Information and services website for entrepreneurs

Activities requiring licences, permits and entries in registers

Before starting a business, if you already know which company you want to open, check if you do not need a license, permit or entry in the register of regulated activity. An economic activity, the undertaking of which is dependent on meeting specific conditions by the entrepreneur, is called a rationalised activity. The conditions to be fulfilled by the entrepreneur are normally linked to the specific type of activity and its subject matter.

Sometimes, in order to run a business, it is required to have special rights, e.g. to practice an occupation or hire people with specific professional qualifications, to meet premises and technical conditions, to have appropriate equipment or a vehicle.

Provisions regarding rationed activity

The provisions speciy in detail:

  • the nature of the rationed activity
  • specific conditions for carrying out the activity in question
  • body/regulatory body
  • what information must be included in an application to start a rationed activity
  • procedure of the regulatory body
  • the scope and form of the checks at the stage of taking up and pursuit of the activity in question
  • grounds for refusal of permit, licence, entry in register by the competent authority, restrictions, grounds for revocation.

If you have chosen to conduct a regulated activity, you will need a special permit, which is usually paid for. Depending on the subject of activity, this may be:

  • concession
  • permit
  • entry in the register of regulated activities

Concession, permit and regulated activity entitle to perform business activity in the whole country and for an indefinite period of time. In special cases, they may apply for a limited period of time.  

Most often, it is necessary to address the minister competent in respect of the subject of activity. It is also possible to issue decisions by self-government administration bodies, if it results from specific regulations.

On the offices' websites you will find all the detailed information you need to meet the conditions to obtain a concession, permit or entry in the register, what you need to write in the application, what documents to provide, whether the decision is paid for and how much it costs. 

Licence

It is the strictest permit for economic activity, which concerns projects of particular importance for the security of the state or citizens or important public interest.

The requirement to obtain a licence may apply only to those types of business activity which cannot be carried out as a free activity (i.e. on the basis of an entry in the CEIDG or the National Court Register) or after obtaining a permit or an entry in the register of regulated activities.

Most often, it is necessary to address the minister competent in respect of the subject of activity. The licence takes the form of an administrative decision and its issuance is preceded by an administrative proceeding. The licensing authority may:

  • grant
  • refuse to grant a licence
  • limit its scope with respect to the application submitted
  • refuse to modify a licence

If the entrepreneur does not meet all the requirements or finds out that there is a threat to the defence or security of the state and citizens, then you will not receive the license (decision to refuse to grant the license) or the license will have a limited scope. You may also be denied its change. The authority may also refuse or limit the licence if, as a result of a hearing or a tender procedure, the licence was granted to another entrepreneur or a decision was issued declaring the exercise of rights attached to shares or the entrepreneur as inadmissible and it is in the public interest.

Any entrepreneur may apply for a licence. Also the one who already runs a business or holds a licence for another type of activity. If you have previously been denied a license, you have the right to apply again.

Before granting the licence, the administrative authority checks whether the entrepreneur meets the conditions for conducting business activity covered by the licence and whether it provides a guarantee of correct - in accordance with the law - use of the licence.

Remember, after receiving the license, the authorities can control whether you conduct your business in accordance with its content and conditions, as well as the security of the state, the security of defence or the personal rights of the citizens. If you do not keep to the terms of the license, the scope of the license may be changed or it may even be revoked.

In the event of a threat to the defence or security of the state, the licensing authority may temporarily suspend the granting of licences.

The following are examples of activities that require a licence:

  • exploration, prospecting for and extraction of minerals from deposits, underground storage of substances, underground storage of waste or carbon dioxide (granted by the minister in charge of the environment or in matters not reserved for this minister by the voivode or starost
  • production and trade of explosives, arms, ammunition, products for military and police purposes (granted by the minister in charge of internal affairs);
  • production, processing, storage, transport and sale of fuels and energy (granted by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office)
  • transmission of carbon dioxide for the purpose of its underground storage (to be granted by the minister competent for the environment)
  • protection of persons and property, i.e. the activity of the so-called security agencies (granted by the minister in charge of internal affairs)
  • air services (to be provided by the President of the Civil Aviation Authority)
  • distribution of radio and television programmes (granted by the Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council)
  • operation of casinos  (granted by the Minister of Finance).

Permit

A permit is a form of regulating business activity other than a licence. Permits are issued after checking whether the entrepreneur is able and has technical or organizational capabilities to perform a specific business activity. The entrepreneur must fulfil the conditions laid down by law for carrying out that activity. The law specifies whether an activity requires a permit and which authority or ministry issues the permit.

The permit takes the form of an administrative decision and is issued in the course of administrative proceedings.  It may contain special conditions that must be met.

Note! If you meet all the requirements for a particular activity, the authority is required to issue a permit.

The following are examples of practices that require a permit:

  • wholesale and retail sale of alcoholic beverages
  • gambling activities
  • collection of municipal waste from property owners, emptying of tailings ponds and transport of liquid waste
  • protection against homeless animals, running shelters for homeless animals
  • manufacture and marketing authorisation of medicinal products, operation of pharmacies open to the public, pharmaceutical wholesalers
  • operation of a tax warehouse
  •  sea-fishing
  • carrying out a number of financial activities, such as brokerage activities or securities accounts, running a pension fund or running a bank and credit institution
  • operation of a commodity exchange
  • the installation or repair of certain types of measuring instruments, including digital tachographs
  • the provision of collective water supply and/or waste water disposal services

Regulated activity

Regulated activity is the simplest form of regulation of business activity in Poland. It only requires the entrepreneur to meet, apart from submitting an application, the conditions set out in the regulations for its operation and to be entered in the register of regulated activities. These registers are kept by different offices, depending on the type of activity. They shall be open to public inspection by anyone through the authority which maintains them. The register discloses data concerning the company, NIP number and other data disclosed at the request of the authority, but only those that comply with the regulations on personal data protection.

Registration may be refused only if:

  • a final decision has been issued prohibiting the entrepreneur from conducting the business activity covered by the entry
  • the entrepreneur was removed from the register of this regulated activity as a result of the decision on banning the activity, within the period of 3 years preceding the submission of the application
  • in the cases provided for in specific provisions

Note: The entrepreneur must keep all documents proving that the conditions for carrying out the regulated activity are met.

Before submitting an application to the register of regulated activities, you must already be an entrepreneur registered e.g. with CEIDG. So if you are just going to start a business, first register it with CEIDG or KRS and submit an application to the register.  

Every application must be accompanied by a declaration that the conditions required by law for the pursuit of the activity in question are fulfilled.

If you are an entrepreneur subject to an entry in the CEIDG, you may also submit an application to the commune office, indicating the body keeping the register of regulated activity.

If you cease a regulated business, you should apply to the authority that has registered you for the purpose of removal from the register. However, if you intend to resign from running a business at all, it is enough to deregister it from CEIDG or the National Court Register (depending on the form of conducting business activity).

Examples of practices for which authorisation is required:

  • keeping personal and payroll records of employers with a temporary storage period, the register is kept by the Marshal of the Voivodeship
  • detective services, the register shall be kept by the minister in charge of internal affairs
  • individual medical practice, individual specialist medical practice, group medical practice, register kept by the district medical council
  • the individual practice of nurses, midwives, individual specialist practice of nurses, midwives or group practice of nurses is carried out by the Central Council of Nurses and Midwives
  • production and bottling of wine products, production or bottling of spirit drinks, the register shall be kept by the minister in charge of agricultural markets
  • operation of the driver training centre, psychological workshop for instructors, driver examiners, organisation of further training courses for drivers transporting dangerous goods; the register is kept by the starost competent for the place of business
  • running vehicle inspection stations, the register is kept by a starost competent for the place of business
  • organising tourist events, the register is kept by the Marshal of the Voivodship
  • exchange activity, the register is kept by the President of the National Bank of Poland
  • business activity consisting in the provision of employment agency services in Poland, employment agency services for Polish citizens abroad, personnel consulting, vocational counseling, temporary work, the register is kept by the Marshal of the voivodeship competent for the place of the employment agency's registered office

Important!

If you want to know how to obtain a permit, license, entry in the register, or change or revoke it, look at the issues:

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