Doing business

Current business situation

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Poland. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

Business culture

Polish business people will want a clear understanding of what is to be dealt with in any meeting. A company profile and product literature should also be available.

It is recommended that companies visit the market regularly for face to face meetings and to maintain frequent telephone and email contact between visits.

Punctuality is very important, if you are late for a meeting call ahead to advise and give as much notice as possible. The peak summer holiday months of July and August are difficult to arrange meetings. In addition, many companies shut down over the Christmas and New Year period.

Dress attire is conservative. Most business people will wear suits, although ‘smart-casual’ is becoming more widespread in some industry sectors.

It is usual that company representatives address each other by their surname, until you are invited to use first names. Polish people can be quite conscious of hierarchy. You should be sensitive to the fact that the older generation tends to be quite conservative.

Business cards are exchanged at the beginning of meetings and do not need to be translated.

Gift giving is not a usual part of Polish business etiquette. Some organisations are encouraged not to accept any form of gift and some are prevented from doing so on legal grounds.

English is widely spoken in business circles in big cities, but the option of interpreting should be offered.

Setting up in Market

The most common market entry strategy for Australian companies is to partner with a local partner or distributor. It is important to note that companies will also need to be actively involved in marketing and promoting their product and visit the market regularly.

Banking and finance

The largest banks in Poland include:

  • PKO Bank Polski
  • Bank Pekao SA
  • Santander Bank Polska
  • mBank
  • ING Bank Śląski
  • Bank Millennium
  • Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas
  • Alior Bank
  • Raiffeisen Polbank
  • Citi Handlow

Major credit cards are accepted in the majority of shops countrywide.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

Customs Service
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Polish Investment & Trade Agency

News and media

Krakow Post
The Polish Radio
The Warsaw Business Journal
The Warsaw Voice

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.