Best country to start a business

The most ridiculous thing I have read in the mass media lately is the a list of the best countries to start a business or to do business.  The is absurd. They list countries like Norway and Canada and Denmark and Switzerland as top.
This is crazy. They talk about stable law and tax codes etc. This is pure madness. Let me explain. The people writing the articles are journalists at best. I only have a masters in Economics but I am an entrepreneur. I am running my own business. The last place I would go is a high cost, high tax area, regardless of how stable the tax laws are.

Place to start a business

The best place to start a business – Poland

The highest cost of connected starting or setting up any business is labor. In Poland you have people with PhDs and Masters that will work hard, with creative minds for 3 Euros an hour. Will anybody do that in Canada or Denmark or soft France? Poland’s tax rate is 19% on business, with tax breaks for new and foreign businesses, while the USA, Britain, France, Germany its 40%. Other countries are upset with Poland as they have not “harmonized” their tax rates with the west. Absurd. Low taxes are good, high taxes bad.
What about Scandinavia, even higher taxes and  higher labor costs. Maybe five times the rate of Poland, and these western countries have a worker shortage, while Poland and Eastern Europe has a worker surplus and a capital shortage. Read Adam Smith when there is free movement of labor and capital and a condition like this exists. Then you will figure out where the best country to start a business is.
What about infrastructure, Internet etc. Everything is new in Poland. Everyone is plugged into the internet, Poland is being pumped with EU money to rebuild its infrastructure.
What about accounting and laws. Very easy. Its called an accountant. Hire an accountant. Laws are EU laws. Accountants are pennies in Poland.  Same laws, better labor for 1/5 the price. Very cheap. To start a company it could take one day and a few hundred dollars. Language-English is the second language in Poland, no language problem.

If anyone, wants to argue with me I am here. Can you honestly say that entrepreneurs are running to high priced Denmark to start a company? Why is Google and other major firms opening in Poland and not Norway? Price. Cost of labor. What is the best country to start a business? Poland. When you see these articles about the best place to start a company, do not believe them unless they tell you the best place to start a company is in Eastern Europe.

235 Replies to “Best country to start a business”

  1. I am Egyptian, and live in Egypt with my wife, our child has 7 months, I lived and worked in Poland for a period of 3 years, from 2003 to 2006,I am interested to start a business in Poland (Hairdresser),where my wife mastered this work, please show me, how do I establish a company? How do I register and stay with my family there? Can anyone trustworthy company and can be relied upon to help formulate the company and the requirement to obtain a visa? How long does it take to record? What will be the cost and fees and laws? And what is the cost of rent a small apartment in almost a month, as well as accommodation expenses
    Please reply me to my email,
    Thanks,

    1. To live in Poland you need about 2000 dollars a month for a family. Really 1000 Dollars is OK. Rent is about 400 dollars, utilities about 100 dollars and food like 300 dollars. But this all depends on how you live. Transportation is public and life is really nice in Poland. The key is you have to have a visa or nothing is go. You need an EU visa.

      Poland is the EU you can work as a hairdresser and market yourself and make 1000s a month or just cut hair and make little. It is like anywhere else in the world.

      1. Hi Mark, thanks so much for your reply,I am waiting for your response to the possibility of my going to Poland with my wife and our son, And the possibility to open a business in Poland? And a license in my name? And so I can get a permanent residence for us, is the Polish laws allow it? And what are the procedures and conditions? How can i start that ? Thanks (;

        1. Hi Yasser, I think you have bleak chances of getting into Poland with an idea of opening up a Barber Shop. There are plenty of them and some of them are closing down as per my information! Seeking a PR on the basis of opening a Barber Shop won’t land you anywhere.

  2. Hello Mark,

    I saw your comments and I am really impressed with all your knowledge regarding the Polish market.
    I am thinking about starting a business in Krakow and would like to know if you can help me in get some guidance.
    Would it be OK for you? If so could you give me your email address?

    Best Regards,
    Ana

  3. Hi Mark and everyone,

    Could you or someone clear my question, how about the copyright situation in Poland?

    I am talking in the context of computer.

    For example, software (Word, Excel), do you need to buy it legally or just copy from a friend? In China, get free windows office is common thing.
    Ink for printer, do you need to buy from legal places or just get it roughly from few Euros?

    Please help to clear.

    Thank you

    1. Although there is a large market called Gilda on Saturday morning in every major city in Poland that sells the latest and greatest software for little money, like 10 Polish Złoty, I recommend free software alternatives. I am not joking or saying this to be self righteous. The trend in Poland is to be legal and the youth are going this way. I think the authorities do not care much either way except symbolically about illegal software. Yet I recommend legal software. I use 100% legal on my computer and I run a few businesses. In this year I can not imagine why anyone would pay for software unless they really had to. I prefer LibreOffice to Ms Office. I refer a few versions of Linux to MAC OS. No OS is as fast as Puppy Linux. I Prefer Pixlr to Photoshop and if I need to do something complicated I use GIMP or Paint.net or Scribus. Really there is an alternative that will work just as good if not better. The world has changed everything is done on in the browser. Why bloat your system with the latest version of Adobe. I design things and even professionally and this is Adobe is bloatware. Be clever and find an open source or free alternative and it is liberating. I would not use Adobe CS if someone gave it to me 100% legal and free. It slows down my computer. I would rather do things in the browser.

  4. Hi Mark,
    I want to setup my software development business in Poland , will you please let me know what is the procedure and which city will be the best for setup my business?

    What percentage of taxes are there in Poland on business?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. You have to contact an accounting firm in Poland. It is really just 19% flat tax and pay ZUS which is the social insurance. It is a nice place to start a business as Poland has a large internal economy which means a middle class which means entrepreneurs are profitable.

      1. It is better to setup business in Lithuania or in Ploand?

  5. After 2 hours of reading on this blog, I have come to some conclusions.

    1) From the menu of categories you get an impression this blog is generally about language, living abroad, etc. Sounds extremely interesting! But in reality, it is a blog only promoting Poland and the polish language as superior to any other country or language. It’s fine to promote something you have a passion for, but please, don’t start your posts with saying you are being objective when it is so god damn evident that you are NOT.

    2) Our writer claims to be from the US and is, if I have understood correctly, teaching English. Unfortunately, our writer does not seem to be familiar with neither commas nor apostrophes. At all. You would imagine a native English speaker and professor of language would make sure to be correct when it comes to that.

    3) Making such extreme and bold statements in his posts, you might believe the author would support his claims with other data and findings. He doesn’t. You know where they tell you it is crucial to support your statements? At university. And if you don’t have support for your reasoning or findings, you FAIL. The author claims his “experience” is sufficient support. I do believe I read somewhere that the author “only have a master in economics”. I am not convinced.

    Look, your core idea with this blog is good. But your approach and way of writing and discussing is completely pushes all the attention away from the main idea. I have never read a blog where the author is so ethnocentric and so easily writes negative about other people (case: hot for words – seriously I think you are just jealous she is making money and you are not). It is simply disgusting.

    Suggestions: please, do us all (and yourself) a favor and change the name of the blog to “Citizen of US & Poland”. Stop misleading people. Please.

  6. I am American and living in Poland. I am a registered citizen in Warsaw and have my own one person company. What Mark says about low costs, 19% tax rate is true but it only applies to one person companies. For opening such companies you have to be a registered citizen with permanent living permit. Additionally such companies are ok only if you are on relatively simple business models such as teachers and barbers. If you want to open a more developed type of business (and for this you dont need to be a registered citizen) you must open at least a LLC (Sp. z o.o. in Polish). That’s when the fun starts! Tax rate goes up to 39%, registration procedures are a nightmare, tax filing and dealing with tax authorities is a nightmare compared to most developed countries, etc etc. And dont even mention if you company will require licenses (which are omnipresent in dear Poland). So, to sum up, if you are small businessperson and are registered in Poland (which not everyone can do without proper justification) go ahead and open a small one person company (where you are liable with all your personal wealth in case of trouble) and then truly you will enjoy what Mark says. But if you plan to grow your company, think of somewhere else. My example, I am creating my own brands of liquors, so I thought of having them produced in Poland. Well, thanks to ridiculous regulations and licenses, I will register my company in the Netherlands and contract manufacture everything in Poland. Thats right.

  7. Hello. I red your business. First of all you have to be a tax wellknown before you let down false information. You write, Switzerland has high taxes but it’s not true. For example Kimi Räikkönen lives in Switzerland and doesn,t pay any taxes in “Poor” Finland! Why would Poland be the better place to satrt a business where corruption grows?

    1. Poland is not that corrupt, in a national ranking of freedom it was 16 in the world while the USA was 47. It is very simple, Poland has a lower cost of production based on the relative wage rate. You do not see companies moving to expensive countries but to stable cheaper ones.

      1. I have lived in Poland for the last 13 years. if you are going to start a company like IKEA or Unilever or Wrigley’s. okay, come to Poland. but if you want to start your own small business, Poland is a very difficult place to start. I am curious have you started a business in Poland? I would love to see all of the red tape that you have gone through to start it. it’s a ridiculously slow country to process through. again if you have the large amounts of money to start a chain store, you have a fighting chance. If you don’t, then I hope that you have lots of money and time to get your business off of the ground and through the red tape.

        If you want to come and be an English teacher, no problem, you’ll do relatively well. I guess, you are considered a “small business” then.

        1. Red tape is a small cost, because you can just hire someone to take care of it for you, and you sign the papers if you do not have the will or intelligence to navigate it yourself. The tax rates are the same, maybe lower than other countries so it then comes down to cost of labor and skills which are the real competitive advantage for Poland.

  8. Bravo for your article.

    You say here exactly what European and US companies, with the help of the EU and other agencies we can’t name (as we can see now in Ukraine) are doing in Eastern Europe and other countries in “re-construction or development” (both euphemism to design low cost, social dumping and tax evasion lawless lands).

    By setting up factories, call centers and subsidiaries in Romania, Poland ( the 52th US state ?), Morocco or Bangladesh, our masters of the world who own governments in Europe and the US can destroy without any accountability hundred years of prosperity and social cement in the western world.

    And thanks to “useful idiot” like you who are spreading the doctrine their media have brainwashed you with, they can sleep quietly being sure that their slaves and tax payers are adhering to the world they try to build: a tiny minority or elite owing 90% of the riches, owing most mainstream medias, entire governments in so called “democracies”, and lobbies to make sure that things stay the way they are and that they can become richer while the majority of us pay for they outrageous lifestyle, greediness and errors.

    As the financial meltdown and recession we are still facing and financing with our taxes while they destabilize democratically elected governments in order to “open up” new markets and buy out state owned companies at ridiculously low prices to sell you water, gas, electricity, road rights at abnormally high prices.

    Since the beginning of the “crisis”, the “bailed-out” financial firms and other international corporations have been busy firing by the hundreds of thousands in the west while exploiting mass labor including children in low laws, low tax, low ethics countries. They have made record profit while having made record redundancies and the billions of $ of taxes they evade by scheming in countries like Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Bahamas are to be paid by you, your children and grandchildren.

    But continue to play their game and repeat what they told you to and you will see the fate of Poland will soon resemble the one of Greece 30% people unemployed, Spain (26%) and Ireland (15%).

  9. I am from Poland, native. Things I just read are quiet funny for me as I know that establishing business in my country is rather complicated. English, second language? Must be kidding. Only well educated people speak one or more languages. It is hard to communicate in English in some banks and almost impossible in national office responsible, for example, for establishing a company. Help of qualified translator for translating documents is obligatory. Bureaucracy is on extremely high level. Law is very often hard to understand even for locals. Tax 19%? Of course, but for example, for a limited liability company it is actually payed twice, self employment, just social insurance which is obligatory costs about 250€/month, in UK it is more than annual costs. Phds working for 3€/h? ask yourself why most of us emigrates to Netherlands UK or Ireland? good luck with establishing company here, and by the way, establishing a company in one day, just a dream.

    1. I have lived a lot of places including Poland, bureaucracy is everywhere. The main input in a business is the ratio of skills to pay. Poland has a highly skilled workforce at a low cost. I would rather hire a Pole than many countries as the work will be well done and at a cheap price. Why pay a English guy 10 times the cost for the same job?

  10. It is very nice to see that someone from abroad has such a good opinion on us – Polish citizens.
    I saw many comments on people who want to start business in Poland and they afraid of unknown. That is natural when you change something in your life there will be fear.
    I see many market opportunities especially from more developed countries. As we in Poland intent to become as reach as Americans, Germans or even Dutch everything which proceed from those countries is very well welcomed.
    I was working for several years as sales manager for companies from abroad and to be honest it is easier to sell something German or Dutch than Polish ones.
    For example now started program for house owners which will produce electricity in their own homes and all the technologies connected to photovoltaics, cogenertations etc will boost next few months. Here in Poland we do not have yet companies good enough to produce such a products in huge quantities.
    Maybe there is someone interested in such a products sales in Poland. I am very interested in it and can help to introduce them in Polish market.

    1. Hi,
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      1. Hi Maqbool,
        Please send me some more info to skony1971 at wp dot pl

  11. We are going to start a business in Poland. Industry – Software Development. So we have some doubts about choosing a right country. We are thinking also about Estonia. The number of questions are here. If you can help us – I will appreciate this a lot.
    1. good legal system
    2. good financial/banking system and easily can move in and out money
    3. good eco system to find higher level staff like leaders, managers etc.
    4. low cost of operation, corporate taxes etc
    5. more flexible with 100% foreign equity
    6. any good diplomatic links with Singapore in general Asia or India would be beneficial
    7. we need a mechanism to pay developers from any of these countries (Estonia or Poland) easily without any complication
    8. office rent cost
    9. is there some active private funding infrastructure might be?

    Thank you in advance.

    Elena

    1. Hallo Elena,

      I think it is very good idea to place software development in Poland.
      I work in the company which specialize in software and we do have several customes from abroad.
      Answering your question:
      1. good legal system – it is not so much diferent from other European countries. Changes are frequent but it is managable.
      2. good financial/banking system and easily can move in and out money – Poland is within EU and we do have all benefits of such a position. One of them is open banking system.
      3. good eco system to find higher level staff like leaders, managers etc. – it will be your biggest problem ever. To find good staff you need to pay European wages. If you want to save here it will not be so easy.
      4. low cost of operation, corporate taxes etc – Operations and taxes are realitevely on midlle European level. Corporate tax 19%, social security aprox. 35% of total wage.
      5. more flexible with 100% foreign equity – I do not understand such a problem.
      6. any good diplomatic links with Singapore in general Asia or India would be beneficial – Poland has good relation with most of developed coutries. In India you can not expect a miracles but our diplomacy is trying to do some good job.
      7. we need a mechanism to pay developers from any of these countries (Estonia or Poland) easily without any complication – best solution would be to have local company established to be able to pay locally. International transfer seems to be very expansive.
      8. office rent cost – You can expect some 30-50 USD in Warszawa or 20% less in smaller cities. I live in Lodz where the total costs is relatively smaller and for 30 USD you can get Class A office.
      9. is there some active private funding infrastructure might be? There is a lot of founding infrastructure, venture capitals a lot of European founds so in general plenty of options.
      If you need some more detailed info just send info here, I can try to assist you if you decide to start business in Poland

      1. Thank you very much. This is a great help, Andrzej!

        Best Regards,
        Elena

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