Let’s face it: becoming an entrepreneur can be a milestone in the career path. However, few know how to start a company.
According to the research conducted by the Polish General Statistical Office, about 70% of businesses fail within the first five years of their operation. On the core issue of the large percentage of insolvencies, the lack of appropriate preparation and long-term plan can be blamed.
The game’s basic rules of starting a company were once fixed in place for years, even decades. However, with the digital age arriving, we can observe some significant changes to which we need to adapt. Below are enlisted seven steps on how to start a business in Poland:
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
After establishing your idea, you should put it into the context of today’s rapidly changing markets. The pursuit of validation should include profound research on the problem which your idea would solve – this can help you with the 5 Whys method. The method goes as follows: you write down the problem and then ask the question, “Why?” 5 times. This will allow you to reach the root of the problem and see whether your business idea is truly innovative. Then you should focus on market analysis and answer questions such as:
- How does the market look like?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What is my competition? (Porter’s 5 forces analysis can help here)
- What are the dominant business models on the market?
2. WHAT TYPE?
To fully establish your idea, after conducting market analysis, you should focus on how your business can fit into the market environment. In this part, filling out the Business Model Canvas for your idea can help you a lot. Then, you can start with four “What type” questions, namely:
- What kind of business structure fits my concept?
- What kind of taxation will be best?
- What type of bank account do I want?
- What kind of sales channels will be best to reach customers?
Starting a business in Poland requires an initial investment and working capital, which would cover ongoing expenses. If you don’t have enough funding, you shouldn’t give up on starting a business process. There is a lot of ways to get money!
The best way to get funding for your business is to research business grants and loans at the National Contact Point for Financial Instruments of EU or contact the local Marshal’s Office (Urząd Marszałkowski). However, there are also alternative ways to acquire capital, such as crowdfunding or business angels.
4. PICK LOCATION
You need to make sure that your location is appropriate for the type of business you will be conducting. Depending on your industry, you should take into careful consideration setting up your place in one of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ). As an advantage of the zone, you will have access to innovative technologies and several support programs. Additionally, you will need to consider whether it makes more sense to run a business entirely online, buy, or rent commercial space. Nowadays, online places are becoming increasingly meaningful in the digital economy, proving that setting up an online business is indeed an idea worthy of consideration, as something that potentially saves you from the trouble of paying rent.
5. REGISTER YOUR COMPANY
To register your company in Poland, you need to fill out the CEIDG-1 form. To send and sign the CEIDG-1 application via the internet, you need to have a Trusted Profile or a qualified signature, an account on the CEIDG website, and an email address. Except for obvious information such as your data, company name, and lessons related to your business, you will also need to fill out PKD codes associated with the type of company, the number of employees hired, and social and health insurance data.
After registration of your company, you will need to report your company to The Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) and register the VAT tax (if it applies to your type of taxation). However, you can also do these steps in the CEIDG-1 form. Besides, your conducted business activity needs to be settled based on the Tax Revenue and Expense Book or the Revenue Register. To succeed in this area, you need to find the right accounting office or choose a platform to do it by yourself online.
7. START THE WORK
Throughout the whole, how to start a business in Poland, you probably dreamt about this moment, but you shouldn’t think it is the rest time. In a nutshell, you will need to put all of your theories and ideas into practice in this phase. If you are not a sole entrepreneur, gather your team and start to win the market. Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight and learn from every one of your mistakes.