This is the second part of the article on how to register a company in Poland. This part describes how to fill out the CEIDG-1 form. Make sure to read the previous part here before you start filling out the form.
The place where you register a sole proprietorship is called CEIDG – the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity. You register a sole proprietorship in the CEIDG register on the CEIDG-1 form. The good news is that the form has been translated into English. The bad news is that from my own experience I can tell you that many entrepreneurs still find it difficult to fill out the form on their own, and they make plenty of mistakes. It’s not that bad though, because clerks are obliged to help you. But let’s start from the beginning.
Fill out the form with a clerk or do that online
You have four options:
- To fill out a form online;
- To call the special helpline and have your company registered via phone call;
- To go to your municipality office in person and fill it out there;
- To print the form, fill it out, sign it, and send it via registered letter to the municipality office.
There is a big risk that you won’t fill out the form properly, so I wouldn’t rely on the option number 4. Option 2 is more for the Polish speakers. So the choice is between filling out the form online, or going to the office.
It’s better to fill out the form with a clerk
If you live in a big city, it’s better to go to the office in person. They have special contact points for entrepreneurs. In Kraków you’ll find it at the 28a Wielicka Street, on the 3rd floor.
- Make sure to take your passport. If you’ve obtained a NIP number while employed, take your NIP with you. If you don’t have a NIP yet, it’s fine. Nothing else is needed.
- Take the token from the machine and wait for your number to show up on the screen.
- Clerks are not required to speak English, so make sure to have a fluent Polish speaker with you.
The clerk will ask you several questions, and fill out the form for you. Then they will print it out and show it to you in order to have it confirmed and signed. Up to 5 minutes after that you’ll be registered in the CEIDG. Then you can go to the last window – that one belongs to ZUS. You can register there same day.
Usually clerks are nice, the queue is short, and the process is smooth. If you already have accountancy, a bank account, and everything, you can start your business activity the same day. It’s all very comfortable, so a big hooray for the government on that one.
When it’s better to fill out the form online
If you live in a small town, it’s possible that when you go to the office they will only print out a form for you and tell you to fill it out on your own. In this case it’s better to fill out the form online, according to the instructions below.
How to register a company in the CEIDG online step-by-step
Go to this official website of the CEIDG register. Change the language to English if needed.
I suggest that you choose the following options:
Initial data preparation – New application
Method of application – Prepare application using the step by step wizard form
Additional options – None
Enter the code from the picture, click on Next, and let’s begin.
Most of the questions are understandable and easy to answer, especially if you’ve already prepared your choices based on the previous article. There are only a few places where you really may need my help:
- Personal data
- For Application submitted by choose Entrepreneur if you wish to submit the form in person.
- Identification data
- The only problem here is that although the form is in English, you must write all the words in Polish. The system won’t recognize “Poland”, it must be Polska. Notice that when you’re asked to put your address, it’s enough that you write the first few letters, and then you can choose the right option from the generated list. If you write the whole name of the Voivodeship instead of choosing it from the list, the next fields will get blocked.
- Address of the applicant’s residence
- Remember that powiat krakowski is for towns and villages around Kraków, and powiat Kraków is for the city itself. It works like that with many big cities in Poland. So if the system doesn’t want to accept your city, check if you’ve chosen the right county (they call it ‘poviat’ in the CEIDG).
- Locality means of course the city/town/village in which you live.
- The great thing is that if you’re not completely sure that you’ve put the right address in the right order, you can always check that the system has erased incorrect data just after you finish typing it in. If you’re still not sure that you wrote everything right, ask a clerk to check your address before signing the document. They’re obliged to help you with that.
- Don’t worry about the Description of an unusual place field, you can leave it empty.
- Make sure to take care of the statement saying I do not have the address of residential registration. It’s the so-called zameldowanie and it’s not a problem for the registration process if you don’t have it.
Read more about zameldowanie in my article Registration in Poland. Zameldowanie for foreigners.
- Activity description – step 1
- If you’re going to be self-employed (with no employees) then in the field Predicted number of working persons choose 1, and for Predicted number of employed persons choose 0.
- Activity description – step 3
- Abbreviated company name is only for ZUS. I recommend that you put your name here again.
- Date of commencement of the activity (starting date for your business) cannot be earlier than the day when you sign the papers in the municipality office. Remember that it’s best to start on the second day of the month.
- Do you want to add / specify the place where economic activity is carried out – choose No here unless you wish to add any additional places for your business activity. You can read more about that in this article (switch the language to English for automated Google translation).
- Insurance Registry
- For the I am insured in the field choose The Social Insurance Institution (it’s ZUS. The second option – KRUS – is for farmers)
- A new field will appear below: Data for the Social Insurance Institution. Fill it out with the date that you chose as the starting date for your company.
- Heads of tax offices
- The tax office that you should indicate in the form depends on your address of residence. If you don’t know your tax office, find it on this Polish website.
- Fill in your tax office only in the first field (Head of the tax office competent for registration of taxpayers) and ignore the second one (Present head of the tax office appropriate for the income tax from individuals).
- Accountancy Documentation
- Go to the previous article where I described how to choose a form of taxation, a type of accountancy documentation, and the preferred frequency of advance PIT payments.
- If you’ve decided to collaborate with the accounting office, then fill out the Entity of the accounting documentation field with their data. You may add the info later if you haven’t signed a contract yet.
- Place where the applicant’s accountancy documentation is kept
- For Address of the place where the Applicant’s accountancy documentation is kept choose one of these four options:
- Address of the applicant’s residence – if you keep it home and none of the other options below apply.
- Address of the applicant’s residential registration – used by people who completed zameldowanie for one flat, they live in another flat, but they still want to keep accountancy books in the flat that they completed zamledowanie for.
- Address of principal place of economic activity – when you rent an office for your company and you want to keep books there instead of your private flat.
- Address of additional place … – I think you get the concept
- The following address – If you or your accounting office have another idea for a place to keep books.
- For Address of the place where the Applicant’s accountancy documentation is kept choose one of these four options:
- Other data
- Only one point seems to be problematic here. I carry out a supported employment enterprise refers to the situation when an entrepreneur hires disabled people and gets some support from the government for that
- Bank accounts
- Again – you can indicate a bank account now, or you can update your data later on.
When you get to the last part, Attachments, and you click on Next your application will be verified and sent to the system. There is no summary/confirmation page, so it’s worthwhile to manually check if you’ve entered all the data correctly before you click on Next for the last time. If there is an obvious mistake on your form, you’ll obtain the error message (in Polish). If everything seems to be correct, you’ll see this screen:
Save the code, then go to the municipal office within 7 days in order to sign the form. Ask the clerks to check if you’ve filled out the form correctly – again, it’s frequent that entrepreneurs make some mistakes on the form.
The confirmation of registration
There are some institutions and offices that demand that you show them the confirmation of your company’s registration, for example the Voivodeship’s office for some cases. Some banks may also require confirmation if you wish to set up a business account. Don’t show them documents that you’ve obtained from a clerk. There is a special way to print out the confirmation of your registration. Anyone can print your confirmation but some offices (for example the Voiovdeship’s office) demand that you print it out on your own and bring it to them.
In order to print out the confirmation go to the CEIDG database, change the language to English if needed, and search for your record, for example on the basis of your name. When you display the record go to the bottom of the page and click on “Print/Download PDF”.
Just after registration
After you sign the CEIDG-1 form the process of registration is over, but it doesn’t mean that you’re finished with all the procedures. There are some duties to deal with after the registration. In this article I’m describing only the basic ones: ZUS, VAT, printing out the confirmation of registration, and updating data. You’ll find more detailed descriptions (including procedures for restricted business ideas) here and here. I also won’t describe whether or how to buy a cash register, but you can read about that here.
Register in ZUS
It’s time to decide if you should register for the national social and health insurance system in Poland. In practice it’s easy. For example in Kraków you go to the other window in the building where you’ve just registered a company (Wielicka 28a) and you deal with everything with the support of a clerk. In theory you should read more about the system if you want to make the best decisions. Biznes.gov.pl describes the topic here.
What should you know about the easiest scenarios? First, you need to register in ZUS within 7 days after the registration of your company in the CEIDG. If you register at one of the contact points for entrepreneurs, the clerk will do almost everything for you, so you won’t need to be stressed about that. If you live in a small town, I recommend that you read the description of the registration from the Biznes.gov.pl page that I’ve attached to the previous paragraph.
After the registration the clerk should instruct you on what to do next, and when to submit the following declarations to your local ZUS branch. If you wish to learn about the process on your own, take advantage of the linked Biznes.gov.pl page.
Your accountant should deal with all ZUS formalities for you.
For 24 months you’ll be paying so-called mały ZUS (small ZUS) – preferential contributions for new entrepreneurs. With the regular ZUS in 2017 you’d be paying 297,28 zł of health insurance plus either 875,28 zł or 812,61 zł monthly. With the preferential one you’d be paying 297,28 zł plus 190,62 zł or 175,92 zł monthly.
|small ZUS||regular ZUS|
|health insurance||297,28 zł||297,28 zł|
|social insurance||190,62 zł or 175,92 zł||875,28 zł or 812,61 zł|
How can you choose between 190,62 zł and 175,92 zł? That’s because entrepreneurs can decide on their own if they wish to take sickness insurance. For preferential contributions in 2017 that insurance costs 14,70 zł monthly. It’s not health insurance. Health insurance (297,28 zł) goes from ZUS to NFZ (Polish National Helath Fund) and enables you to use free medical treatment. Sickness insurance entitles you to sick leave, leave to take care of your sick child, and maternity allowance. The ZUS clerk will ask you if you wish to take this insurance.
You will also be able to cover your spouse and children with your insurance without extra payments.
It’s possible to not pay social insurance contributions for your company
I know that there are many expats who have a regular job and register a company for some extra activity. Remember that if your employer pays you a minimum of 2000 zł, then you don’t need to pay the social insurance contributions for your entrepreneurial activity. The contributions will be paid only from your contracted, regular work like before the registration. You will still be paying 297,28 zł for health insurance though. Inform the ZUS clerk about your employment contract during the registration process.
Update your data in the CEIDG: bank account, PESEL
If you set up a bank account after registration in the CEIDG, you should come to the office and update your data. That information should be sent automatically to ZUS and the tax office. Again, you can fill out the update form online and then sign it in the office – click here to go to the form.
I’m guessing that you will get tired of signing all the documents in the office. That’s why you could think about using a Trusted Profile in the future. It will enable you to submit some documents online. But that’s a completely different story. Thank you for reading my article up to this point. If you’ve found this article helpful, feel free to leave a comment.