How to set up a petrol station - practical tips

Service Business

At the gas station, drivers buy liquid fuels - mainly gasoline, but also diesel oil and LPG. Most gas stations in the country offer services around the clock, every day of the week. Additionally, you can buy basic food products or automotive accessories (engine oils, coolants and other car preparations as well as small spare parts). Check how to set up a petrol station!

Prerequisites for running a petrol station

Conducting business activity in the field of trading in liquid fuels requires a license. The issues of obtaining a license are regulated by the provisions of the Act of April 10, 1997 - Energy Law. After a positive decision, the President of the Energy Regulatory Office issues a license to the interested entrepreneur.

A person who may apply for a license:

  1. has its seat or place of residence in the territory of a member state of the European Union, the Swiss Confederation or a member state of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area,

  2. has financial resources in the amount that guarantees the proper performance of activities or is able to document the possibility of obtaining them,

  3. has the technical capabilities to ensure the proper performance of the business,

  4. will ensure employment of people with appropriate professional qualifications - applies to liquid gas refueling,

  5. obtained a decision on land development and development conditions or a decision to determine the location of an investment in the construction of a nuclear power facility, referred to in the Act of 29 June 2011 on the preparation and implementation of investments in the field of nuclear power facilities and associated investments,

  6. he is not in arrears with the payment of taxes constituting the income of the state budget, except in cases when he obtained the exemption provided for by law, deferment, distribution of tax arrears or tax into installments or withholding the entire implementation of the decision of the competent tax authority.

The granting of a concession may also depend on the applicant submitting a property security to satisfy claims of third parties that may arise as a result of improper conduct of the activity covered by the concession, including environmental damage. The request for such security is determined by the concession authority prior to issuing the decision.

The concession is issued for a fixed period (from 10 to 50 years). After obtaining the license, the entrepreneur running the fuel station is entered in the database of companies holding a license to trade in liquid fuels. When setting up a petrol station, the entrepreneur must meet a number of location requirements and meet the conditions related to the safety of trading and environmental protection.

You can read more about this in Art. 131a of the Regulation of the Minister of Economy of November 21, 2005 on technical conditions to be met by liquid fuel bases and stations, long-distance transmission pipelines for the transport of crude oil and petroleum products and their location. As a rule, an entrepreneur who decides to set up a petrol station must take into account the need to register in the BDO register with the Marshal of the voivodeship in a situation where he will place products, packaged products on the market and manage waste.

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Determination of the PKD number for petrol stations

Depending on the profile of the petrol station operated, it can be defined with the following PKD codes:

  • 4730Z Retail sale of fuel for motor vehicles at service stations,

This class includes the retail sale of:

  • fuels for motor vehicles,

  • lubricants and coolants for motor vehicles.

However, in the case of the sale of other products or the provision of additional services, these will be the following PKD number:

  • 4711Z Retail sale in non-specialized stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating,

  • 47.25Z Retail sale of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in specialized stores,

  • 45.20Z - Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, excluding motorcycles (includes vehicle washing).

Permissible forms of running a petrol station

When running a petrol station, the entrepreneur may do so in any form, except for a partner company (which is reserved for liberal professions).

How to set up a petrol station?

Depending on the selected activity, it must be registered in CEIDG (sole proprietorship, civil law partnership) or in the National Court Register (general partnership, limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, limited liability company, joint-stock company) kept by district courts competent for the seat the company being created. Only one economic activity can be conducted in Poland.

The best form of taxation for petrol stations

An entrepreneur operating a petrol station may choose from the following forms of taxation:

  • General rules,

  • flat tax,

  • lump sum on registered revenues.

People running a service station cannot tax their business income in the form of a tax card.

Taxation according to general principles is profitable in a situation where the entrepreneur running a service station does not expect to exceed the first tax threshold (PLN 85,528 of income). Taking advantage of taxation under general rules, the taxpayer has the opportunity to take advantage of many reliefs that cannot be used by the flat taxpayer (e.g. pro-family relief or joint settlement with the spouse). From 2017, when calculating the advance on income tax, when:
- the taxpayer's income will not exceed PLN 85,528, the tax reduction amount will be PLN 556.02 per year;
- the taxpayer's income exceeds the amount of PLN 85,528, the advance income tax payments are not reduced by the amount that reduces the tax. When paying a flat tax, an entrepreneur, regardless of the amount of income earned, always pays a 19% tax - therefore it is profitable for taxpayers with high revenues.

In turn, when paying with a lump sum, the taxpayer pays the tax only on the revenues earned. In the case of running a petrol station, the flat rate is 3% - of the operating revenues from the sale of goods. The entrepreneur must remember, however, that he cannot reduce the revenue by the tax-deductible costs, which in the case of fuel sales constitute significant expenses. He also cannot settle accounts with his spouse or deduct a child allowance.

Petrol station - VAT and cash register issues

Considering the high turnover of petrol stations and many customers who are VAT taxpayers, it is best to run the station as a VAT payer. You will also need to purchase a cash register. When purchasing the first cash register, the taxpayer has the option of obtaining a subsidy (90% of the value of the device, not more than PLN 700 from the net purchase of the cash register).

Contributions to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) of petrol stations

If the service station is to be run as a sole proprietorship, a sole proprietorship limited liability company. or a civil law partnership, general partnership, limited partnership or partnership, the entrepreneur must register for insurance at ZUS. Also partners from the above-mentioned companies are premium payers for their own insurance.

The sum of contributions without voluntary sickness insurance (including the contribution to the Labor Fund) in 2018 amounts to PLN 1,163.39, with the voluntary sickness insurance - PLN 1,228.70 (including the contribution to the Labor Fund). Entrepreneurs who start running a sole proprietorship in the first 24 months are entitled to take advantage of the preferential ZUS rates. They amount to PLN 519.28 - including voluntary health insurance. Persons using the preferential ZUS rates are also not obliged to pay the Labor Fund (PLN 62.67).

An entrepreneur running an insurance agency may take advantage of the so-called start-up allowance, which entitles the entrepreneur to pay the health insurance premium for a period of 6 months. In 2018, the health insurance contribution amounts to PLN 319.94 - 9% of the calculation base, respectively (PLN 275.51 to be deducted). In order to take advantage of this relief, the following conditions must be met, among others:

  • the taxpayer is a natural person,
  • the activity conducted by him may not be performed for the benefit of the former employer for whom, prior to the commencement of economic activity, the person provided work under an employment relationship or a cooperative employment relationship
  • undertakes business activity for the first time or undertakes it again, however, with the reservation that at least 60 calendar months have already passed since the date of the last suspension or termination of business activity.

Fuel station management

The development of a business such as your own petrol station is not the same as expanding a small shop. We cannot talk about developing the company step by step, because today's consumer is demanding and expects from us the full spectrum of possibilities. In addition to refueling, he wants to be able to sit down, buy drinks for the road and take advantage of car cleaning. The entrepreneur is therefore thrown into the deep water in the context of company management. Therefore, it is worth doing research on programs available on the market that facilitate the work of the entrepreneur. One of them is the system known on the market.

Thanks to the platform, a beginner entrepreneur gains, among others

  • an invoicing program - enabling the issuing of all types of invoices for contractors in various languages ​​and currencies
  • sending e-declarations and SAF-T reports thanks to integration with the Ministry of Finance and e-ZUS
  • CRM module - used to manage relations with contractors or planning tasks in a travel agency
  • keeping records of employees' working time and their settlement

Company account for petrol stations

Polish regulations do not explicitly specify whether an entrepreneur is required to have a separate company account. All payments can be made through the trader's personal account. However, he must be the sole owner of this account - you cannot use a joint account with your spouse in this case, for example.

Housing conditions for petrol stations

In order to run a petrol station, the premises must meet certain construction and location conditions. These requirements cover both the commercial building and storage rooms as well as fuel tanks, installations and dispensers. The conditions vary depending on the station profile. Depending on the area of ​​the gas station, it may additionally include:

- bathroom with shower,

- tire inflation station,

- a vacuum cleaner for the interior of the car,

- automatic car wash for vehicles,

- a more extensive commercial part - preparing meals, fresh bread, etc.

The larger the gas station, the more customers - apart from drivers, local residents often come there to do small shopping. This is especially true on non-trading days. You can also buy alcohol at gas stations.

Housing conditions for liquid fuel stations

If the taxpayer plans to run a liquid fuel station, it must be equipped with:

  • sewage systems and other devices preventing the penetration of petroleum products into the ground, surface and ground waters,

  • devices for measuring and monitoring the condition of stored petroleum products,

  • devices for signaling the leakage of petroleum products to the ground, surface and ground waters,

  • devices preventing the emission of class I petroleum product vapors to the air in the processes of supplying storage tanks to liquid fuel stations,

  • devices for the recovery of Class I petroleum product vapors that evaporate during their release to the vehicle tank and for transferring these vapors to a storage tank for these products or to a liquid fuel dispenser.

The distance of the liquid fuel dispenser, drain connection, measuring pipe and breathing tube of a liquid fuel station should be at least:

  • one meter more than the range of the explosion hazard zone - from the pavilion of the liquid fuel station intended for the simultaneous presence of no more than 50 people without providing hotel services,

  • 10 m - from buildings with a non-flammable structure, with the exception of those listed in paragraph 1,

  • 20 m - from other buildings not listed in point 2,

  • 20 m - from the forest border,

  • 5 m - from the border of the neighboring undeveloped plot.

More about the construction and location requirements for liquid fuel stations can be found in the Regulation of the Minister of Economy of November 21, 2005 on the technical conditions to be met by liquid fuel bases and stations, long-distance transmission pipelines for the transport of crude oil and petroleum products and their location.

Location conditions for liquid gas stations

The construction and location conditions for liquid gas stations are included in the Regulation of the Minister of Economy of November 21, 2005 on technical conditions to be met by liquid fuel bases and stations, long-distance transmission pipelines for the transport of crude oil and petroleum products and their location.

The requirements relate, inter alia, to the storage of liquefied gas. It can be stored in liquid fuel stations or in independent LPG stations in:

  • underground tanks with a capacity of up to 20 m3 and a total capacity of up to 40 m3,

  • above-ground tanks with a capacity of up to 5 m3 and a total capacity of up to 10 m3,

  • steel cylinders with a total mass of liquefied gas up to 1,350 kg in storage facilities intended for this purpose.

In turn, LPG cylinders:

  • are stored in warehouses with a light roof structure and side curtain walls with a bottom clearance of 0.2 m to 0.25 m from the floor area of ​​the warehouse room elevated to 0.1 m in relation to the adjacent area, and in open space or in containers with openwork construction,

  • shall be stored in an upright position and secured against falling by means of barriers, partitions or other means, and the valves of cylinders with the mass of LPG over 5 kg are protected with caps or appropriate covers.

It is allowed to store empty cylinders and cylinders filled with LPG in one room, provided that they are stored separately.

Fulfillment of all the conditions specified in the ordinances is confirmed by the fire brigade and the transport technical supervision.

If an entrepreneur wants a car wash at his petrol station, this requires additional decisions and permits in the field of environmental protection. On the other hand, if you plan to sell food at a petrol station, you must maintain an appropriate sanitary regime.

Play music to the public at a gas station

If the entrepreneur plans to play music publicly at a gas station, he must obtain a license. It is granted for various forms of using works protected by copyright, e.g. for public reproductions and performances of works.

If the entrepreneur is not sure if he needs a license, he should contact the collective management organization.

Gas station and GDPR

The future entrepreneur running a fuel station, in connection with the entry of new EU regulations, i.e. Regulation of the European Parliament and the EU Council 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46 / EC (in short: GDPR) on May 25, 2018, is obliged in particular to:

  1. ensuring an appropriate level of security of personal data processed, in accordance with the principles set out in the GDPR Regulation,
  2. performing obligations arising from the rights of persons to whom personal data relate,
  3. providing yourself, as the data controller, with the information indicated in the GDPR and information on how personal data will be processed (for what purpose) and on what legal basis.

Obligations, in connection with the GDPR, boil down to granting appropriate authorizations to persons who will have access to personal data (employees, contractors, contractors, etc.), signing contracts for entrusting the processing of personal data with third parties, obtaining from the person whose data personal data are obtained, appropriate consent (if required by the GDPR) and informing such a person about his / her rights.

Marketing of petrol stations

The gas station itself does not need advertising - we will not hear about it on the radio or see advertisements in newspapers. However, in order to let the target audience know about the existence of a station, you need to invest in roadside advertising, such as banners. It is outdoor advertising that is the greatest ally of a petrol station, whose most important customer is the driver. If the station is run under a franchise agreement, usually the brand itself cares for the advertising of the station, which is accompanied by various promotions, rewards for points, etc.

It is also worth taking care of advertising on the Internet, especially if it is free. The portal offers such a possibility. The owner of a newly opened petrol station can post a business card there and attach the most important information, e.g. how to get there, telephone number or opening hours.

However, the most important thing is the location of the gas station. It can be located both in the city and on the outskirts or at motorway exits. Access to it should be well signposted, and there should be a parking lot for cars at the station.