The hostilities in Ukraine caused by Russia’s aggression make it impossible for entrepreneurs to do business in the country. Soon, Ukrainian citizens will be able to continue their activities in Poland, and will be assisted in arranging the necessary formalities by, among others, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
There are also law firms that have experience in bringing companies to Poland, because they dealt with it already in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
“First you need to analyse whether the person who wants to establish a company can physically do so. First of all, is it in Poland, and if it is not, is there anyone else who could establish such a company here? Secondly, you need a PESEL and ePUAP number, and then you need to open a bank account.
That is why it is necessary for a person to be directly in the country” explains Yaroslav Romanchuk, attorney-at-law, managing partner of the Eucon Legal Group in an interview.
On 9 of March, the Sejm (the lower house of the bicameral parliament of Poland) of the adopted the law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens. It assumes, inter alia, legalisation of the stay of Ukrainians in Poland for 18 months and the possibility of obtaining a PESEL number, which is necessary when setting up a company.
The same applies to children born in Poland by Ukrainian women fleeing the war. In turn, pupils and students will gain access to education in Poland, and families helping Ukrainians in providing shelter and food will receive a subsidy of 40 PLN per day per person for two months. Ukrainians themselves will receive 300 PLN per person.
“We had a meeting at the Ministry of Development and Technology, where they talked about the law on support for Ukrainian business and assistance in relocation. From what I understand, Poland hopes that EU funds will be allocated to financial aid for Ukrainian business” informs Yaroslav Romanchuk.
Program to support Ukrainian business
PAIH has also launched a program to support Ukrainian business. Foreigners will have the same right to set up companies or sole proprietorships as Polish citizens, because now, as a foreigner, I cannot set up a sole proprietorship in Poland.
The Polish Investment and Trade Agency has launched an aid program for both Polish companies that have lost their business in Ukraine and Ukrainian entrepreneurs who would like to temporarily continue their operations in Poland.
The support program includes, among others providing free coworking space in the centre of Warsaw, launching permanent service in Ukrainian, help in finding logistics and production space available immediately (PAIH runs a special base), as well as providing all the information necessary to quickly start a business. In addition, he provides free advice on finding a suitable property for business (plots, halls, offices) and advice on obtaining possible public aid (grants, tax exemptions).
The Stock Exchange in Warsaw also announced support for Ukrainian businesses by providing them with its office space, including it in its cybersecurity system and offering up to 50,000 PLN for relocation. Ukrainian companies can also count on the support of law firms operating in Poland.
“We have experience from the relocation of the business in 2014, when there was a revolution and the eastern markets were also closed, and the Polish market opened. At that time, we imported 150 Ukrainian companies that established their companies in Poland. For us it is a helpful experience for today, we can tell you how it works, how to do it quickly and how not to make mistakes” says the lawyer.
The basic problems that affected all companies operating in Ukraine can be divided into three areas. The first concerns transfers. Currently, it is not possible to transfer any currencies outside of Ukraine, so as not to deprive the country of its currency reserves. Payments are made only for critical imports, which applies to goods from the list approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
Shipment in the other direction to Ukraine is possible. The same goes for deliveries. If the company produced in Ukraine, for reasons of cost or accessibility, semi-finished or even finished products, their delivery is currently impossible. Finally, contact with employees who have been drafted into the army is problematic.
“Some of these workers, if we are talking about men, were taken to the army before they received their salary. Other people left somewhere because they were resigning and it is not known where they are, this is also a problem” explains Yaroslav Romanchuk.
Biz in Poland is also helping
I (Søren Christensen) and Biz in Poland is also helping and can also support Ukrainians with free business consulting, just contact me at info@bizinpoland for further details.