This content is from: Local Insights

Poland

New Act on economic activities

New legislation on economic activities is going to be introduced during the next session of the Polish parliament. It will make Polish law compatible with the requirements of the European Union. The new initiative is also important since the statute being replaced has been revised thirty three times and does not provide for a consistent treatment of businesses through the entire legal framework.

The new legislation is going to deal with, among other things, the economic activities of foreign entities granting them easier access to the Polish market. It will also address the issue of membership of companies of chambers of commerce and it is supposed to ensure more freedom of association.

A significant development with the new legislation will be the differentiation between the legal construction of representative offices and the divisions of foreign companies (branches). The creation of a representative office, or of a branch of a foreign company, will no longer depend on a permit from the public administration. Instead, there will be a requirement to register the fact of carrying on economic activities within Poland.

The legislation will end the requirement to obtain a concession for certain economic activities. Among the activities which will no longer require a concession in Poland will be, for example, the production and sale of precious metal and precious stone products, passport services, all matters of recording, tourist services and sea transport. Some concessions will be replaced by permits (for example, the manufacture of tobacco products, the production of alcohol and drugs, and the operation of radio and television stations). The issue of permits will be governed by criteria ensuring more free competition then was customary under the previous concessions system.

The new legislation will ensure that foreign natural and legal persons will be able to establish companies in Poland or undertake economic activities within Poland through their branches. The new act aims to fulfil Polish undertakings agreed in the Association Agreement with the European Union. Under the new legislative initiative, a branch (division) of a foreign company will be allowed to simply register itself with the Register of Companies and to carry on the same scope of activities as its parent company. Foreigners will be permitted to perform economic activities within Poland directly after registering themselves with the Economic Activity Registry.

Companies with foreign ownership, established in Poland under the Companies with Foreign Shareholdings Act, will be transformed by the new legislation into companies regulated in accordance with the new Act.

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