Family business - company inheritance


Running a family business is a very good idea. When it does prosper, the owner thinks about passing it on to his descendants. Can micro and small businesses be inherited? Let's check what the inheritance of a company looks like in the case of sole proprietorship - one of the most common organizational and legal forms in Poland.

Company inheritance - sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the most common form of running a business in Poland. The basic name of the company in this case is the first and last name of the owner. What does company inheritance look like? Formally, the regulations do not allow this activity to change hands.

The inheritance law regulations do not allow the company to be transferred in its entirety, because it is not subject to inheritance:

  • company name, which is the entrepreneur's name and surname,

  • NIP (tax identification number),

  • licenses,

  • concessions.

Inheriting a sole proprietorship when the entrepreneur has left a will

When the deceased leaves a will, he can indicate in it who will receive the inheritance and to what extent. However, in this case, the testator is not 100% sure that the company will actually go into the hands of the person he indicated. If you want to transfer the company to one heir, it is worth using the so-called debt collection record. Then the will must take the form of a notarial deed. On its basis, the enterprise may fall into the hands of one person. It should be remembered that the heir who inherits the company, in fact, inherits only his property. In order for the enterprise to continue to function, the heir must set up his own business.

Inheriting a sole proprietorship when the entrepreneur has not left a will

If the entrepreneur has not left a will, the inheritance of the company takes place in accordance with the provisions of the inheritance law, according to which the inheritance is in the first place to the spouse and children. They inherit equally. The spouse's share of the inheritance may not be less than ¼.

Company inheritance rules

Pursuant to the Act on Inheritance Law, the order of inheritance is as follows:

  1. spouse and children - inheritance in equal shares; the spouse's share may not be less than ¼;

  2. spouse and parents - if the deceased had a spouse and had no children, then the spouse and parents are inherited; each parent's share accounts for a quarter of the inheritance;

  3. siblings - when one or both of the parents are dead, some of them go to the deceased's siblings; division occurs in equal parts; when he does not live to see the opening of the estate, their heirs take their place;

  4. grandparents - when the deceased had no spouse, parents, siblings and descendants of siblings, the inheritance will go to the grandparents; when all grandparents live until the inheritance is opened, there is a quarter for each of them; when one of the grandparents is dead, his descendants inherit;

  5. stepchildren - when the testator has no parents or children or other relatives, then they can inherit the children of his spouse (provided that both parents are dead);

  6. The State Treasury and the commune - when the testator did not leave any persons who could be heirs.

As you can see, statutory inheritance of a company is quite complicated and in its case you should take into account the division of property.The inheritance proceedings then take quite a long time, which may contribute to the cessation of the company's operation. In addition, it should be remembered that the heirs, in addition to the property, will inherit debts - then the matter becomes even more complicated.


In order to avoid this type of problem, the entrepreneur should consider changing the form from a sole proprietorship to a commercial company.