Below are the main steps involved in establishing a transport company:
Step 1 – Company Registration in Poland: The optimal option is to register a new company. Modern conditions in Poland allow for remote registration. It is important to include all necessary activity codes (PKD) in the registration documents. Different codes are required for transport licenses and freight forwarding licenses. It is recommended to decide on the type of company activity in the first step.
Step 2 – Company Finalization: At this stage, the necessary tasks for completing the company setup are carried out. This includes opening a bank account in Poland, finding an accounting company in Poland, and obtaining a VAT number. Opening a bank account in Poland requires a visit to a branch of a Polish bank. It is advisable to open a bank account in multiple currencies.
Step 3 – Freight Forwarding License (if applicable): In the case of a freight forwarding company, the process is relatively straightforward. A freight forwarding license is ordered in the specific city or voivodeship where the company is registered. Now let’s examine the case of establishing a transport company with obtaining a transport license. To initiate the process of obtaining a transport license, it is necessary to have a registered truck in Poland. This is one of the requirements for obtaining a transport license in Poland. There are two ways to meet this requirement: purchasing a vehicle or leasing one. It is recommended to choose the second option, as the waiting time for a transport license is about 4-5 weeks, and in the case of leasing, your vehicle will avoid downtime.
Step 4 – Obtaining a Transport License in Poland: At this stage, two permits must be issued. The first permit grants the right to transport goods within Poland, and the second permit allows for international transport routes. Both documents can be prepared simultaneously. One of the important conditions for obtaining a transport license in Poland is to employ a specialized transport manager with the relevant qualifications in the field of transport services. This qualification is confirmed by a specified form of certification (the certification is valid in both Polish and foreign languages and is issued in EU countries). More requirements for obtaining a transport license can be found in the article “Obtaining a Transport License in Poland.”
Step 5 – Employment of Drivers in Poland: If the drivers are not citizens of the European Union, it is recommended to start this stage parallel to the process of obtaining a transport license, as the legalization of foreign nationals can take time. First, foreign nationals need to obtain permits for legal work and residence in Poland. These can be short-term permits for up to 180 days per year or long-term permits for 1-3 years. Additionally, drivers must undergo medical and psychological examinations, without which they cannot work. Drivers must be issued a professional qualification certificate and complete a specialized professional course (Code 95).
Step 6 – Commence Transport Operations: It may seem that the company is ready, with licenses, employees, and trucks, but in reality, operating in this business, like any other, requires knowledge and consideration of many details. Mistakes often occur when calculating employee working and rest time, cargo weight restrictions, tax payment procedures, etc. It is also recommended not to overlook insurance. Insurance can compensate for any losses or mistakes you may encounter.
Specifics of Issuing International Freight Transport Licenses in Poland:
Required Documents: LR1 document, declaration of the responsible person in transport management (OC), document on the employment of drivers (OK), document on integrity – confirmation (ON).
Transport Manager’s Professional Competence Certificate – a valid Lithuanian certificate, but it is necessary to have such a document translated into Polish. Another option is to employ such a person on a 0.25 full-time equivalent basis. One person can be responsible for a maximum of 30 vehicles, up to 2 companies.
Documents confirming financial status, €9,000 for the first truck, €5,000 for subsequent ones – the only confirmation required is the company’s balance sheets, and a warranty insurance is done in the first year.
Proof of Operational Base (OB) – a necessary yard or parking space in Poland. We can assist in signing a lease agreement.
Integrity certificate for all shareholders and the transport manager.
List of Vehicles (WPC) – a registered truck in Poland is required before obtaining the license. If you don’t have a truck, we can assist in signing a lease agreement and temporarily renting a truck until your truck is registered.
Confirmation of the fee for engaging in carrier professional activity – PLN 1,000.
Confirmation of the fee for issuing a Community license:
- Up to 5 years: PLN 4,000 + PLN 440 for each truck entry.
- Up to 10 years: PLN 8,000 + PLN 880 for each truck entry.
Main Inspectorate of Road Transport (Główny Inspektorat Transportu Drogowego)
Address: Al. Jerozolimskie 94, 00-807 Warsaw
Selection of PKD (activity description) codes for a transportation company:
Depending on the planned transportation services activities, the PKD activity codes can be as follows (for international freight transport):
49.41.Z – Freight transport by road (commonly chosen as the main one)
52.29.C – Other transportation agency activities
52.24.A – Cargo handling in sea ports (loading, unloading, and transshipment in seaports)
52.24.B – Cargo handling in inland ports (loading, unloading in inland ports)
52.24.C – Cargo handling in other reloading points
For freight forwarding activities, the necessary PKD code is: 52.29.C – Other transportation agency activities.
Is a business base required for a transportation company?
The provisions of the Law on Road Transport of September 6, 2001, require an entrepreneur to have an actual and permanent place of residence and a business base. A business base is understood as a location where the necessary technical equipment for transportation activities is installed.
The business base may consist of the following (based on your choice):
- Parking lot for vehicles
- Loading and unloading area
- Area for maintenance or repair of vehicles
Premises specifically built for a road transport company must comply with numerous construction, sanitary, and occupational health and safety legal requirements.
How to obtain truck leasing?
Obtaining leasing in Poland is a straightforward procedure. Every business in Poland has the opportunity to obtain leasing through a simplified process in a very short time. The review of leasing applications takes only a few days.
With leasing, it is possible to acquire 2 or even 3 new trucks without a credit history. For larger leasing financing, documents proving financial results and capacity are required. It should be noted that for new companies, when acquiring the first truck through leasing, an initial deposit of 20-25% is usually required. However, there are leasing providers, particularly in the non-banking segment, that can offer leasing with a 10% down payment.
Two factors facilitate obtaining leasing:
- Does the leasing recipient have experience in the transportation sector?
- Has the leasing recipient signed a cooperation (transportation) contract or intends to sign one with a prospective client?
If you have any questions, you can always contact us.
We are here to help you!