Poland: key information about CSO registration, taxation and opening bank accounts

June 7, 2022

On May 30, CEDEM, in cooperation with the European Center for Non-Profit Law (ECNL), held an introductory workshop “Legal Aspects of CSO Registration and Activity in Poland”.

Przemysław Żak spoke about legal and practical aspects related to the CSO registration procedures, issues of opening bank accounts and taxation of in Poland. See Przemysław’s presentation with detailed information here.

The expert pointed out the most important issues for Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian CSOs regarding the registration and operation of CSOs in accordance with the Polish legislation.

Foundation can be considered the most optimal legal form for establishing an organization in Poland. After all, the founders of the foundation can be, among other things, foreigners without a residence permit, as well as foreign legal entities (for example, a Ukrainian CSO). In addition, the foundation, subject to the relevant provisions stipulated in the articles of association, can carry out the activity of collecting and sending aid to Ukraine. Instead, citizens of Ukraine can establish associations, but only if they are residents of Poland, and the registration and operation of a separate subdivision does not provide all the advantages in activity that are available to a legal entity.

It is important that a foreign CSO can open a bank account in Poland, but to do so it is necessary to translate the documents, in particular the registration documents, into Polish, subject to the requirements for such a translation. The terms of account opening and servicing depend on the rules of a specific bank. 

It is easier to open an account in Poland, as well as receive services in the area of registration if you get a PESEL number (Universal Electronic Population Registration System). As of the late April 2022, more than 1,000,000 PESEL numbers were issued to Ukrainians. In general, as noted by Vasyl Poluiko, Director of the Western Ukrainian Resource Center, the procedure for opening an account can last up to 1.5 months.

The terms of taxation of CSO activities in Poland depend on the nature of the activity carried out and the period during which the organization operates. Thus, only CSOs that carry out socially useful activities (in accordance with the law) are practically completely exempt from taxation. This status can be obtained after 2 years of operation.

More details on the online resources used to apply for CSO registration in Poland, the list of documents to be submitted for the state registration and other practical information can be found in the presentation.

This material was created as part of the Project Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity implemented by the Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM) with the sincere support of the American people through United States Agency for International Development. ISAR “Ednannia” is fully responsible for the content that may not reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.