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Acquisition of real estate in Poland by foreigners

Acquisition of real estate by foreigners is regulated by the Act of 24 March 1920 on Acquisition of Real Estate by Foreigners.

Acquisition of real estate in the strict sense of the word is acquisition:

  • ownership right to real estate or
  • perpetual usufruct right

on the basis of any legal event, e.g. sale, exchange, donation, inheritance.

However, the acquisition of real estate requiring a permit may also include the acquisition of shares or stocks in a Polish company which is the owner of the real estate or the right of perpetual usufruct by a foreigner:

  1. if the company becomes a controlled company as a result.

For example, when a Chinese investor wants to buy 51% of shares in a Polish company - the owner of a real estate - from a Pole, he needs a permit to do so.

  1. the company is a controlled company and the shares are acquired or taken up by a foreigner who is not a shareholder in the company.


Thus, for example, if a Russian investor wants to buy shares in a Polish controlled company - which owns a property - from another Russian shareholder, the permission will also be required.

A change of shareholder from a foreigner to a foreigner in a controlled company therefore also requires a permit.

However, exceptions to these rules have been provided for. For example, if the company's shares are admitted to trading on a regulated market, no permit is required.

No permit is required for foreigners who are citizens or entrepreneurs of countries - parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation (transitional periods until 2016 were in force here).

Ewa Kosowska-Czapla

Attorney-at-law/ Restructuring adviser

Szczecin, 22.02.2019.