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START IN POLAND: Conclusion. Part 4. How to Relocate And Get Started: Important Features of the Ecosystem

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

In the final part of the START IN POLAND series we will talk about the programs for launching and relocating business in Poland, which allow innovators and entrepreneurs to achieve dynamic development and succeed in the market. Today's article outlines key tools that are available for startups and companies. The aim of the programs is to provide effective support for the entire spectrum of Poland's innovation ecosystem from individuals and companies at all stages of development to the venture capital market.


Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in interest in doing business in Poland among companies from the East. This trend is effectively fueled by both government and private initiatives. One of them is SoftLanding, a program implemented by the Cambridge Innovation Center CIC and Venture Café Warsaw in cooperation with Ernst & Young and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency PAIH.

The aim of the program is to help foreign companies quickly and comfortably start and develop their business in Poland. It helps startups scale, create a plan for entering the international market, and allows you to establish cooperation with the local ecosystem while providing an opportunity to test the potential of the business.

The program is based in CIC Warsaw campus that aggregates both startups at the beginning of their careers and large companies looking for new opportunities to grow and scale their business. One of the main elements of the campus are specialized hubs. These are places where people, infrastructure, knowledge and projects gather for a single purpose. However, you don’t have to be physically present on campus to participate in the program, as participants can also join remotely. All companies participating in the SoftLanding program have access to knowledge, trends and contacts offered by program partners.

The program is divided into 4 stages, where partners share their experience:
Pre-landing — the stage of providing basic knowledge to the participating company before moving; 

New entity — immigration and the relocation stage. The beneficiaries of the program receive full assistance in setting up a business in Poland;

First 30 days — support during the first month of work in a new place that includes optimization of processes and connection to a local network;

Scaling–up — financial, operational and business scaling support, as well as outsourcing and recruiting assistance.

One of the main benefits that program participants receive is consultation by professional experts of EY Poland:

Legal support for registering a company in Poland

Here program participants receive basic legal support, including, for example, support in choosing the appropriate legal form, preparing the necessary documents, establishing a company, adapting to European and Polish rules in the field of personal data protection, ensuring proper protection and transfer of intellectual property rights, as well as legal support in the provision of IT solutions on the Polish market.

Tax consulting

The assistance provided by EY specialists concerns basic information about tax legislation in Poland and current tax support of foreign legal entities.

Immigration Consulting

Foreign entrepreneurs are consulted on obtaining documents that legalize the residence and employment of foreigners.

Business scaling —  EYnovation

The EYnovation team provides support at the final stage of the program, when the foreign company has already completed most of the formalities.

Thus, by joining the program, companies will not only receive support in registering a business in Poland and knowledge in areas such as immigration and tax law, but also join the ecosystem of Polish entrepreneurs, will be able to establish valuable contacts with venture capital funds, organizations and institutions supporting Polish startups and meet potential clients and partners.

The SoftLanding program is addressed to all foreign companies, and the recruitment of participating companies is open continuously.


START IN POLAND is the largest program aimed at strengthening and developing the Polish startup ecosystem by creating favorable conditions for young innovative companies in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Besides, START IN POLAND aims to encourage foreign companies to open and develop their business in Poland, as well as to facilitate access to capital and internationalization for the most promising entrepreneurs.

The program provides a comprehensive set of tools designed, in particular, for:

  • owners of young innovative enterprises who need support in the development of their projects;
  • investors;
  • mentors who teach and advise entrepreneurs how to build a business and keep it in the market.

The program also helps to build long-term partnerships and create a culture based on the exchange of knowledge, experience and maintaining relationships with large companies. START IN POLAND is not only financing projects, providing substantial support and training. It also promotes positive changes in legislation and supports the development of the entire innovation ecosystem.

PAIH Program | Poland.Business Harbor

PAIH | Poland Business Harbour is a range of services that allows IT professionals, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as large companies to relocate their business to Poland. The program is coordinated by the Ministry of Development and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in cooperation with GovTech Polska and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development and Startup Hub Poland.

Thanks to the package of services, you can find out how to quickly and efficiently start working in Poland, get support when relocating employees, and get legal assistance. Besides, individuals and companies can count on help in establishing contacts with special economic zones, which are actively involved in the preparation of proposals for relocating employees. One of the elements of assistance is also support for entrepreneurs in contacting investors, as well as grants for research and development activities.

Software Development Association Poland (SODA) and the Polish Chamber of Informatics and Telecommunications (PPIT) are participating in the project.


The whole of Poland has become an investment zone, thanks to which companies investing anywhere in the country can count on exemption from income tax.

What projects are eligible for support?

In light of the provisions on regional state aid, the following types of activities are entitled to privileges: 

  • creation of a new enterprise;

  • increasing the production capacity of an existing enterprise; diversification of production through the introduction of products that were not previously produced by the enterprise;

  • fundamental changes in the production process of an existing enterprise.

What is the tax exemption amount?

The maximum amount of state aid in the form of tax relief is determined on the basis of the regional aid card for 2014-2020 (represents the percentage rate of tax exemption depending on the regional registration of the company (division by voivodeship):

Maximum levels of support for 2014-2021 (large enterprises)

Research and development assistance

Companies can deduct up to 200% from their tax base (and 250% in the case of R&D) from related costs, such as employee wages, equipment use, or the purchase of research materials.

Innovative box — Patent Box: 

There is a 5% preferential tax rate on income earned from the sale of intellectual property rights. The preferential rate is applied throughout the entire period of patent protection, and is also fully consistent with the approach of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Programme for supporting investments of major importance to the polish economy

The government grants subsidy program allows companies to receive support up to 20% of the project costs in the case of strategic and innovative manufacturing projects or highly developed service centers.


Thus, in 4 parts of the START IN POLAND series we described the fastest growing startup ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe. It has enormous potential and is a promising place for the start and development of companies that is becoming a more and more attractive environment for the countries of the post-Soviet space as a bridge to the Western European market every year.

Sources: The-Golden-Book-of-Venture-Capital-in-Poland (, PARP —  Centrum Rozwoju MŚP, Ekosystem innowacji (,Polska Cyfrowa —  Ministerstwo Funduszy i Polityki Regionalnej, Startup Poland, Polish and CEE tech ecosystem outlook, The Warsaw Hub, Warsaw Startup Ecosystem —  The StartupBlink Blog, The Complete Warsaw Startup City Guide | StartUs Magazine, Polskie startupy medtech ( 


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