ZUS preferential rates - who cannot use them?


Payment of contributions to the account of the Social Insurance Institution, or rather their amount, often causes fear among entrepreneurs. However, when setting up a business for the first time, they may take advantage of a certain privilege and pay preferential social security rates.In what specific situations is such a privilege granted and what conditions must be met?

Preferential ZUS rates for new companies

For persons starting a sole proprietorship, the Act on the social insurance system provides the so-called preferential ZUS rates. For people who start their own business, this is of no small importance as they generally pay less on social security thanks to the possibility of paying reduced rates. Additionally, the beneficiaries of the preferential ZUS rates are not obliged to pay the Labor Fund.

The preferential ZUS rates do not apply to the payment of health insurance contributions. Until the end of 2021, each entrepreneur pays this premium on the same basis, i.e. on the declared amount, not lower than 75% of the average monthly remuneration in the enterprise sector. From 2022, the method of calculating the health insurance premium and the method of its amount will depend on the form of taxation.

The suspension of economic activity does not interrupt the ZUS tax relief period, which lasts for 24 months.

The amount of preferential ZUS rates

Due to the conducted activity, an entrepreneur is obligatorily subject to: retirement pension, disability pension, accident and health insurance. Only sickness insurance is voluntary for the entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs who are entitled to pay preferential ZUS rates may pay contributions on the individually declared amount, subject to the lower limit. The determined basis for the contributions paid may not be lower than 30% of the minimum remuneration for work.

Below is a breakdown of the premiums for new companies:

Preferential minimum social contributions



Contribution basis

PLN 840

PLN 903


PLN 163.97

176.27 PLN


PLN 67.20

72.24 PLN


PLN 20.58

PLN 22.12


PLN 14.03

PLN 15.08


PLN 265.78

PLN 285.71

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Who is not entitled to preferential ZUS rates?

Preferential ZUS rates are not available to persons starting their business activity pursuant to the provisions of the Act on Economic Activity or other specific provisions, which:

  • conduct or have conducted non-agricultural activity during the last 60 calendar months prior to the commencement of economic activity,
  • perform economic activity for the benefit of a former employer for whom, prior to the commencement of economic activity in the current or previous calendar year, they performed activities falling within the scope of their economic activity under an employment relationship or a cooperative employment relationship.

Read more about ZUS preferential rates:
- Preferential social security contributions - how much are they in 2022?
- ZUS preferential contributions - when do they end?
- Preferential ZUS contributions in 2022 - amounts, dates and bases
- When an entrepreneur paying preferential ZUS contributions has to pay the labor fund

Therefore, the reduced contributions will not be used by entrepreneurs who, after setting up their business, will perform activities for the former employer with whom they have an employment relationship (employment contract) or a cooperative employment relationship within the last two years from the establishment of the business. Preferential ZUS contributions are due to entrepreneurs who work within the company for a former client, for whom, before starting their business activity, they performed work on the basis of civil law contracts, e.g. contract of mandate.

Preferential ZUS rates - who else cannot benefit?

In addition, it should be remembered that the preferential ZUS rates will also not be available to persons cooperating in conducting sole proprietorship, even though the contributions of cooperating persons are paid on a similar basis to persons running a business.

The preferential rates of ZUS are also not available to: partners of general partnerships, limited partnerships and partnerships and a one-person shareholder of a limited liability company, as well as authors and artists.