Poland Crypto License - How to get a cryptocurrency license in Poland
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Crypto license in Poland

Support in the issuance of Poland crypto license with a guarantee of a turnkey contract.

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According to the National Bank and the KNF Financial Supervision Authority, anyone who has registered and operated a cryptocurrency business before 1 November 2021 needs to get on the register by 1 May 2022. Moreover, the Polish government has considered taxing profits from digital assets from the beginning of 2022. A declaration on the creation of the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) was signed. However, after signing bilateral agreements between the Polish government and state representatives of 84 world countries, on avoiding double taxation, the country confirmed the status of a favorable jurisdiction for crypto-business from a taxation perspective.

Currently, there is no authority in Poland issuing a license for the exchange and custody of cryptocurrencies. In order to be compliant with Polish legislation as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), it is required to register a limited liability company (Sp. z o.o.) within the trade register as VASP; pay the share capital of PLN 5,000 (EUR 1,200); submit AML procedural rules, and appoint an AML officer in charge. The aforementioned actions will allow the company to perform the following activities:

  • The exchange between virtual currencies and fiat money (for example EUR to BTC or BTC to USD);
  • The exchange between virtual currencies (for example BTC to ETH);
  • Custody services (keeping private keys on behalf of third parties).

Crypto companies in Poland have to comply with generally accepted European regulatory standards based on AMLD: the impeccable reputation of company owners and directors, regular verification of the company's customers (KYC), revealing suspicious and non-standard transactions, and reporting to regulatory authorities.

The cost of a crypto license in Poland

Choose the best package of services for obtaining a crypto activity license in Poland

  • Full

    Corporate account for business activity + Board member/AML Officer with local residence + entire maintenance

    € 8000

    Initial set up

    • Full Turnkey Company Formation
    • Registering as VASP within the Regulator
    • Address of Registration for one year
    • Obtaining Polish Trusted Profile (“EPUAP”)
    • Individual AML/KYC Policy
    • Handling the communication with General Inspectorate of Financial Information (GIFI)
    • Apostilled and Translated corporate documents
    • Assistance in opening Business account for crypto operating activity
    • Search, integratioon, direct employment agreement for Local Board Member / AML officer
  • Individual

    Exhaustive set up of company infrastructure for the start of operational activity

    € 5500

    Initial set up

    • Full Turnkey Company Formation
    • Registering as VASP within the Regulator
    • Address of Registration for one year
    • Obtaining Polish Trusted Profile (“EPUAP”)
    • Individual AML/KYC Policy
    • Handling the communication with General Inspectorate of Financial Information (GIFI)
  • Essential

    Registration of the Virtual Asset Service Provider under the minimum regulatory requirements

    € 2500

    Initial set up

    • Full Turnkey Company Formation
    • Registering as VASP within the Regulator
    • Standard AML/KYC Policy
Fintech lawyers in Poland
Vlad Martonov

Vlad Martonov

Partner, Consultant

Maksim Gasanbekov

Maksim Gasanbekov

Junior Partner, Consultant

info

Persons who deal with virtual currencies and representatives of Polish cryptocurrency companies must have knowledge or experience related to activities in this field. If requested by the regulatory authority, proof of this requirement should be provided.

Alternative solution
Ready-made company with crypto authorizations in Poland
Upon Request
Price
2-3 weeks
Duration

Procedure for obtaining a Cryptocurrency license in Poland

After 7-9 weeks company will be fully registered as a Virtual Asset Service Provider and 3-4 weeks will be required extra to become fully operative and open a Bank account

Stage 1

PRELIMINARY PROJECT ASSESSMENT

clock1-2 days
Result
Process
Basic information was collected from the Client; Has been provided preliminary documents set for further Power of Attorney (PoA) drafting; the scope of the project and budgets are clear.

Collecting preliminary set of the documents from the Client side:

  • 1.An up-to-date copy of the passport of the country of residence (scan)
  • 2.A business model of the company (brief description 1-2 A4 pages)
  • 3.Preferred company name is provided
  • 4.Filled customer profile(s) from all the participants of the project are collected
  • 5.Address of residence for each participant is provided

  • 1.Budgets and scope of the project are approved according to the initial workshop
  • 2.Gofaizen & Sherle operational department has drafted PoA and shared it with the Client along with further steps

Stage 2

REGISTRATION OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (spółka z organiczona odpowiedzialnoscia or Sp.z o.o.) in Poland upon documents receipt on hands

clock3-4 weeks
Result
Process

  • 1.Sworn translation of powers of attorney into Polish language
  • 2.Conducting a trnsaction to establish a company through a notary
  • 3.Entry of the provision in the commercial register

Stage 3

Pre-application works

clock3 weeks
Result
Process

  • 1.Preparation of the AML/KYC polices adapted under the company type of crypto oriented activity
  • 2.Training course & Preparation of the AML Officer and adaptation of his skills to the activities of the company. Reporting guidance to the Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Unit (FNTT)
  • 3.Submiting the application and registration within Virtual Currencies Business Activity Register
  • 4.Leading the Client and conducting negotiations with the regulator and full support during the entire process until the registration is accomplished

Stage 4

BANK ACCOUNT AND MAINTANANCE

clock2-4 weeks
Result
Process
The company is fully operative; the Corporate account is opened and the entity is in compliance with tax authority requirements (accountant integrated) and supervisory regulator as the virtual asset service provider.

Corporate account

  • 1.Initial data for corporate account opening was collected
  • 2.Conducted preliminary assessment and match for suitable Financial Institution for further corporate account opening
  • 3.Application submitted and corporate account opened (C2B & B2B segregated); Upon request acquiring is connected

Maintenance

  • 1.Accounting and bookkeeping services (payroll reports; reports on transactions; annual and statistical reports, etc.)
  • 2.Tax advisory, upon request
  • 3.MLRO - minimum 5 hours per month; further engagement as per request
  • 4.Gofaizen & Sherle assistance in communication with regulatory authorities in case of any uprising issues on the course of conducting operating activity
  • 5.Local professional Director - seeking for the candidate and integration into the company structure
  • 6.Address of registration
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The legality of cryptocurrency business in Poland

Until November 2021, any cryptocurrency activity was legal in Poland, as there were no direct laws that prohibited the trading and exchange of crypto assets. However, after signing the amendments to the AML Law, the government expanded the scope of responsibility of cryptocurrency companies.To combat the legalization and laundering of profits, as well as the establishment of a limit on financial transactions - any crypto-activity must be registered. Regulations on cryptocurrencies are in the initial stages of development, and virtual currency has the definition of a digital expression of value, which does not apply to legal tender.

Under Polish law, almost any activity that is not directly prohibited by law is allowed. Because there is no specific provision that prohibits activities that are related to cryptocurrency - such business is allowed by law under certain conditions. Cryptocurrency companies are supervised by regulatory authorities, which means that all entrepreneurs are required to register with the cryptocurrency registry, similar to obtaining a crypto license in other jurisdictions.

In addition, cryptocurrency activities are not prohibited by the European Union, as confirmed by the EU Court of Justice in its decision (C-264/14) of 22.10.2015. It establishes that virtual currency can perform the function of means of payment, and any transactions with it are presented as the provision of paid services, which in most cases are exempt from VAT tax.

Cryptocurrency regulation in Poland

The Polish financial market is supervised by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, which is responsible for the efficient development of the market and its functioning, moreover, it participates in the organization of legal agreements created to supervise the financial markets.

Cryptocurrency activity is a separate regulated area, which is supervised by the Polish Chamber of Fiscal Administration, which controls the "Register of Virtual Currencies".

Poland's cryptocurrency regulation is also controlled by the Ministry of Finance. Any actions with cryptocurrency (exchange transactions, storage of crypto assets) fall under the regulation of the Polish national authorities.

As noted earlier, to provide services related to cryptocurrencies, it is necessary to register a company with the Virtual Currency Registry of Poland, which is equivalent to obtaining a crypto license.Such companies fall under the Polish AML law, which was adopted on 01.03.2018 and is the main legal act against money laundering and terrorist financing.It is drafted by the 4th EU Directive, which provides a mechanism for checking suspicious transactions involving virtual currencies. It is also one of the first pieces of legislation in Poland that defines the term "virtual currency" to counter money laundering and regulate it in the country. The law establishes the basic AML principles for institutions providing services in the cryptocurrency sector.

To understand the peculiarities of cryptocurrency regulation in Poland we need to pay attention to the new KYC threshold, which was set for transactions according to the new legislation. Previously the level was set at 15.000 EUR, but starting from 31.10.2021, companies are obliged to identify all customers who carry out a transaction amounting to 1000 EUR or more. Organizations whose main business is the exchange or purchase of cryptocurrencies will have to identify every single transaction over EUR 1,000. This means that it is not possible to buy or sell cryptocurrencies without verification, provided that the transaction volume exceeds this threshold.

Polish Virtual Cryptocurrency Registry

For the legal operation of cryptocurrency companies in Poland, there is no need to separately obtain a crypto license. According to the current legislation, it is necessary to obtain registration in the state registry, which is under the control of the Chamber of Tax Administration - the Virtual Currencies Registry.

Compulsory registration in the Cryptocurrency Registry applies to the following types of services:

  • The exchange between cryptocurrencies to fiat money (exchanges, exchangers) - allows the firm to exchange digital currency for FIAT or vice versa for a fee.
  • The exchange between virtual currencies - is required when exchanging cryptocurrency for a fee.
  • Intermediation when exchanging cryptocurrency into fiat money and one cryptocurrency into another - when providing point 1 and 2 exchange services.
  • Maintenance and storage of cryptocurrency wallets - for companies providing wallets for storing cryptocurrency, creating encrypted customer keys, as well as storing them.

The registry is overseen by the Polish Ministry of Finance and is part of the updated KYC procedures. There is a fine of PLN 100,000 for running a cryptocurrency business without going through the registration procedure.

Crypto-authorization process for registration in the Polish Virtual Currency Registry

To get into the legal field of cryptocurrency regulation in Poland and work legally in the cryptocurrency sector, you need to go through the Virtual Currency Registry authorization process.

The first steps to register with the Polish Cryptolic License Registry should be to prepare and submit documentation for company authorization, obtain a PESEL (Polish Tax Number) and make payment of state fees.

Application procedure:

  • submission of the application;
  • acceptance of the application at the Registry;
  • verification of documents and application;
  • registration of the company in the Registry or refusal.

Necessary actions for the owner of a cryptocurrency company before applying:

  • Prepare a declaration that will confirm the crypto company's compliance with the conditions imposed by Polish law;
  • Prepare certificates of no criminal or criminal record;
  • Fill out the ePUAP application form;
  • Pay the state fee of PLN 616 (prepare a bank statement of payment).

Please note: the application can only be submitted electronically through ePUAP (Electronic Public Services Platform). Subject to the availability of the necessary documentation and compliance with the requirements, the deadline for registration in the Registry is 2 weeks from the date of submission. If the registrar has additional questions or needs to clarify data, the deadline can be extended for an additional 14 days.

It is not possible to appeal against the refusal to receive the registration. However, there is an opportunity to submit a new application for additional review by the Director of the Chamber of Tax Administration of Katowice. This can be done using the ePUAP platform or by sending a letter to 40-282 Paderewski Street 32b, Katowice

Requirements for companies engaged in crypto activities in Poland

In Poland, not only government regulations but also EU directives on AML/CTF compliance are in effect. Cryptocurrency companies need to comply with generally accepted European regulatory standards, namely:

  • Develop a business plan that includes documentation of software and all necessary hardware for cryptocurrency activities.
  • Draw up AML/KYC policies, control, and risk monitoring rules.
  • Hire an officer as required by the AML. The officer must not be a Polish resident and must have professional experience in the field.

Important: all documentation must be in Polish or submitted with a sworn translation.

If the owners of a cryptocurrency company are not Polish citizens, they can request a PESEL, which allows signing documents electronically. In this case, most of the requirements can be fulfilled online, as well as using the necessary Polish Internet services to conduct business.

Company owners and directors are required to:

Have an impeccable reputation, which means no convictions for violations of the law: against state authorities, justice, economic turnover, trading in securities and money; or intentional financial crimes. The regulator may request proof of compliance with this requirement. As proof, it is sufficient to provide a certificate of no criminal record, which has been issued by the Ministry of Justice of Poland.

Must have knowledge or experience relevant to the activities in this area. If requested by the regulatory authority, proof of this requirement must be provided.

According to the Polish AML/CFT Law, this condition is met after:

Completion of courses or training that cover legal and practical issues related to cryptocurrency activities.

Or

Submission of a supporting document that the company has experience (for at least one year) in the field of virtual currencies.

The process of setting up a company for a cryptocurrency business in Poland

If you follow all the established rules, the registration of a company in Poland will not take much time (2 to 4 weeks) and will not create any special difficulties for both residents and investors from other countries.

Registration can be done physically at a notary's office or online in the S24 system, thanks to which you can submit annual reports online and sign documents with an electronic signature.

Steps in setting up a company in Poland:

  • Prepare a unique name for entry in the registry.
  • Draw up a power of attorney (in case of remote application).
  • Prepare and provide apostilled copies of documents of all owners, founders, and employees.
  • Register a Polish company with a "physical" address. Provide office rental agreement in Poland.
  • Open a corporate account with a Polish bank
  • Pay in the authorized capital of 5000 zlotys (at the time of registration you need to pay 100% of the amount)
  • Prepare and notarize the deed of incorporation.
  • Obtain statistical numbers (REGON) and tax identification numbers (NIP)
  • Apply for registration of the VAT number
  • Demonstrate the development of AML/KYC policies for risk control and monitoring, as well as a transparent and reliable structure of the enterprise.
  • Apply for company registration

Taxation for cryptocurrency companies in Poland

There is no separate taxation for cryptocurrency in Poland, but all companies that engage in cryptocurrency activities are obliged to pay existing taxes. However, there is good news: Poland has signed bilateral agreements with 84 global countries to avoid double taxation.

The most popular taxes for LLCs (limited liability companies) include VAT, corporate income taxes, as well as personal income taxes, excise tax, property tax, social contributions, and health insurance for employees.

Polish companies have to pay the following tax rates:

  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) - 9% if the annual turnover does not exceed 2.000.000 EUR, if the company exceeds this threshold - 19%
  • Personal Income Tax (PIT) - from 17% to 32%, depending on the profit and the form of taxation
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) - the basic rate of 23%
  • Dividend TAX - 19% for residents of Poland. Foreigners need to further study the tax treaty between the countries
  • Repatriation of income (Withholding Tax) - from 0% to 20%

In addition, if the company has officially employed employees, it is necessary to pay social insurance, and health insurance, and make contributions to the pension fund

Obligations for crypto companies in Poland

Every crypto company that provides commercial services and falls under the regulation of cryptocurrency in Poland is obliged to fulfill specific obligations established by the Polish government, namely:

  • Develop procedures to identify and assess the risks of money laundering and sponsorship of terrorism that may be associated with cryptocurrency transactions.
  • Follow all financial security measures: identify customers and verify their data.
  • Monitor suspicious transactions and provide information to the Polish regulator
  • Perform continuous monitoring of the working relationship with customers
  • Cooperate with the Polish government and provide any information that may be related to financial crimes
  • Combat sponsorship of terrorism and money laundering within the company
  • Not to provide services to unidentified third parties

Sanctions for violating crypto-business obligations

In case of avoiding or ignoring state obligations for cryptocurrencies, the Polish government can impose several sanctions, namely:

  • Publish information about illegal activities on the website of the Ministry of Finance's Office of Public Bulletin.
  • Prohibit or partially restrict any activities of the company
  • Exclude from the Virtual Currency Registry
  • Prohibit the activities of the company's executive person
  • To impose a fine equal to twice the amount of the profit or loss avoided by the violation of the law. If the amount is not specified, the fine can be up to EUR 1,000,000
  • If the owner of the company or the person representing the name of the company fails to notify the government of suspected criminal activity, provides false information, or conceals the true identity of a potential criminal, the penalty is imprisonment for up to 5 years.

FAQ about crypto license in Poland

Is cryptocurrency activity legal in Poland?

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Cryptocurrencies, although not legally defined and not equated to fiat money, can be used in the country legally. Mining, buying, and selling crypto assets is not considered a prohibited activity.

Do you need a license to trade cryptocurrency in Poland?

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A Polish crypto license is not necessary to legally conduct cryptocurrency activities. You have to go through a government registration procedure at the Virtual Currency Registry. This procedure is regarded as analogous to getting a crypto license in Poland.

Who can perform crypto activities in Poland?

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Commercial services related to cryptocurrency can be provided by companies that are registered in the Registry, comply with all requirements of the Polish government, pay the share capital and comply with post-registration obligations. Such companies are subject to cryptocurrency regulation in Poland.

Do I have to pay tax on cryptocurrency in Poland?

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There is no separate taxation for cryptocurrency in Poland, but all companies involved in cryptocurrency activities are required to pay existing taxes: VAT, corporate income taxes, as well as personal income taxes, excise duty, real estate tax, social contributions, and health insurance for employees.

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