and REGON (statistical identification number) from the Polish tax office.
  6. Open a bank account and deposit share capital.
  7. Obtain the required concessions and permits for your chosen business.

The whole process usually takes about 2-4 weeks and includes notary fees, court fees and other administrative costs.

At this stage, we always recommend consulting a professional lawyer or a specialised company formation agency to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken in a proper and timely manner.

What products may be suitable for wholesale in Poland?

Wholesaling in Poland can involve different types of goods, but some of the most popular categories include:

  1. Food – vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy, frozen food, confectionery.
  2. Clothing and accessories: shoes, clothes, bags, hats, underwear.
  3. Electronics: smartphones, laptops, tablets, TVs, white goods.
  4. Building materials and equipment: bricks, cement, wood, metal, tools.
  5. Cosmetics and personal care products: shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, deodorants, perfumes.
  6. Household goods: furniture, textiles, kitchen utensils, crockery, decorative items.

When selecting goods for wholesale in Poland, it is important to take into account market demand, competition and the ability to deliver and store goods. It is also important to follow current trends and the availability of product licences and certificates.


Licences and permits

In Poland, most wholesale activities do not require any licences unless you sell goods that are subject to licensing. Licences and permits may be required depending on the goods and services you intend to sell. The following are some of the most common types of wholesale trade and their associated requirements:

  1. Wholesale of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products – a food licence is required for this type of trade.
  2. Wholesale of medicines – a pharmaceutical licence is required for this type of trade.

In most cases, in order to obtain the necessary documents and permits, you will need to provide documentation related to your business plan, customer service and documentation that the goods you sell meet quality and safety standards. If this is the case, we recommend contacting professional lawyers or business consultants for further information and assistance in this process.


Licence costs

The cost of selling food and beverages in Poland depends on several factors, such as the location of the business, its size and the type of business.

The Polish government provides several types of food and beverage licences, each with a different cost. You can pay between PLN 200 and PLN 1 000 for a licence. However, the amount may increase depending on the specific requirements of your business. For example, if you need additional permits to sell alcoholic beverages, this may increase the cost of the licence.

It is also worth remembering that there are various taxes and fees associated with the food and beverage trade in Poland, which can increase the cost of doing business. Therefore, it is important to carry out a thorough cost analysis and obtain detailed advice from experts in the field before starting your business.

The approximate cost of a drug wholesale licence in Poland can range from PLN 3,000 to PLN 10,000 per year, but it is better to contact the relevant regulatory authorities for up-to-date information.


Supply and storage

Wholesale trade in Poland may require storage or production facilities. Depending on the products you intend to import or export, you may need a warehouse with storage conditions or specific temperatures.

Warehouse space can be rented or purchased. It is usually necessary to register with the tax authorities in order to obtain all the necessary tax numbers.

It is also important to have the right equipment to store and transport goods. For example, if you are a food wholesaler, you will need refrigerators and freezers.

If you intend to manufacture goods, you will need production premises, equipment, raw materials and the relevant permits.

It is also important to ensure compliance with all necessary health and safety and customs regulations. You may wish to consult a specialist or lawyer to make sure you have all the information you need and monitor compliance and documentation regularly.


Specificities of wholesale accounting in Poland

Wholesale company accounting in Poland has its own specificities and requires compliance with certain rules. Some of them are listed below:

The accounting of a trading company in Poland has its specificities and requires compliance with certain rules. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Choice of accounting method: In Poland, two accounting methods are allowed – the cash method and the accrual method. The accrual method is the most common. The cash method is used when revenues and expenses are only recorded when they actually occur. The accrual method is used when revenues and expenses are recorded when they are actually incurred, regardless of whether they have been paid.
  2. Taxes: Commercial companies in Poland usually pay 2 taxes: value added tax (VAT) and income tax (CIT). Most companies prefer the VAT-based system because it is simpler and allows the company to receive a credit for the value of the tax paid on items purchased for resale.
  3. Accounting for goods: It is also important to consider that the merchandise accounting of a trading company must be accurate and precise. The company should regularly monitor its stock of goods to avoid accounting errors and trading losses.
  4. Fiscal cash register: In Poland, there is a requirement to record all cash transactions, including cash. This requirement includes recording all receipts and payments made in cash, as well as all transactions that take place through the trading company’s bank accounts.
  5. Tax reporting and declarations: trading companies in Poland are required to file quarterly tax returns, VAT returns, income tax returns and other tax documents. The company must also file annual financial statements.

List of reports and their filing deadlines:

  1. corporate income tax (CIT) – payable in advance by the 20th of the previous month
  2. CIT-8 (annual report) – by 31 March each year
  3. VAT-7 – monthly by the 25th day of the month for the previous month and payment
  4. Payroll – by the 15th of the previous month and payment
  5. Annual financial statements – by 30 June.

In general, bookkeeping for a commercial company in Poland has its own peculiarities and can be complicated. However, adhering to the requirements and rules of local law will help avoid trouble and ensure the successful operation of the company.


Application of the OSS to a trading company in Poland

OSS (One-Stop-Shop) is a system that was introduced as part of the reform of the European Union tax system. It allows companies registered in one EU country to trade in other EU countries without having to register in each country separately.

The OSS facilitates the payment of VAT (value added tax) by companies trading in different EU countries. It allows companies to register with the OSS in one country and claim tax in each country in which they operate.

Companies registered with the OSS can use a single portal to submit detailed declarations of sales and the amount of VAT collected from them in other countries. This greatly simplifies VAT accounting and reduces administrative costs for companies trading internationally within the EU.

The process of setting up a business in Poland is quite cumbersome, but generally, if an entrepreneur approaches the matter properly, there should not be too many problems. If you want to set up a company in Poland and save time and effort, it is better to turn to specialists who are well versed in all the stages of setting up a company and are familiar with the local regulations. We are ready to help you at every stage. If you have any questions or would like more advice on this topic, please contact us at


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