Entrepreneurs keeping books of account, under the polish Accounting Act, are required to prepare annual financial statements for each financial year. Such financial statements are prepared electronically and sent either through the Financial Document Repository or through the S24 system.
In the case of foreigners, the submission of these financial statements may cause difficulties, in particular, if they do not have a PESEL number. In the following article, you can find out how foreign entrepreneurs can file their financial statements.
Do I have to file financial statements as a foreigner?
If you carry out business activities in Poland in the form of a commercial company (e.g. a limited liability company), or you are obliged to keep books of account (or have voluntarily chosen to keep books of account), in accordance with the Polish Accounting Act (Dz.U.2023.120), you are obliged to file financial statements of these activities on an annual basis, even if you are a foreigner and do not have Polish citizenship.
What is a financial statement and what form does it take?
A financial statement is a document containing basic information about the annual activities of a company, stated in financial terms. The date on which the financial statements are prepared is called the balance sheet date. If the company’s financial year coincides with the calendar year, the balance sheet date is 31 December.
The financial statements shall be drawn up in electronic form and bear a qualified electronic signature or an ePUAP trusted profile.
Who signs the financial statements?
The financial statements are signed by the person entrusted with keeping the books of account and the head of the entity, or, if the entity is managed by a multi-member body, by all the members of that body.
There is an exception to the need for the financial statements to be signed by all members of a body (e.g. a limited liability company) – if the entity is managed by a multi-member body (e.g. a 3-member management board of a limited liability company), then it is possible for the financial statements to be signed only by one person who is a member of that body, but after the other members of the body have submitted declarations that the financial statements meet the requirements stipulated by law. Such declaration shall be made in electronic form and bear a qualified electronic signature, a trusted signature, or a personal signature, or shall be made in paper form and bear a handwritten signature. In this case, when submitting the financial statements, a scan of the aforementioned paper statement may be attached (the statement must be signed in the manuscript).
The financial statements themselves are signed by the persons obliged to do so using a qualified electronic signature (external certificate) or by means of a trusted ePUAP profile. A foreigner who does not have a PESEL number will be able to sign the financial statements only by means of a qualified electronic signature – such a signature can be purchased from an entity providing such services in Poland, e.g. Certum.
It should be remembered that financial statements cannot be drawn up in paper form and then signed by hand – the financial statements must be drawn up in electronic form and then signed with a qualified electronic signature or a trusted signature.
As a foreigner, do I need a PESEL number to self-file my financial statements?
Yes. If you are a foreigner who does not have a PESEL number, you will not be able to file the financial statements yourself. In this case, you as a foreigner will be able to file the financial statements through an attorney (e.g. Attorney-At-Law) or a proxy of the company.
This is because, without having a PESEL number, it is not possible to set up an ePUAP trusted profile, and this excludes the possibility of authenticating a request to file financial documents with the KRS.
In summary, if you are a foreigner, you can sign and self-file the financial statements of your business under certain conditions:
– if you have a PESEL number, you can sign the financial statements with either a qualified electronic signature or an ePUAP trusted profile and then file the financial statements in the dedicated system;
– if you do not have a PESEL number, you can sign the financial statements with a qualified electronic signature and then submit the financial statements in a dedicated system with the help of a professional proxy (e.g. Attorney-At-Law) or a company proxy.