How to plan a business in Poland

Before you start a business, you should prepare well and take a close look at the market in which you want to operate. This increases the chances of success and will pay off in the next phases of the business activity

Starting a business is quite simple. It can be done online, provided you have a trusted profile (PZ is a type of electronic identity document used by the state administration). Until recently it was necessary to go to the office to confirm it, now you can get the confirmation in the internet banking of some banks.

After logging into the ePUAP system (managed by the Ministry of Digitalisation), select the tab “Enterprises” and fill in the application for registration in the Central Register and the information on economic activity, i.e. in the list of entrepreneurs who are natural persons.

After sending the application, we are officially a person running a business. It is also necessary to fill in applications to the Social Insurance Institution – to apply for insurance (to do this, one must visit the nearest ZUS office or fill in the form on the Internet). If one has decided to become liable for VAT, one must inform the tax office (one can do this in person or send the information by post).

You can also set up a limited liability company via the internet. The prerequisite for this is the use of the standard partnership agreement, which is available on the website of the National Court Register. However, if you want to use a different contract model, a visit to a notary is required.

However, it is not the best idea to start a business by registering or establishing a company. Mainly because we start incurring certain costs (we have to pay contributions to ZUS whether we generate income or not). Establishing a limited liability company also forces us to pay contributions (the same rules apply to one-person companies as to entrepreneurial activity), and we also have to raise PLN 5,000. for the initial capital and additional funds for registration or notary services. Therefore, anyone who wants to start a business is advised to first spend an evening preparing a business plan.

The preparation of such an informal – because it is just for us – business plan should start with writing down information about what we want to do, who our services or products will be for, what market we want to operate in, what – in our opinion – is an important asset that will give our business opportunities for success, where we see threats. It is worthwhile to estimate the capital needs of our company and try to imagine how it will grow during the year and the next two years.

In preparing such an initial business plan, it is important to remember that how we answer our questions is of business importance. For example, if we decide to go into production, we will have to raise a considerable amount of capital to buy, among other things, raw materials or components for production, to employ and train workers, to equip the business with machinery and equipment, and where we will organise production, and finally to sell our product.

Another area to organise is finding an audience. You have to do things a little differently if the products are for retail customers, and differently if we are looking to collaborate with other companies. In both cases, however, it is worth looking around to see what distribution can be counted on and what the costs are.

As a rule, capital requirements are lower for services, although a lot depends on what exactly you want to do. For example, computer repair involves the cost of purchasing suitable testing software, while setting up a car repair shop requires significant expenditure due to the equipment required.

Since we risk our money when running a business, it pays to do as much as possible to reduce this risk. First of all, it is good to know the market in which we want to operate. This means looking for data and sometimes arranging a few meetings and conversations. At the same time, we learn the ability to reach out to people who can be helpful and important for the business.

We can also do market research among friends or in the neighbourhood. If our business idea involves making new food that has not been available before, it is worth preparing it and offering it to the other shop owners to try. They may also agree to serve the customers. Various fairs and local events can be another possibility.