What are the advantages of a crypto company in Poland?
- Poland is a member of the broad world economy. This gives you direct access to a large number of potential customers.
Cryptocurrency business opening in Poland is faster than other EU countries.
- It is easier to get a Polish cryptocurrency license, avoiding more complicated licensing procedures in other EU member states.
- Poland has dual tax treaties with different countries. For foreign investors, opening a branch in Poland offers significant returns.
Poland has a very low corporate tax rate.
- For your financial transactions, you can use the banking services provided by any bank or EMI registered in the EEA to open a bank account with your Polish crypto company.
- The minimum capital requirement is only PLN 5,000 (approximately EUR 1,100).
Currently, cryptocurrency companies are not part of the regulated financial markets, so they are not subject to regular financial monitoring or auditing.
What is the scope of activity for a crypto business in Poland?
A registered crypto trader can provide the following activities in the field of virtual currencies:
- Exchange of fiat and virtual currencies
- Swapping virtual currencies
- Acting as a broker or agent in these activities
- Providing digital accounts such as eWallet to customers. (Note: It is not permitted to store fiat currencies in a digital wallet.)
Crypto regulations in Poland
The Polish Financial Supervisory Authority (KNF) says that “In the Polish system, there are no regulations prohibiting the conduct of an activity as an exchange or an exchange office for cryptocurrencies, which means that conducting activities in the form of an exchange in cryptocurrencies, as well as trading in cryptocurrencies, is not prohibited and is therefore legal.”
Regulations introduced in 2021 state that trading activities in digital currencies include exchanging between virtual and fiat or between other virtual currencies, creating markets for those exchanges, and creating digital accounts where customers store virtual currencies.
In Polish law, ‘virtual currency’ is defined as a token that can be stored or transmitted electronically, traded for legal tender, accepted as a medium of exchange or settled in electronic commerce. Nor may it represent legal tenders issued by the National Bank of Poland or foreign central banks or other recognized public bodies such as the euro, which are accepted by countries that are members of the European Union. The definition of virtual currency also distinguishes it from electronic money, financial instruments, checks, and bank notes.
How to set up a Polish cryptocurrency business
In the following sections, we will identify what are the basic steps needed so that you can establish your operations in this market.
Corporate requirements in Poland
The primary requirement is that the Crypto Banking claim must be held by a company registered in Poland itself, not one with its registered office in a fellow member of the EU. However, ultimate ownership of the company is not restricted to Polish citizens, or even to citizens of other European Union or European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
There are two options:
- Acquire a company that is currently registered in Poland and that meets the requirements of registration as a cryptocurrency exchange.
Set up a new company that abide by the steps to follow for Polish crypto company formation
- Create a new legal entity in Poland following these steps:
Prepare Articles of Association and Memorandum of Agreement
- Prepare the prescribed AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering Law) and KYC forms
- Open a corporate bank account with a recognized financial institution, EMI or bank within the EEA
- Submit proof of identity of the company representative (e.g., a certified copy of the director’s passport – translated under the apostille into Polish if the representative is not a Polish citizen.)
- Submit proof of address of the company (e.g. accounts showing a local business office with zip code)
Submit information about company directors, Ultimate Beneficial Owners, and shareholders
Apply for Polish Tax Service approval
- Obtain a Polish tax number (PESEL)
Our trained team here at GBO International Financial Services can provide you with all the necessary guidance and will assist in performing all of these steps. Talk to us before you start so that you do not miss out on any required steps.
Since Poland is within the European Economic Area, the bank account for a crypto company in Poland can be opened at any registered EEA payment institution. This does not require a physical visit and can be done remotely.
Licensing a Polish company authorized as a cryptocurrency exchange
In Poland, there is no formal licensing authority. You are only required to register the company with the Register of Organizations as being authorised to trade in cryptocurrency. This requires payment of the required government fees and production of your company’s Anti-money Laundering procedures in Polish.
Can a Polish cryptocurrency exchange support fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat trading?
There are no restrictions in Poland on the type of trading as long as the company adheres to the AML and KYC regulations. The conduct of individual transactions is supervised.
However, fiat currency cannot be stored on behalf of customers. This is considered as investment activity and requires a separate licence.
Can a Polish crypto company trade in ordinary currencies?
Under current regulations, to store ordinary (fiat) balances on behalf of a customer can only be done by a company with a Polish payments licence.A Polish crypto company can only engage in fiat/crypto and crypto/fiat exchanges. Purely fiat transactions cannot be handled through the company’s bank account, since this is a service that requires a separate licence.
Is activity in cryptocurrencies legal in the European Union?
According to the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union on October 22, 2015 (C-264/14), it is generally legal in the EU to conduct trading in the field of virtual currencies. Each country can set its own rules and regulations but they must adhere to the minimum level of control that was stipulated in that ruling.
What is the corporate profit tax rate in Poland?
Any company is classified as a small taxpayer in the first year of trading and subsequently when its sales in a single tax year did not exceed the złoty equivalent of two million euro. For small taxpayer companies, the Corporate Income tax (CIT) rate in Poland is nine percent. For all other companies, the rate is nineteen percent.