- 31 March 2023
- Posted by: Przemysław Bukowski
- Category: Articles
If you want to embark on the path of online entrepreneurship and open an online shop in Poland, you need to analyse several aspects before you start. To do this, you need to decide what product you will be selling, the product range is very important! Then decide on the legal form of your business, register your company and obtain a tax number. You also need to consider that in order to set up an online shop you will need to buy a domain name and choose hosting for your shop. You can use free solutions for simple commerce or use a custom developer to create a unique and fully functional shop. Finally, you should think about advertising campaigns to attract consumers to your shop. We believe that with the right planning and strategy, you will be able to quickly and successfully launch your online shop in Poland.
Below, we will detail the process of setting up an online shop.
Selection of the form of business and registration of the legal entity for your online shop in Poland
The registration of a legal entity in Poland allows you to operate without restrictions and enables you to scale and use all services. The establishment of a legal entity is an important moment; the choice of form will determine the amount of future deductions, the circulation of documents and much more.
To open an online shop in Poland, aspiring entrepreneurs may consider setting up a sole proprietorship or establishing a limited liability company. For foreigners, setting up a sole proprietorship in Poland is quite complicated (you need to have a residence permit or permanent residency, or have a Pole’s Card), so aspiring entrepreneurs are advised to consider the legal form of a limited liability company. Citizens of Ukraine are an exception.
To establish and register a limited liability company in Poland you will need:
- The name of the future company.
- The seat of the company.
- List and data of the founders and members of the management board (for them it is necessary to register and obtain a PESEL number, an ePUAP profile, verification to ePUAP (for this purpose you need to visit either the Polish consulate in the country of residence or a state office in Poland).
- Prepare and file the articles of association.
- Contribute share capital (the amount of share capital required to register the company is PLN 5,000).
- Determine the PKD (company registration code). According to the Business Activity Classification System, in this case it will be section G – wholesale and retail trade, group -47.9, class -47.91, section 47.91Z – mail order and Internet retail trade.
- Registration with the KRS (National Court Register) through the S24 system (online registration). To do so, go to the eKRS website under the tab “S24 – Company registration”.
- Obtain a KRS number and a certificate of registration of the company in Poland, as well as the taxpayer’s NIP number.
- Opening of a bank account (personal presence required!).
- Registration of the company with the tax authorities, ZUS and the statistical office.
Setting up and running an online shop in Poland, creating a website and its further promotion
In order to successfully promote your online shop in Poland, you must have a well-organised, user-friendly and high-quality website. An excellent online resource will allow you to become attractive to potential customers, attract visitors, expand your audience, as well as close deals and work in the long term. When creating your website for an e-shop in Poland, you will need to consider the following factors:
- choose a domain name, as well as the ideal website positioning
- determine the site structure and information package
- develop a user-friendly design and interface for the site
- connect and configure the required software
- connecting payment systems such asPrzelewy24, PayU, BlueMediaPayPal, imoje, Tpay
- making the website attractive and comprehensible for visitors
Therefore, a properly and well-organised online shop in Poland will help you to achieve success and generate income. You must boldly move with the times and take full advantage of modern technologies.
Specifics of running an online shop in Poland
When you start your online shop in Poland, proper planning and consideration of the specifics of the market for the purchase, delivery and sale of goods is an essential element of success.
- It is necessary to understand the key features of running an online shop in Poland. To do this, you need to decide which delivery methods you will use to ensure the delivery of goods to your customers. The market for transport services in Poland is quite developed and you can choose from local and international carriers to deliver goods to the buyer. The second aspect of successful trading is payment systems. Poland welcomes foreign online sellers and supports many payment systems and services such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Przelewy24, Dotpay and many others.
- The third element to consider is the regulations that apply to payments. In Poland, regulations can be interpreted and applied differently to payments on online shops. For maximum effectiveness, it is advisable to use specially developed rules that will allow you to accept payments safely on your shop. Keep in mind that regulations and standards can change over time, so be sure to keep up to date with the latest changes.
- To promote your online shop you should run targeted advertisements on websites popular with the local population, you can also use social networks.
B2B and B2C markets for e-commerce
The development of online sales in Poland has made it possible for Polish entrepreneurs to sell their goods and services throughout the country. Various B2B and B2C online marketplaces are used for this purpose.
B2B marketplaces are the most popular and sought after by local online sellers. These are technologies that allow small businesses to sell their goods and services to other businesses. In this way, many companies can access a larger stream of business customers and sell their products nationwide.
B2C marketplaces allow a seller to sell goods and services directly to consumers. This is very useful for online sellers as they can access a larger audience and sell their products to a wider audience as well.
So, online sellers can use B2B and B2C marketplaces to increase their sales and attract a large number of potential customers. Thus, these platforms are very useful for online sellers and entrepreneurs in Poland.
Attracting foreigners to work in your online shop
Hiring foreign workers to work in your online shop is important and allows you to complete all tasks quickly and efficiently. In Poland, it has become popular to hire foreign workers to work in the IT sector. Foreigners have a number of advantages over local employees, which makes them attractive to employers. Firstly, foreigners have more skills than local employees. They have great potential to work in different areas of programming, design and marketing. They can quickly grasp the unique offerings of an online shop and use their unique skills to solve problems. At the same time, it is important to remember that access to highly skilled foreign workers at an affordable price can be an advantage. The psychological factors associated with the job should also not be overlooked. Foreign workers are in an unfamiliar environment and often have higher expectations and motivation. In this respect, they may be more productive and spend more time working and learning the webshop technology. In conclusion, foreign labour is a valuable asset and can be used by online retailers to achieve their marketing goals. Considering all the advantages, foreign employees can be useful for any online shop in Poland.
Specifics of the bookkeeping of an online shop in Poland
The bookkeeping of an online shop in Poland is an important stage of an entrepreneur’s successful business. For it to be successful, it is necessary to properly organise the process of counting and completing accounting transactions.
It will be necessary to record all sales and purchases of goods, as well as all income and expenses. It will also be necessary to document inventories and enter information about goods sold and purchased into the accounting software.
Sufficient documentation will need to be provided to ensure that taxes are calculated correctly.
As part of the process, routine checks and audits of the online shop’s accounting should be carried out to ensure that all accounting transactions have been carried out in accordance with applicable regulations.
If you are selling overseas, you should consider registering with OSS (onestopshop)
The list of the main operations of your e-commerce will be as follows:
- The creation and maintenance of a website through which e-commerce takes place.
- Automating invoices and cheques.
- Buying and selling goods.
- Delivery of goods.
- Return of goods.
- Trade and other expenses.
List of reports and reporting deadlines:
- Corporate income tax (CIT) – pay in advance by the 20th for the previous month.
- CIT-8 (annual report) – by 31 March each year.
- VAT-7 report – monthly by the 25th of the previous month and paid in advance.
- Payrolls – by the 15th of the previous month and payment.
- Annual financial statements – by 30 June.
VAT conditions for e-commerce in Poland. New OSS system
As of 01.07.2021, a new system for filing VAT returns in the EU, and therefore also in Poland, has been introduced – OSS (One Stop Shop). This is a procedure to fulfil VAT obligations for distance sales to customers in the EU. The main advantage of registering for OSS is that you can only register and pay VAT in one EU country. Otherwise you have to register in each country where you sell. Registration in this system is done online via the Polish Tax Office and applications are only submitted electronically at biznes.gov.pl.
Both European and non-European companies can choose only one country in which to submit their VAT returns by registering on the OSS platform.
The advantage of the OSS compared to the previous MOSS is that not only EU-registered companies can use the platform, but also foreign companies can benefit from the full functionality available.
The OSS platform can be used by:
- European companies operating in the EU and providing B2C (business to consumer) services outside their country
- non-European companies for the remote sale of goods within the EU
- E-interface companies (regardless of where they are registered) that sell goods remotely within the EU
How does the OSS work when used by e-interface companies and online retailers?
E-interface companies must:
- show/display the amount of VAT to be paid by the buyer, no later than at the end of the order process. The VAT rate is the rate of the Member State to which the goods are shipped
- ensure that VAT is charged to customers for distance intra-European sales of goods and for domestic supplies
- submit an electronic quarterly VAT return via the OSS portal of the Member State where the OSS is registered
- make a quarterly payment of the VAT declared in the VAT return to the Member State where one is registered with the OSS
- keep a record of all substantial OSS sales that it makes over a period of 10 years
Online traders are required to:
- apply the VAT rate of the Member State in which the goods were dispatched or in which the services are provided
- charge the purchaser VAT on intra-European distance sales of goods or on supplies of services
- submit an electronic quarterly VAT return via the OSS portal of the Member State in which they are registered with the OSS
- make a quarterly payment of the VAT declared on the VAT return to the Member State where you are registered with the OSS
- keep a record of all relevant OSS sales transactions that it makes over a 10-year period
Despite the introduction of a simpler VAT system and VAT reporting via the OSS platform, the question remains as to how to correctly identify the consumer’s country of residence. At least two proofs of location from the list should therefore be collected and kept:
- the customer’s billing address
- the IP address of the device used by the consumer
- bank details and location of the bank
- SIM card and associated mobile phone code and other evidential possibilities
This data must be stored after notification to the EU tax authorities for at least 10 years and in accordance with GDPR (EU) 2016/679.
The process of setting up a company in Poland is quite time-consuming, but in principle, if the entrepreneur approaches the matter competently, there should be no particular 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 stages of setting up a company and are familiar with the local law. 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 email@example.com.