Can you open a limited liability company (sp. z o.o.) in Poland without a residence permit?

Limited liability company (spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością or sp. z o.o. in short) is the most popular kind kind of company in Poland. It is also a company available to most foreigners. Are there any requirements you have to meet to register and run this type of company?

Types of companies in Poland

There are many types of companies in Poland. Depending on what country you are from and what is your residence status, you may be allowed to start different types of companies. You can find more about different types of companies in an article below:

Limited liability company (sp. z o.o.) – available to all?

All foreigners can register a limited liability company (sp. z o.o.). You don’t need any specific kind of residence permit for that. You can stay in Poland based on any kind of residence permit, visa or visa-free regime and still be able to register a company.
You can also be in the middle of an ongoing residence permit proceeding with an expired visa and you can still register a limited liability company.

As a matter of fact, based on current law, even foreigners who are in Poland illegally (with no residence permit, visa or visa-free regime stay), can start a limited liability company with no issue.

This rule is included in article 4 section 3 of ustawa z dnia 6 marca 2018 r. o zasadach uczestnictwa przedsiębiorców zagranicznych i innych osób zagranicznych w obrocie gospodarczym na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej [Act of March 6, 2018 on the rules for the participation of foreign entrepreneurs and other foreign persons in economic transactions in the territory of the Republic of Poland].

In conclusion: the way your stay in Poland is legalized has no effect on your ability to register a limited liability company.

Does it include only starting a new company or joining an existing company as well?

All foreigners can either start a new company or join an existing limited liability company. They can become both shareholders by buying shared and they can be appointed as management board members.

You still have to be present in Poland to register a company

Even though it doesn’t matter whether you stay here based on a visa, residence permit or none of them, you still have to be physically present in Poland to be able to register a company.

If you are starting a company together with other people, please mind that all of them (company shareholders) have to be present in Poland on the day the company is being registered.

Of course, they are free to leave as soon as the company is registered – the company won’t disappear if they don’t reside in Poland. There are no obstacles to managing the company from abroad.

Registering a company may be a difficult task and if not done right, may cause you a lot of troubles during the process, as well as in the future. Therefore, it is always highly advised to have a lawyer take care of the process and all related paperwork.

Do you need legal assistance in registering a company?

Feel free to contact us and take advantage of our services.

Our articles regarding starting a company in Poland:

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