October 2022

Relocate your IT company to Poland with the Poland Business Harbour programme

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Poland has special regulations that make it easier to relocate employees or entire IT companies to Poland.

The programme is called Poland Business Harbour and encompasses a comprehensive package that enables freelancers, start-ups, and small and medium-sized enterprises to relocate their business to Poland with no problems.

The programme, therefore, supports both foreign companies that want to relocate or open a branch office in Poland and Polish companies willing to bring IT employees or even entire IT teams to the country.

Below, please, find a detailed description how Poland Business Harbour works and how to take advantage of it.

What is Poland Business Harbour about?

Poland Business Harbour not only provides an opportunity to take advantage of a simplified visa procedure, but also provides foreign entities intending to relocate their business activities with legal and investment advice to help them quickly find their place in the Polish business reality.

We can distinguish several support paths in the Poland Business Harbour programme:

  1. An individual path - intended for IT freelancers. It makes it possible to obtain a visa to Poland in a simplified and accelerated procedure, which ensures that the visa application is recognised as a priority, before other applications filed to the consulate.
  2. A path for start-ups - includes activities aimed at supporting the establishment of cooperation with a specific business partner. These include assistance in building a team and improving its competencies, development of the start-up's product, as well as support in establishing business relations and, in particular, in winning an investor. Importantly, as part of this path, a start-up benefiting from the Poland Business Harbour programme gains access to the start-up acceleration system, and may gain up to PLN 50,000 to cover funds required for basic business activity commencement or building a team.
  3. A business path for small, medium and large enterprises - intended for those companies that are considering relocating their business to Poland. Within this path of the Poland Business Harbour programme, entrepreneurs can count on a business consierge service, which provides legal support as well as advice on potential business partners.

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How to transfer an IT company to Poland?

Small, medium and large enterprises may take the opportunity to relocate a company with the help of the Poland Business Harbour programme Companies deciding to relocate their business to Poland within the framework of Poland Business Harbour will be provided with assistance at almost every stage of the relocation process.

Among other things, Poland Business Harbour provides assistance in finding an optimal investment location and an office tailored to the company's needs, as well as support in identifying potential business partners.

As part of the programme, companies can expect advice on legal issues that may seem overwhelming at the prospect of relocating to a foreign country. Support in this area also includes formal issues related to the relocation of employees, i.e. assistance in visa matters or contacts with public administration.

In addition, as part of the Poland Business Harbour programme, a company can count on specialist legal, business and investment reports and information on the rules of using public aid. Poland Business Harbour also organises individual meetings with potential partners and service providers in order to facilitate the company's first steps on the Polish economic market.

Please, note that the list of countries which may benefit from the Poland Business Harbour programme has recently been extended in terms of the discussed business path. Currently, companies from all over the world, regardless of their country of origin, can benefit from support in the field of company relocation.

In order to begin the process of relocating a company, it is necessary to fill in a contact form which can be found on the website of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, which is an institution supporting direct cross-border investments in Poland. You can find the form here or you can write an e-mail: directly to us..

Support for Start-ups under Poland Business Harbour programme

The path of support for start-ups begins with contacting one of the so-called operators, among whom you can find experienced accelerators and foundations dedicated to supporting start-ups. Each operator cooperates in a slightly different way, but two main stages of cooperation can always be distinguished:

  1. Stage I: the start-up can count on support in locating its business on the Polish economic market. It also gains support from the so-called concierge, who acts as a mentor and advisor to the start-up. This stage includes activities such as team development, promotion of the start-up's product, carrying out activities related to building and training the start-up's team, promotion and development of the start-up's product, as well as support in acquiring a business partner. It is also at this stage that the start-up can obtain cash grants of up to PLN 50,000, which are used to cover the costs necessary for the implementation of the aforementioned activities. If you manage to establish a documented cooperation with a specific business partner, your start-up can move on to the next stage of the support path.
  2. Stage II: includes the following steps: acceleration and post-acceleration. These terms include activities involving the implementation of the start-up's solution at the business partner with whom it has established cooperation in the previous stage. If the established cooperation is based on raising capital from the partner, this step will be based on activities in this area. Then, as part of the second step of this stage, actions will be taken to maximise the project results achieved by the start-up to date. As part of these activities, development activities will be continued or expanded. Within the second stage of the start-up path, it is possible to receive a cash grant of a maximum amount of PLN 250,000. It may be necessary to carry out a pilot introduction of the start-up's solution with a business partner or to raise the necessary capital.

If you like more information on support for IT start-ups and find out more about the offer of individual operators, visit Polish Agency for Enterprise Development website or write to us.

How do I obtain a visa under the Poland Business Harbour programme?

A separate procedure applies to IT professionals who wish to find work in Poland.

The individual pathway precisely allows IT professionals to obtain a visa quickly. This pathway is invariably available only to a specific group - citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

The visa available under the Poland Business Harbour programme allows a foreigner to work without having to obtain any additional permit or declaration of entrustment, which is a significant convenience.

Moreover, this visa belongs to the list of documents that allow a foreigner to establish a sole proprietorship in Poland. Thus, a person equipped with a Poland Business Harbour visa does not need to apply for additional documents to start working in the Polish IT sector.

Importantly, in order to benefit from the simplified visa procedure, it is necessary for a foreigner from the country mentioned above to meet at least one of the following conditions:

  1. He/she has a technical education in IT, or he/she has at least one year's experience in the IT sector.
  2. He/she has proof of interest in cooperation from one of the programme's partner companies.

If the foreigner meets the above-mentioned conditions, he/she may proceed with the simplified visa procedure. First of all, he/she should submit to the Polish consulate competent for his place of residence:

  1. A completed application for a visa,
  2. A biometric photo,
  3. Passport - here it is important that the passport should have been issued within the last 10 years and that it is valid for at least three months since the date of the intended return,
  4. Proof of medical insurance for at least €30,000 - remember that the Minister for Foreign Affairs publishes a list of insurers offering insurance that meet all the conditions stipulated for foreigners,
  5. Documents proving a degree in IT or at least one year's experience in this field.

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How to attract an IT specialist under the Poland Business Harbour programme?

In order to benefit as a company from the simplified possibility of attracting an IT specialist to Poland, it is necessary to obtain an entry on the list of companies participating in the Poland Business Harbour programme.

If you own a company and are interested in being included on the list of companies ready to hire an IT specialist under the Poland Business Harbour visa, you can register your company for free by filling in the form on the following webpage.

Your application should not be verified longer than 2 weeks and your company should appear on the list approximately 30 days after the date the application has been filed.

If you are among the companies on the list, establishing cooperation with a Poland Business Harbour visa holder may allow you to avoid tedious procedures of obtaining documents legalizing a foreigner's stay and work in Poland, thanks to which you will be able to start cooperation with a new employee immediately.

Poland Business Harbour - a significant facilitation for IT

Although the individual path applies only to a few countries, it is worth taking a closer look at the benefits offered by Poland Business Harbour.

Despite some of the limitations, it is a great opportunity for companies and start-ups to get assistance in opening or relocating a company to Poland or to hiring desirable IT professionals in a much easier way.

If you need help in opening an IT company in Poland or hiring foreign employees, please also write to us We will be happy to assist you in all related matters.

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