How to check a contractor in Poland
You have received an interesting offer of cooperation, but would like to make sure that your potential business partner is a registered and active entrepreneur? Looking for information about contractors, you will probably find many offers of commercial companies (business intelligence companies, detective agencies) offering services of obtaining data on the activity of business entities. It is up to you to decide whether you want to use these services or not, but remember that you can obtain a lot of commercially available information free of charge from public sources.
If you have basic data of the company you are interested in (name, NIP, REGON, KRS number), you can easily and quickly check it on the Internet using the generally available registers. Remember that the registers in which the entity you are interested in is located will depend on the type of activity:
- companies of natural persons (sole proprietorship and partners in civil law partnerships) can be found in the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity
- commercial law companies (including limited liability companies and registered partnerships) can be found in the National Court Register
- civil law partnerships (if you do not find current data in CEIDG) can be found in the REGON register.
Searching for a company in CEIDG
If you want to search for an entity in CEIDG, use the search engine.
You do not need to enter all the data of the company you are looking for - you can find an entrepreneur by entering his name, address, or NIP or REGON number. Remember that before clicking "Search" the CEIDG search engine will ask you to enter the 7-digit code (you will need to enter the code shown in the picture).
For example, if you only enter a street name and a city, the search results will show all the entrepreneurs registered on that street in that city. The quickest way to find an entrepreneur is to enter his unique data, such as NIP or REGON.
If you have entered the data correctly, the CEIDG search engine will display a list where the company you are looking for will appear. Clicking on the company you are interested in or the magnifying glass "display details" will open a page where you will find the company's detailed data. You can print this information by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page (Print/Download PDF).
What data on entrepreneur can I find in CEIDG?
In the entry of an entrepreneur in CEIDG you will find such information as, among others
- date of starting activity
- email (if not reserved)
- status (active, suspended)
- types of business activities
- details of attorneys-in-fact
- civil law partnerships whose partner is a given entrepreneur.
You may find that the entrepreneur you are looking for has been removed from the register. In this case, select the box "Include the crossed out ones". The CEIDG search engine does not provide an opportunity to search the data of entrepreneurs who ceased their activity before 1 July 2011 (the data is held by appropriate authorities of towns and communes according to the place of residence of the entrepreneur).
Important! PESEL number in CEIDG
If your company was established before January 1, 2012 and has been transferred to CEIDG from the municipal register - make sure that the entry includes the PESEL number. If it is not there and you do not complete it by May 19, 2018 - the entry will be removed ex officio.
How do I check if I have a PESEL in my entry?
1. Find your entry in the database of entrepreneurs and see in the history of your entry whether you submitted any applications after 1 January 2012. If so, you have already completed the PESEL and you do not need to do anything.
2. If you did not submit applications after 1 January 2012, find your entry in the database of entrepreneurs and see if the information "the entry has not been verified, the reason: no PESEL number" is under the business status. If it is, go to any municipal office to complete the data.
3. You can't find an entry or haven't applied for it by CEIDG? Go to any municipal office where the official will find your entry and check if there is a PESEL on it. If it does not exist, he/she will immediately receive a application for a change from you, on which you will fill in the missing data.
4. Remember, you can always check your details yourself by creating an account with CEIDG.
A Trusted Profile or qualified electronic signature is required to open an account.
First of all, it should be stressed that an entry to CEIDG and an account in the system are two separate concepts.
If you have registered activity with CEIDG online using a trusted profile or qualified electronic signature, you must have a PESEL number in this entry.
However, if the entrepreneur who made the entry in the commune office creates an account in the CEIDG system, then:
1. If he/she has a PESEL number in its entry, the CEIDG system will automatically link it to the entry. After logging in, the entrepreneur sees all the data (also classified).
2. If, after logging in to the available options for the entrepreneur, there is only a possibility to set up a "new" activity, it means that the account has not been linked to the entry and you should go to the commune office in order to add or correct the PESEL number and possibly other identification data. Thus, to put it bluntly, the fact that the online account associated with the entry has worked correctly proves that the entrepreneur does not need to update his PESEL number.
Entrepreneur can always check and update the data from his own entry in CEIDG in every town or commune where he has to go with a valid identity card.
What if you do not manage to complete the PESEL number by 19 May 2018 and the entry will be removed ex officio?
You will be able to ask the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology to restore the entry and put the missing data on it. The letter will have to be sent to the Small and Medium Enterprises Department of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology at sekretariatDMP@mpit.gov.pl or by post to the following address: Plac Trzech Krzyży 3/5, 00-507 Warsaw.
How to check a civil law partnership with CEIDG?
If you are looking for data of a civil law partnership, you can find partners of the partnership by filling in the "NIP of a civil partnership" section in the search engine CEIDG, provided that the partners have current entries for the data of the partnership. If filling in this field does not produce results, it means that their entries lack information. In such a situation, it is possible to find information concerning this partnership only by the REGON register (information on this subject is provided below)
Searching for a company in the National Court Register
If the company you want to find operates in the form of a commercial company, you should look for information about it in the search engine of the National Court Register.
You can search for entities by their NIP, REGON, KRS, name, city. Remember to tick the "Entrepreneurs" window before entering the data in the fields, so that the search will take place in the appropriate register. Before clicking "search", also enter the unique code at the bottom of the page.
Enter such data in the fields which will reduce the number of searched entities to a minimum (such as NIP, KRS or REGON). If there are more than 100 results, they will not be displayed. For example, if you would like to search for an entity operating in Pułtusk and you do not know its name or other data (NIP, REGON), after entering the name of the place "Pułtusk" in the appropriate field no results will be displayed in the search engine because in this city more than 100 entrepreneurs are registered in the National Court Register. You should give more details (e.g. company name).
What data about an entrepreneur can I find in the KRS search engine?
If you have entered the data correctly, the entity you are interested in will appear in the list. After clicking "display" in the "Details" column you will see a page where you can find basic information about the company you are interested in (address, form of activity, identification numbers, date of entry/removal). You will also learn about the history of the entry. If you need more detailed information, you should click on the "Download print-out" button on this page (bottom of page). In the pdf file, which you can save on your computer, you will find detailed information from the National Court Register, such as, among others, authorities representing the company and their composition, shareholders' data, company capital, objects of activity, information on possible bankruptcy proceedings, receivables, changes in the National Court Register, or suspension. What is important, you can get a detailed printout from the KRS register only in the case of companies which are currently in the register (you cannot download the report on the removed company).
If you want to verify your contractor on the basis of an entry in the National Court Register, it is worth paying attention to the following:
- the manner of representation - of both the commercial proxy and his rights as well as of partners in partnerships / members of the management board in companies (in order to know who can effectively sign the contract)
- for companies, the amount of the share capital (in order to know the maximum amount of liability for liabilities)
- information about the opening of the liquidation (this indicates the submission of an application for the liquidation of the entity, and consequently the deletion of the entity from the Register and the termination of its activity)
- information on the dates of submission of financial statements (as a rule, once a calendar year a company is obliged to submit such statements - failure to fulfil this obligation may or may not indicate unfair intentions of the company - it may be a missing taxpayer).
Particularly important for the verification of the contractor are the data contained in Section 4 and subsequent sections. It contains information on the possible appointment of a trustee for the company, the opening of liquidation proceedings, information on transformations, divisions, mergers, as well as on the commencement of bankruptcy, restructuring arrangement or reorganisation proceedings.
Information on entrepreneurs can also be found in the search engine of the national register of entities of national economy (REGON), kept by the Central Statistical Office (GUS). You can find the entity you are interested in by its NIP, REGON, KRS and address. In REGON you can find, among other things, data on civil law partnerships that you could not find in CEIDG.
VAT and NIP search
The tax portal of the Ministry of Finance allows for:
- checking whether the contractor is an active VAT payer (the list only shows the current status and the current status of the VAT payer)
- verifying that the tax identification number (NIP) is correct, invalidated, revoked or does not exist.
The Ministry of Finance also launched a list of entities that were not registered, removed from or reinstated in the register as VAT payers. That list shall contain complete information on the entity, such as removal from and reinstatement in the register.
If you want to confirm/check your EU VAT number, please use the search engine on the European Commission's website.
Other useful registers
It may also be helpful to check the financial statements of the company in the Court and Economic Monitor.
Valuable information may also be provided by the Register of Insolvent Debtors kept by the National Court Register. In order to find an entity in the register of insolvent debtors, it is necessary to know the RDN number (the number at which the debtor was entered in the register). If an entrepreneur has company data (NIP, PESEL, company name, surname), he can apply to the Central Information branch for a certificate on whether a given entity is listed in the register of insolvent debtors (in the issued certificate the court indicates all RDN numbers related to a given debtor).
Business information offices (BIG)
If you need more detailed information about the contractor, such as his financial condition, you can use the services of Business Information Offices.
Offices in Poland
The National Debt Register - Office of Economic Information SA provides services to all economic entities, ranging from sole traders, small and medium-sized enterprises to large corporations. KRD BIG SA has created an economic information exchange system which consolidates all branches of the economy. From the services of the National Debt Register can also use natural persons, municipalities and secondary creditors.
Information Economic Office InfoMonitor (BIG InfoMonitor) keeps a Register of Debtors. It also gives access to database of Credit Information Bureau and Polish Bank Association. It is a platform for the exchange of information between the banking sector and other sectors of economy, collects and provides reliable economic information and makes available the unique data from the banking sector on meeting the financial liabilities. It also supports the processes of debt recovery and certifies the financial reliability of customers and counterparties.
Debtors Register ERIF Economic Information Office S.A. supports Polish entrepreneurs in terms of prevention and management of receivables.
KBIG — National Economic Information Office is part of a multinational Group Deltavista. It cooperates with the offices from Western Europe. Information about unreliable payers disclosed in KBIG will be available also in foreign markets. Services provided by KBIG allow for ongoing business risk assessment of each market transaction.
National Information on Telecommunications Debts was created with a view to support the telecom market and security of financial transactions.
Other institutions useful for checking the counterparty
Although it is not, as mentioned above, the economic information office, Credit Information Bureau SA plays an important role to strengthen safety and security of financial turnover. It was created by the banks on the initiative of the Polish Bank Association. The main task is to collect and report data relating to credit history of customers of banks and SKOK.