Economic activity without a permit - what are the consequences?


Running a business depends on many factors, ranging from the idea for your own business to the fulfillment of formal criteria provided for by law. This study presents the dangers of economic activity without a permit.

Business registration - where and how?

Among the entities that conduct business activity, we can distinguish those that have registered and those that, for unknown reasons, delay until the last moment or - even worse - do not register it at all.

Pursuant to the Entrepreneurs' Law Act, an entrepreneur may start a business on the day of submitting an application for entry in the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity (CEIDG) or after being entered in the register of entrepreneurs in the National Court Register (KRS).

Undeclared activity

In connection with the entry into force of the provisions on the Business Constitution, the possibility of conducting business activity without the necessity to register it has been introduced, provided that the following conditions are met:

  • a natural person earns income in each month not higher than 50% of the minimum wage (in 2018 this amount is PLN 1050);
  • a natural person has not run his business for the last 60 months, or if the activity was conducted, he had a break in the entry in CEIDG, which lasted at least one year from the deletion from the CEIDG.

Moreover, unregistered activities do not apply to civil partnerships and activities that require special permits or concessions.

Economic activity without a permit - consequences

The mere entry in CEIDG may not be sufficient to run your own business, because some forms of business activity require a separate permit. The lack of such a right results in a real criminal sanction - it is an offense.

Article 601 of the Code of Petty Offenses:

§ 1 Whoever carries out economic activity without the required notification to the economic activity register, entry in the regulated activity register or without the required license or permit, shall be subject to the penalty of restriction of liberty or a fine.

§ 2 The same penalty shall be imposed on anyone who fails to fulfill the obligation to report changes to the data included in the entry to the business register.

§ 3 Anyone who, being an entrepreneur, places goods on the market without the required markings, is liable to a fine.

§ 4 Who:

1) performs the tasks of a mountain guide for a fee without the qualifications required for a specific mountain area,

1a) conducts training for candidates for mountain guides without the required entry in the register of training organizers,

2) when providing hotel services, it uses generic names or categories of hotel facilities without a decision or contrary to the decision,

2a) when providing hotel services, uses markings that may mislead customers as to the type or category of the hotel facility,

3) provides hotel services in a facility that is not entered into the records against the obligation,

4) provides hotel services against the decision ordering the suspension of their provision

5) fails to notify the authority keeping the register of regulated activities of tourism organizers and travel intermediaries about the suspension of the activities of the tour operator or travel intermediary within 7 days from the date of such suspension.

- shall be subject to the penalty of restriction of liberty or a fine.

It follows directly from the provisions of the law that a natural person who conducts business activity without mandatory notification to CEIDG, entry in the register of regulated activity or without the required license or permit, is subject to a fine or even restriction of liberty.

The provision in question is of a preventive nature. Its function comes down to ensuring the proper performance of business activities.

It should be noted that the legislator did not explicitly regulate that guilt is to be determined by the intention of a given act. Thus, the perpetrator may commit the above-mentioned behavior both intentionally and unintentionally. This means that even a person who acts ignorantly that he is committing an offense will be punished. In this context, the principle applies ignorantia iuris nocet - ignorance of the law is harmful.

In summary, running a business involves many challenges. It is worth taking care to save yourself unnecessary problems from the very beginning. Therefore, all appropriate registrations should be made before starting your own business.