Why invest in Poland?

Over the years, Poland has strengthened its image as an investor-friendly country, offering a strong pool of skilled workers and a stable banking system that provides financing. This is evidenced, i.a., by the steadily growing number of foreign direct investments.

Although it is currently difficult to estimate the impact of the global crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, the Polish economy has so far shown real resilience in response to crises such as the 2009 financial crisis or the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is worth noting that Poland is also a member of key alliances such as NATO.

Take a moment to familiarise yourself with these key reasons why it is really worth investing in Poland.

Highly skilled and young human capital

  • Academic hub: over 1.2 million students, around 350,000 graduates each year[1]
  • Poland ranks 16th worldwide in the English Proficiency Index[2]
  • Healthy unemployment level of 3,4%[3]

1] Statistics Poland, Higher education in the academic year 2020/2021 (preliminary results).
[2] EF Education First, EF English Proficiency Index, 2020.
[3] Source: Eurostat

Economic stability & investment potential

  • Since 1981, the GDP per capita in Poland has increased more than nine-fold[1]
  • 7th biggest country in Europe in terms of the value of inward direct investment
  • Around 38 million consumers and unlimited access to the EU Single Market of almost 450 million customers
  • Poland has been ranked the 3rd preferred location in the world for foreign investors[2]

[1] Polish Investment & Trade Agency (PAIH), Six Good Reasons For Investors to Choose Poland.
[2] Polish Investment & Trade Agency (PAIH), Six Good Reasons For Investors to Choose Poland.

Strategic location

  • Sea access and central position between Western and Eastern Europe
  • At the crossroads of European trade and transport routes
  • The road infrastructure is constantly being developed and modernised

Grants & incentives

  • For FDI, there are CIT exemptions available under Polish Investment Zone and Polish government grants; the precise value of tax incentives and grants, as well as the investment’s eligibility for these state aid schemes depends on the project’s detailed parameters (e.g. CAPEX, number of jobs created, location etc.) and the size of the company.
  • Since 2004 when joining the EU, Poland has been the biggest beneficiary of EU cohesion and regional development funding, a significant part of which is addressed to enterprises for R&D, innovation and environmental projects – For the years 2021-2027, EU Cohesion Policy funding for Poland amounts for EUR 76.5 billion, plus EUR 32.6 billion EU funding for the agriculture sector.
  • Poland is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Recovery and Resilience Fund with a budget of EUR 35.4 billion for the years 2020-2026.
  • Entrepreneurs doing business in Poland can also access a wide range of funding sources directly from the European Commission (e.g. Horizon Europe, Innovation Fund, Connecting Europe Facility or Life Programmes), from Polish government bodies (e.g. Medical Research Agency, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management) and from bilateral funds.

Stable increase in FDI

Tax system | Summary

  • One of lowest EU CIT statutory rates – standard 19% and 9% for small taxpayers
  • VAT rates 0%, 5%,8%,23%
  • Withholding tax rates: 19% (dividends), 20% (interest, royalties, intangible services), but could be lowered even to 0% based of DTTs or implemented EU Directives
  • Dedicated tax office for largest taxpayers and one-stop shop for strategic investors (Investors’ Desk)
  • Digitalization of tax settlement and reporting on the constant rise: Digitalized VAT reporting (SAF-T, e-invoicing to be implemented), pre-filed PIT return for employees by the tax administration (e-PIT), advanced works on digital interface easing handling tax matters in the area of all key taxes
  • Six key instruments to secure tax positions, including so-called Investment Agreement for Strategic Investors
  • Co-operative compliance program dedicated to tax payers with revenues > EUR 50m
  • Extensive base of concluded DTTs on avoidance of double taxation (90 DTT’s concluded so far)
  • Complex set of tax reliefs supporting R&D and innovation activity:
    • R&D tax relief (up to 200% of additional deduction of eligible tax costs of R&D activity)
    • IP Box (5% taxation of income from qualified IPs)
    • tax relief for prototype products (up to 30% of additional deduction of eligible tax costs of trial production and market launch)
    • tax relief for robotization products (up to 50% of additional deduction of eligible tax costs of purchase of new robots)
    • tax relief for increase of sales (up to PLN 1 million of additional deduction of eligible tax costs of marketing and advertising)

Grants & Incentives | Summary

  • State aid for foreign direct investments available in the form of:
    • CIT exemptions under Polish Investment Zones; ongoing procedure via regional Polish Investment Zone Managers
    • Grant available in Polish investment and Trade Agency up to 15% / 20% of eligible costs (CAPEX or 2-year-employees’ remuneration costs); ongoing procedure
    • Real Estate tax exemption
    • The above mentioned state aid schemes can be joined up to the regional aid limits – up to 70% of eligible costs – level of aid depends on the size of the company, location of the project and investment value;
    • Eligible costs: CAPEX or 2-year-employees’ remuneration costs
  • EU funding:
    • European Fund for Modern Economy Operational Programme 2021-2027 foresees over EUR 8 billion funding for R&D and Innovation for enterprises; Funds to be implemented via the National Centre for Research and Development (large enterprises) and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (SMEs), as well as by BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego)
    • The European Fund for Infrastructure, Climate and Environment 2021-2027 is the biggest operational programme in the EU and delivers funds for infrastructure (motorways, railways, waste management etc.), as well as for environmental projects, including the private sector (mainly renewable energy power plants, energy efficiency) – programme implemented by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management
  • The Recovery and Resilience Fund supports, i.a. large investments in the private sector, circular economy projects of SMEs, agri-food, HoReCa sectors, as well as the hydrogen and electromobility sector
  • National funding programmes for enterprises available for, e.g.:
    • environmental projects from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water
    • biotechnology, medical devices and pharma companies from the Medical Research Agency
  • Horizon Europe, Innovation Fund, Connecting Europe Facility or Life Programmes governed by the European Commission are also available for entrepreneurs conducting business in Poland

Legal system | Summary

  • Democratic rule of law country with a market economy based on, i.a. freedom of economic activity and private property.
  • Starting, performing and terminating a business is free to persons from EU member states on equal footing with Polish citizens.
  • Other persons (who are not at the same time natural persons holding a residence permit with which the possibility of undertaking economic activity is connected) can commence economic activity through a limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, limited liability company, simple joint-stock company and joint-stock company.
  • Entrepreneurs are generally allowed to undertake any activity without obtaining a permit, except those prohibited by law. In some sectors, undertaking an activity requires obtaining a license, permit or entry in the register of regulated activities, although it is possible in certain cases to obtain, for example, a binding promise of a license.
  • Wide range of entities available to commence business activity (partnerships, companies) or holding entities (private investment funds). Articles of Association of these can be shaped for the investor’s requirements.
  • Possibility to set up some companies through a dedicated online platform.
  • Establishing a new company for an investment in Poland should not take longer than four weeks, it is also possible to acquire already established SPVs to speed up commencement of the business.
  • No need to engage Polish personnel in management of a company held by a foreign investor in Poland, foreigners can be all the board members.
  • Safety of private investment, expropriation is only allowed if done for public purposes and with just compensation. Poland is also a party to many bilateral investment treaties with other countries – adding more safety for the investor from these countries.
  • Civil law system based on appropriately enacted statutes. Claims can be generally sought in independent courts with appeal systems. Possibility to execute judgments rendered in Poland in other EU member states.
  • No permits needed for employees from the EU and many options regarding legal employment of citizens from outside the EU, including the possibility to employ specialists from outside the EU with so-called EU blue cards.
  • In case of doubts, an entrepreneur may request (in his/her individual case) an interpretation of the legal provisions from which the obligation to pay public dues/ or social or health insurance contributions arises.
  • Also a very modern banking system and many international banks financing investments in Poland.

Find out more about key tax instruments for foreign and domestic investors

How can CRIDO support you in doing business in Poland?

We combine our broad expertise and experience across a range of key issues for you to successfully enter and operate on the Polish market

We will provide you with comprehensive support in:

  • setting up a legal framework– we can recommend and set up the most suitable entity for your investment from legal, tax and business perspectives
  • entry tax and legal compliance obligations, including registration reporting to relevant authorities
  • tax efficient structuring of the investment financing
  • tax, legal and financial advisory for any potential acquisitions, including valuation
  • employment compliance including work permits and – when needed – immigration procedures
  • analysis of the eligibility of the project for grants and incentives, preparation of the state aid strategy, applying for grants and implementation of tax reliefs and their settlement
  • obtaining relevant instruments to secure tax position
  • day-to-day operations of your business from the tax and legal perspectives

About us

We provide tax, legal and transactional assistance as well as business consultancy to entrepreneurs. We help companies advance their innovation business by, among other things, obtaining financing from public funds and other available sources.

The dedication and work of our seasoned team of over 300 professionals has received much appreciation from both our long time clients, and independent bodies. This is reflected in the rankings of tax advisors and firms supporting innovation and R+D, where we earn top recognition.

We are a member of many international and business organizations, among the others Taxand, The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) , ACCA , ABSL, BCC.

Our tax, legal and business experts

Andrzej Puncewicz
managing partner at CRIDO Taxand

Roman Namysłowski
managing partner at CRIDO Taxand

Tomasz Loose
managing partner at CRIDO Business & Digital Services

Jakub Ziółek
managing partner at CRIDO Legal

Magdalena Zawadzka
partner at CRIDO Business and Innovation Consulting

Cooperation opportunities for business partners

In today’s global world, close cooperation with foreign law firms is a key to success for local law firms. Disappearing boundaries in broadly-understood communications enable businesses to expand quickly all over the world. To be close to those who consider the Polish market to be an interesting business opportunity, we are open to cooperation with law firms regardless their jurisdiction. We promise to establish good relationships based on trust and reliability with both foreign lawyers and their clients. And provide them with tailor-made solutions and the appropriate attention we give to each project >>See more

Poland Quarterly by CRIDO

April 22| Over 2,2 mln Ukrainian citizens already admitted to Poland since Feb 24, 2022, mostly women and children. Estimated employments’ market absorption at this
point is around 700k. But war in Ukraine poses risk of outflow of Ukrainian citizens from sectors traditionally dominated by man i.e. construction and transport
with 11% and 13% of Ukrainian workers respectively. Slowdown it those sectors may negatively influence the dynamics of GDP growth… >> See more

July 22| Over 4.39 million Ukrainian citizens have already entered Poland since 24 February 2022. It is estimated that between 1.5 and 2 million remain in Poland, mainly (80%) in key Polish cities. Studies show that 27% of refugees from war-torn Ukraine, who are currently in Poland, want to stay here once the war ends.

Poland’s National Recovery Plan (KPO) had been approved by EU member states. Poland still needs to meet the indicated milestones to benefit from funding of approx. EUR 58.1 billion.  Apart from the rule-of-law changes, these include, i.a. labour market reform… >> See more

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