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Is Poland attractive as a jurisdiction for opening a cryptocurrency business?
The Polish government, following other European countries (such as Estonia and Latvia), ofﬁcially regulated entrepreneurial activity in the ﬁeld of virtual assets last November. Now, entrepreneurs who have built a business on activities related to virtual assets (like cryptocurrencies or NFTs) are required by law to authorize themselves in the register of the National Tax Service.
Poland in a really short period of time shows a loyal regulation of business activities with virtual assets, so it is a very attractive jurisdiction both from the side of regulation of virtual assets, and from the side of taxation of activities.
The mentioned above regulation was a consequence of the legalization of businesses built on virtual assets, what means that in the future, customers will be able to use all international mechanisms related with virtual assets, protect their rights etc. The immediate reason was the need for the Polish legal scope to comply with FATF international standards as well as anti-money laundering (AML) and counter ﬁnancing terrorism (CFT) policies.
Legislative framework for regulating activities with virtual assets for entrepreneurs in Poland
As the main reason for implementing the policy of regulating businesses with virtual assets was to bring Polish law in line with international standards, the main act was the Law on “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism”; also, the procedural framework is described in the Decree of the Minister of Finance regarding the body, that has power to “authorize” – the National Tax Service (what is responsible for the above-mentioned registry of companies).
The essence of Polish crypto authorization
Since, based on the name, we can determine that the Polish version of the authorization to conduct activities with virtual assets is not a license (in its usual sense), it is necessary to make a point on this.
Polish crypto-authorization is an entry in the state registry of companies, that doing a virtual-related business,, what is maintained by the Chamber of Tax Administration (e.g., in Katowice).
This record in the state register is permission for business entities to build a business on activities with virtual assets, so obtaining additional documents is not necessary.
The following data are included in the register for public viewing:
- Registration number (crypto-authorization) of the company;
- Date of authorization;
- KRS number (person number in the national court registry);
- NIP number (taxpayer identiﬁcation number (TIN);
- Type of activity for what the company is authorized.
The activities that may be allowed when obtaining crypto-authorization in Poland may include the following:
- exchange between virtual currencies and ﬁat money;
- exchange between virtual currencies;
- brokering in exchange;
- keeping accounts related with crypto assets.
The main stages of obtaining Polish cryptoauthentication
First, to begin with, the most common practice in conducting the entrepreneurial activity in the scope of virtual assets is the use of a legal entity.
In this case, it is rational to use a company in the legal form of a limited liability company – in Poland – Sp. z o. o., because it can be opened by any foreigner (regardless of citizenship), and the process is very standardized and simple.
If the company is already registered and all the basic requirements of the Polish anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist ﬁnancing legislation are satisﬁed (e.g. entry into the register of beneﬁciaries of the company), the next step is to submit the documents for authorization.
- Prepare corporate documents of the company, as well as the person authorized to represent the interests of the company;
- Incorporation documents (Articles of Association, Memorandum);
- Certiﬁcate of shareholders;
- Registered address for company;
- ID for Representative (passport)
- Other required documents.
- Pay all state fees for the authorization and amendment of the registry – currently at a cost of 616 PLN (130 EUR);
- Complete the procedure required by the Anti-Money Laundering Law.
After obtaining Polish authorization to conduct business with virtual assets, the main necessity is to open a bank account to be able to make payments and proﬁt from their services.
Since Polish crypto-authorization is an ofﬁcially adopted governmental decision (and Poland is within the European Economic Area), customers can open an account at payment institutions (such as Revolut, Bankera and others). They allow you to open an account quickly, reliably and, most importantly, without the physical presence of an authorized person. Everything can be done remotely.
But if you consider it necessary to open an account in a traditional bank, these options are also possible, but you should pay attention to the pricing policy and the possibility of the necessary physical presence to open an account.
Income from the sale of virtual currency for a fee is taxed at a rate of 19%.
Based on the current situation and the progressing popularity of virtual assets, legalizing your own business will help you run a successful business freely. And Poland as a jurisdiction is an excellent option, because crypto-authorization can be obtained faster and cheaper than in other countries.