Rapidly expanding area of e-commerce is legally regulated on European level and by the member states, including Poland. Thus, if you consider to expand your business by an e-shop aimed at Polish customers you should abide to legal regulations at both levels. Check the most important legal obligations that shall matter to you when running an eShop in Poland.
LEGAL FORM OF BUSINESS
The e-shop may be run by entrepreneur as sole proprietorship with the requirement of registering in the Central Files and Information of Sole Proprietorships (CEIDG), or by a commercial law company registered in the National Court Register (KRS). It should be noted that an e-shop cannot be run as a partnership, which is for freelancers.
In order to run an e-shop compliant with the regulations, you will need a comprehensive documentation, such as shop regulations (commercial terms), complaints procedure, warranty conditions and procedure, invoices.
The scope of consumer protection granted by law is very broad. Moreover, it increases even further if the entrepreneur fails to comply with information duties. You should be extra diligent as far as proper labeling, pricing and broad information on consumer rights are concerned.
A consumer, by the fact of concluding the agreement by the means of distance communication, has additional rights, they should be informed about by the e-shop operator. The pivotal right is the right to withdraw from the purchase agreement within 14 days of receiving purchased goods without stating a reason. If the website lacks information about the possibility to withdraw from the contract within 14 days, the customer – by law – is entitled to as much as a 12-month withdrawal period. This follows directly from the Polish Consumer Rights Act.
CONSUMERS' PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION
If you are processing personal data of your clients, you need to fulfill the requirements of personal data protection regulations, in particular of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Please, remember that failure to comply with the GDPR provisions bears a risk of a incurring financial penalty of up to EUR 20 000 000, or in the case of a company, up to 4% of its total annual turnover.
As a taxpayer you should exercise extra diligence, as to which documents must be issued and delivered to end customers and tax authorities, and if you are subject to VAT. If you run an e-shop as B2C, you will also need a cash register.
The consequences of breaching the law while running an e-shop are severe from a business perspective. Exceptionally burdensome are the penalties associated with infringing customer rights and regulations on personal data protection.
NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR THE E-COMMERCE MARKET (DAC7 DIRECTIVE)
The obligations under the directive should be implemented by the Polish legislature by the end of 2022 and take effect at the beginning of 2023. Although the reporting obligation will fall on digital platform operators, the subject of the reporting will be the income earned by individual vendors and additional data on those vendors and their rental properties (located in the EU). Entities paying taxes disproportionately low to the volume and value of transactions through platforms will be able to expect interest from tax authorities.