Poland’s Cryptocurrency Regulation: A Comprehensive Guide

Basic price of incorporation the company with VASP authorization in Poland starts from €8,000

Poland: A Pioneer in Cryptocurrency Regulation

Poland stands as a trailblazer among EU nations, being one of the first to formally recognize Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) as a distinct business sector. This recognition has led to the initiation of legislative measures to register VASPs, opening up access to a large internal market. These regulations came into effect in November 2021, and the entire process can be completed remotely, eliminating the need for applicants to travel to Poland.

The legal framework for VASP registration is governed by the Act of March 2018 for Counteracting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Prevention Act. From November 2021, new AML regulations came into force, and the Virtual Currency Activity Register in Poland was activated.

Poland is a pioneer in recognizing VASPs and has made the registration process fully remote

Step by step description

Step 1 – Initial Setup:

  • Initial project assessment;
  • Gathering KYC information ;
  • Defining the business profile and selecting the desired company name;
  • Drafting the power of attorney for client verification;
  • Providing a current copy of the passport from the country of residence.

Step 2 – Company Registration:

  • Official translation of the power of attorney into Polish;
  • Notarization of the company registration documents;
  • Inclusion of company details in the commercial register.

Step 3 – Preparing for Regulatory Compliance:

  • Preparation of AML/KYC policies to align with the client company's cryptocurrency activities;
  • Recruitment and education of a local Director/AML officer for the company;
  • Completion of the necessary paperwork and enrollment with the Financial Crime Investigation Unit (FNTT);
  • Submission and registration on the Virtual Currencies Business Activity Register.
Duration: 3 weeks.

Step 4 – Opening B2B & C2B Corporate Accounts:

  • Initial evaluation and identification of a suitable Financial Institution for corporate account setup;
  • Preparation of notarized corporate documents required for the account opening process;
  • Early discussions with the payment institution and continuous assistance to the client during the account opening procedure.
Duration: 4-8 weeks.

The VASP Licensing Process

A single company can apply for all four VASP permits. Once the application is submitted, the regulator reviews it within 2-4 weeks. The issuance of decisions and receipt of successful licenses typically takes two months from the date of filing.

2-4 weeks from application to result

A VASP license in Poland requires a minimum share capital, at least one shareholder, and adherence to AML/KYC regulations

Requirements for VASP Registration in Poland

To obtain a VASP license in Poland, several compulsory requirements must be met:

  • Establishment of a limited liability company (Sp. z o.o.) in Poland, with a minimum share capital requirement of PLN 5,000 (~ €1,070);
  • The company must have at least one shareholder, who can also act as the chairman of the management board and AML compliance officer. Foreign residents are allowed;
  • Members of the management board must have a minimum of one year of professional experience in virtual currency operations;
  • A company holding the VASP license in Poland must maintain a detailed and up-to-date overview of all clients and transactions in accordance with AML/KYC regulations.

Understanding Taxes in Poland

Virtual currency exchange services are exempt from VAT. However, services invoiced (e.g., sales invoices) in virtual currencies are subject to regular VAT rules. Corporate profits are taxed at a flat rate of 19%, and a withholding tax (WHT) of 19% is charged on gross dividends. Capital gains, including dividend and interest income, are also taxed at a flat rate of 19%.

Virtual currency exchange services are not subject to VAT, but some kind of taxes are

Personal Income Tax Rates

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter, not to be considered as a legal consultation.