While choosing to work as a freelancer in Poland it is important if you are a resident of one of the EEA countries to take on a job without a special work permit, however the situation is a bit more complicated once you come from the outside of the EEA and you will need to have a work permit. After reading this article it is advisable to consult the tax advisor or a lawyer to avoid surprises, since law is constantly changing!

For those residents of the EEA if you desire to work as freelancers you need to follow the steps below since rules constantly undergo moderations.

To find out more about Polish work permit you might want to check this link

Get a PESEL (Personal Identity Number) and NIP (Taxpayer Identification Number)

PESEL (Personal Identity Number) is a numerical identification which every Polish person gets at birth and as a newcomer you need to get one too. PESEL can be obtained automatically if you become registered as a resident in Poland. If not you need to apply in a place of where you want to become a resident or at a neighbouring Municipal Council of your employing company. If none of these cases apply at a Council in Warsaw at Nowogrodzka 43 street.
In order to do it you need to fill out a form (sadly in Polish) and bring an official document confirming your identity. The whole application is free of charge.

PESEL online form is available here

The next step I recommend you take is to obtain NIP so the Taxpayer Identification Number. You can do that by filling out a form available below or at any Inland Revenue office specific to the area of your residency or the employing company’s residency You should have your PESEL and a document verifying your identity. The whole process might take a few days.

NIP online form is available here

Photo: pxhere

Nothing is certain but death and taxes

Once you think of becoming a freelancer you need to figure out where do you pay your taxes. Sometimes, a Polish employer will have to lower your salary in case he will have to pay what is called a flat-rate tax.
Depending on the type of service this tax may amount to 20% of the overall transaction. The good thing is it is the employer’s responsibility to pay it for you so you will not have to worry about doing it yourself. This tax will be required in a few cases:

* When there is a transfer of the copyright
* When you lease an industrial, scientific or commerce devices (leasing)
* Sharing professional information (consultation, know-how)
* Any services having to deal with accounting, market surveys, HR or data management, etc.    

Do not worry about having to pay this tax because there is a possibility of you dodging this bullet. Here is how: you might find a residence tax certificate handy! If you provide your employer with legally binding documents proving you pay your taxes at a country of residence.

I advise you to visit website of the Ministry of Finance to further your awareness of the agreements between Poland and the country of your residence in the field of double taxation. It might be the case the agreement might release you from flat-rate tax duty in Poland.

Pick the type of work agreement

While working as a freelancer you could choose from two types of agreements: contract of commission, where you charge for a specific number of tasks or contract of mandate, which is a contract of fulfilling a given task based on the rules specified in a contract over a specific amount of time.
It is important to remember that if the contract falls under the Polish jurisdiction in case of terms’ violation.

Photo: pxhere

Getting an insurance (ZUS) and paying contributions

If you are working in Poland on a contract of commission your insurance contribution is not being paid and you should get one yourself to make sure you get all the costs of possible treatments covered. As it goes for contract of mandate your employer has to pay the insurance contribution unless you are a student under 26 years of age. However, I strongly advise you to have an extra insurance, that will help you get professional help (I know Polish hospitals and it might be difficult to communicate in English and wait in lines to get help).

In case of any doubts it is worth taking a look at this website. If you would like to find out how to become self-employed another blog is coming soon!

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