Poland is one of the most important destination of Scandinavian and West-European companies in 2017. What are the biggest pitfalls and how to prepare for them?
International companies have been barging into Poland ever since the EU membership in 2004. When planning the market entry, many companies are facing the same anxieties. Here are the most common ones and how to tackle them:
Polish bureaucracy makes doing business impossible
It is true that there is a lot of paperwork when starting a business and it does not end there. You also have to make sure that you fulfill all monthly and yearly reporting requirements. But then again this is the case in all countries and most likely requirements are also different from requirements of your country. The same in Poland: different yes, but no more difficult – when you know what you are doing. Procedures are straight forward, processing times are predictable and officials are helpful. Also processes are developing every year and more and more matters can be for example done online.
Corruption runs wild and no one can be trusted.
Poland scores 29th in Transparency International’s corruption ranking – the best in CEE and way ahead of all South-European countries. In practice corruption is not visible for international companies and should not really have any role when making decision whether to come to Poland. What comes to trusting local business partners – it is good to remember that Poland is one of the most international countries in Europe and local companies are already accustomed to working with people and companies from different countries. This is not to say, that you should naively trust everyone and agree to whatever you are suggested. Key for success here is to have enough market knowledge and experienced people handling the market entry. This way you choose the right partners, find suitable clients and minimize the overall risks
Political changes in Poland have made investments too risky.
Yes, Poland has had far-right government since October 2015. Although many Poles and foreigners have been dissatisfied with some of the reforms done by the government it is important to note that they have not have any real effect on business environment. Economy is still growing annually over 3,5% and foreign companies are investing to the country. What comes to demonstrations against the government, which are time to time filling the newspapers around Europe – it is important to understand that this is not any extreme incident but rather the way of the country to express dissatisfaction. Also, it is good to remember that governments come and go: previous central-liberal party was in power for last two terms and next elections are coming in 2,5 years. What has been stable, is the interest to Polish markets by international companies and this is explicitly due to favourable business conditions. This is very unlikely to change in upcoming years.