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President signs off on simplified business start-up, amnesty on social contributions


President Bronislaw Komorowski on 18 December signed into law a package of amendments to the Labour Code and some other laws that relaxes the procedure of starting a business. Under the new law, business start-ups will no longer be required to notify the National Labour Inspectorate (PIP) and the State Sanitary Inspection (PIS) about their existence, their seat and scope of activities (or changes thereof). (Both agencies will receive relevant information from statistical offices.) Furthermore, the maximum period for tax authorities to confirm a start-up’s tax identification number has been reduced to three from 14.

Also on 18 December the president signed off on legislation introducing an amnesty on back social contributions owed by entrepreneurs for the period January 1999 - February 2009. The bill is good news for a substantial group of entrepreneurs who in the period under analysis, in addition to running a business – usually a one-man company – were also earning income based on civil-law or employment contracts that was below the minimum wage, and who paid their social contributions based on actual income, rather than fixed at 60% of the average wage. Both options were available at the time. However, in March 2009 the Social Insurance Office (ZUS) eliminated the former option, and began demanding that these entrepreneurs pay the difference, together with interest, for the 10 preceding years. The new law means they will not have to do so, as long as they file a relevant application within a year of its coming into effect and have no other contributions outstanding.

Both laws will come into effect 14 days after their signature date.

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