Find out all that you need to know about the Polish e-commerce market in 2021

With over 38 million inhabitants, Poland is one of the fastest developing e-commerce markets. Around 83% of the population has access to the Internet. Each year, the number of people doing their shopping online increases.

Interestingly, Poles prefer to shop in online stores operating in Poland. Only 12% of Polish Internet users shop on foreign websites. The conclusion is obvious: if you want to reach local customers, you need a locally-based store.

Key information about Polish online shoppers

According to the Omni-commerce report from June 2020 (unfortunately, it is only available in Polish):

72% of Polish Internet users who shop online make up more than 27 million potential customers. This number includes people from different age groups, among them seniors. However, the largest group is people aged 35 to 49, mostly residents of large cities (with over 200,000 inhabitants). Mobile devices are more likely to be used by women and the youngest Internet users are in the 15-24 age group.

Online shopping habits of Poles

Poles go online to buy clothes, shoes, books, CDs, cosmetics, electronic devices, and tickets for events. Compared to previous years, in 2020 there was a significant increase in expenditure on groceries, interior design, and decoration products. Unsurprisingly, experts associate this trend with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The important thing is the pandemic convinced Poles that shopping online is safe. Poles do their shopping mostly on online marketplaces, with Allegro.pl being the competition's unmatched leader.

Poles shop online because they like saving time and money

Saving time and money is the most important reason why Poles shop online. To conquer the Polish market, you need to be fast. More than 80% of buyers want the delivery to be carried out within 24 hours of placing the order. You can also offer a free return policy, competitive shipping prices, generally lower costs, and various discounts to encourage shopping.

The secret ingredient: parcel machines

The quality of logistics services in Poland is very high. You may outsource pretty much all of the steps of the logistics chain, from storage to order processing. The most popular package delivery methods include courier services and parcel machines. Postal services take third place on the podium. Parcel machines (paczkomaty) are automated parcel collection points. In Poland, there are more than 7,000 of these machines spread throughout the country. Customers can collect their deliveries on their own 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Build credibility from the very beginning of your market presence

Research shows that Poles consider online transactions to be safe. The main source of their doubts are the sellers themselves, which is why you need to establish your credibility from the very onset of your marker presence. A great website that takes into account the Polish cultural context will lay the foundation for your success. You'll find more on this topic in 5 ways to make your translated website more successful.

Source: Omni-Commerce Report, June 2020

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This article aims at foreigners who want to start a business in Poland and who are looking for step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

If you already run a business abroad, you can set up a branch or a representative office in Poland (see biznes.gov.pl for details on how to do this).

Step 0: Choosing the legal form for your new business

To run a business under the same principles applicable to Polish entrepreneurs, you need to be a citizen of a Member State of the European Union (or of the European Economic Area) or hold a special permit (e.g. permanent or temporary residence permit, refugee status, or a valid Polish Card).

When you decide to establish a business in Poland, you may choose from a range of legal forms. Each of them offers different possibilities and imposes various obligations. The two main forms of business activity in Poland are as follows:

Some activities are subject to additional requirements. For example, if you want to act in Poland as an insurance agent or a broker, you must notify the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego, KNF). Residents of non-EU countries need an additional permit to establish a company in Poland. If you want to sell excise goods in Poland, you will also need a tax representative's authorization. To see if your business is subject to additional requirements, go to the PKD code browser (link).

The multitude of legal forms and the number of permits an entrepreneur needs to obtain from various authorities makes the whole process difficult to navigate. Consider using the services of a professional legal or accounting consultant who will help you avoid potential mistakes and choose the most suitable form of business and taxation.

Step 1: Register your business

Registering your business is easy as long as you know which documents you need. You register as a sole proprietorship in the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity (CEIDG). Commercial companies need to be registered in the National Court Register.

If you have a Trusted Profile or a qualified electronic signature, you can submit your applications to KRS and CEIDG via the Internet. While the CEIDG platform offers an English version, registering in KRS requires knowledge of the Polish language.

Step 2: REGON

To conduct your business and benefit from it legally, you need a business identification number (REGON). It is also a good idea to get a company stamp to validate any future business documents. The REGON number is assigned automatically when the company is registered in CEIDG or KRS

Step 3: NIP and taxes

Let us not forget taxes! You need to apply for a personal tax identification number (NIP) at the local tax authority competent for your business's registered office. When you register in CEIDG, the NIP number will be assigned to you automatically. Sole proprietors pay the Personal Income Tax (PIT), and companies pay the Corporate Income Tax (CIT). You will also need to choose the method of taxation.

If you have any doubts about paying taxes in Poland, you cancontactthe National Tax Information at the following telephone numbers:

Step 4: ZUS

Every entrepreneur needs to register with the Social Insurance Institution (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, ZUS) and pay obligatory health and social insurance premiums. In addition, you can choose to pay voluntary sickness insurance contributions.

Costs of starting a business in Poland

The entry in the Central Registration and Information on Business (CEIDG) is free of charge! The registration fee for entering the company into the National Court Register (KRS) is PLN 250. There is also a PLN 100 fee for a mandatory announcement in the Court and Economic Monitor (Monitor Sądowy i Gospodarczy). When registering a company, you also have to pay the tax on civil law transactions (PCC). The tax base (0.5%) is the value of your share capital reduced by the fees paid to the KRS and the Court and Economic Monitor.

For more information on setting up and conducting business, please visit the official information and services website for entrepreneurs in Poland: https://www.biznes.gov.pl/en

If you need a translator and someone who will assist you in entering the market in Poland, explore the LANGBAY offer

Translating English documents into Polish is not the only service I offer – I provide comprehensive support services for entrepreneurs operating on the Polish market. Whether you need a document translated or a phone call made to the authorities on your behalf, I am the right person to do it. I am experienced enough to know the rules and tricks of the trade. Starting a business in Poland as a foreigner is a rather daunting experience. Fortunately, I know how to make it easier for you.

Read more about my services here >>

A well-designed multilingual website will help you reach your international markets successfully.


Language verification carried out by a native speaker will ensure that your website contains no mistakes that are caused by a lack of cultural knowledge.

Maximize the potential of your website

Your website is a business card that enables customers to get to know you and assess whether they can trust you. By sharing information about your products and services on it, you build relationships with your customers. The ultimate success of your offer depends on the quality of your communication.

Your website is also an online marketing tool that will help you collect user information and gain new customers. No matter what purpose you want to achieve through your website, translation errors significantly impact your success rate. Here are five things that you might want to consider in order to increase your effectiveness.

1. Accurate translation vs. dedicated website

Brands with multilingual websites that provide content designed for a specific market are usually more likely to be effective than companies that translate the same content into different languages. The choice depends on the characteristics of the end-users in a given country. If you want to demonstrate to your customers that you understand the country in which you offer your services or products, working with a native speaker will help you build a better understanding with new and existing customers. Every polyglot knows how difficult an art translation is. Even though the tools supporting a translator's work are continually improving, only a human being who understands the culture of the target language can immediately spot words or phrases that are inappropriate in a given cultural setting.

2. Translation of system messages

If you have an extensive website with a store or a number of automated messages sent to your customers, you may want to have them translated as well. The translator will ensure that they are correct and consistent with the rest of the website.

3. Linguistic correctness (crucial for the Polish market!)

As aforementioned, your website is your business card. You have only one chance to make an excellent first impression, especially in Poland. Many Poles find it challenging to gain fluency in a foreign language because the Polish education system focuses on error detection. Many educated Poles feel uncomfortable speaking in a foreign language due to the fear of making mistakes. At the same time, they are incredibly critical of any stylistic errors on websites.

4.Essential proofreading

One of the most common mistakes, which is usually caused by the desire to save time rather than money, is skipping the proofreading step. Proofreading costs are not high, and the process ensures that your website is not riddled with errors. Typos are not only irritating to the reader; they can also distort the meaning of a message entirely. Communication to the customer has to be crystal clear. If the customer gets confused or deterred by errors, they will leave your website.

5. Translation of marketing content

When looking to translate your website, choose a person with extensive experience in marketing and sales translation. It will guarantee the accuracy and persuasive effectiveness of your content. An experienced and qualified translator can improve the text to achieve the best results.

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