You can already apply for low-interest loans for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, within the program conducted by the Polish Development Fund. In today’s post, I explain what help can be received by micro-entrepreneurs – 25 bln PLN is dedicated for this purpose.
Who Is Micro-entrepreneur?
In order to be quailified as a micro-entrepreneur and to be able to apply for help on the rules described below, you have to employ from one to nine employees (excluding the entrepreneur if he is a natural person), and your annual turn-over cannot exceed the amount of 2 mln EUR. Persons cooperating with the entrepreneur on other basis than employment contract, are not considered to be employees.
Requirements For Micro-entrepreneur
In order to apply for help within the financial shield, a micro-entrepreneur has to fulfill the following requirements:
1. Turn-over decrease by at least 25%
A turn-over (revenues) of a micro-entrepreneur has to decrease at least by 25% in any month after February 1st, 2020 in comparison to the previous month or to the same month last year. The decrease should occur in connection with the coronavirus.
2. Business activity since at least December 31st, 2019
In the moment of the application submission, an entrepreneur has to be active. Entrepreneurs under liquidation, bankruptcy or restructuring proceedings are excluded from the program. Furthermore, a micro-entrepreneur has to run his business activity at least since December 31st, 2019.
3. Business activity in Poland
The financial shield is only for entrepreneurs conducting their business activity in Poland – they should be entered into the entrepreneurs register of the National Court Register or to the Central Registration and Information on Business. Moreover, a micro-entrepreneur should have tax residency in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the main beneficial owner cannot have tax residence in any tax haven (however an exemption is possible – when the beneficial owner makes a declaration to move his tax residency to EEA).
4. Other criteria
A micro-entrepreneur cannot have unpaid taxes of social security fees for December 31st, 2020 or for the date of the application submission. Moreover, some type of activities are excluded eg. investment funds, loan companies or rating agencies.
The application has to be filed via electronic system of bank taking part in the program. The list of the banks offering such possibility can be found on the website of the Polish Development Fund (https://pfr.pl/en/). Filling the application in you should follow the instructions displayed on the screen. Banks also prepared manuals explaining how the application can be filed.
Decision And Agreement
After the application is filled, an entrepreneur has to wait for the decision. There are three scenarios possible – the full amount form the application is awarded, only a part of the amount is awarded and the application is declined. Appeal is possible. In the event of positive decision, an agreement is concluded determining the scope of help and obligations of the micro-entrepreneur.
Amount of Help and Rules of Return
The maximum amount of help is calculated on the basis of number of employees and the amount of turn-over decrease. There are three thresholds with the rates associated with each of them:
- turn-over decrease by at least 25% but no more than 50% – rate of PLN 12,000;
- turn-over decrease by at least 50% but no more than 75% – rate of PLN 24,000;
- turn-over decrease by at least 75% – rate of PLN 36,000.
The relevant rate has to be multiplied by the number of employees of the entrepreneur – the result is the maximum amount for which the micro-entrepreneur can to apply. In this case, all persons hired by the entrepreneur should be taken into consideration (not only persons with employment contract, unlike in the case of determining the micro-entrepreneur status). If the entrepreneur is a natural person, he does not count in.
If the entrepreneur conducts business activity in 12 months after granting loan, only 25% of it shall be returned. If within the above term the entrepreneur does not keep the employment rate at the same level, an amount to be returned shall be increased proportionally to the amount of employment reduction.
If the entrepreneur stops business activity within the above term, starts liquidation, bankruptcy or restructuring proceedings, the loan shall be returned in full.
The loan can be spend only according to the rules of the program. In general – it can be used only to pay costs connected with business activity.