Securing sole proprietorship in the event of death

The death of a business owner can hit the family from two sides. When establishing our own sole proprietorship, we focus on the development of our business and do not think about possible problems in the event of our illness or death. The current state of the epidemic provokes reflection, making us aware that at any moment we can be isolated in quarantine, we can get sick, and even end our lives in a short time. What then with our activity – hairdressing salon, shop, rental of construction equipment…. Is founded by us the company will cease to exist? What about employees, leases, goods, taxes …….

Succession management

November 25, 2018 the act on succession management of a natural person’s enterprise and other facilities related to the succession of enterprises entered into force. The act introduced the person of the succession administrator into Polish law. In the event of the death of a sole trader, such an administrator will be able to temporarily manage the enterprise, thus ensuring the continuity of the enterprise until the inheritance case is resolved after the deceased entrepreneur (two years after the death of the entrepreneur, it may be extended to 5 years for important reasons). The person of the manager must have full legal capacity and may not be legally prohibited from conducting business activity. She does not have to be related to the deceased entrepreneur, and she does not need to conduct a business. The appointment of a succession manager is important, because after the death of the entrepreneur, his activity can still be carried out as before. Only the designation “inherited” is added to the company name. The administrator acts on behalf of the owner of the inherited enterprise, i.e. a potential heir of the enterprise.

death of the business owner

How to appoint a succession manager?

The appointment of a succession manager is possible both during the lifetime of the entrepreneur and after the death of the owner of the company. During the lifetime of the entrepreneur, the same is done by the entrepreneur, and if the manager was not appointed before the death of the entrepreneur, he may be appointed by:

  • the spouse of the entrepreneur who is entitled to an inheritance in the enterprise, or
  • the legal heir of the entrepreneur who accepted the inheritance, or
  • the testamentary heir of the entrepreneur who accepted the inheritance, or the legatee of the debt collection who accepted the legacy, if, according to the announced will, he or she is entitled to a share in the enterprise in the estate.

On the other hand, after the decision on the acquisition of an inheritance becomes final, registration of an inheritance certificate or issuance of a European certificate of inheritance, the succession administrator may be appointed only by the inheritance enterprise owner. It is necessary to agree to the appointment of a succession administrator by heirs who are entitled to a share in the enterprise of at least 85%.

The person elected as the manager must agree to perform this function. After obtaining the appropriate consent, an entry in CEIDG should be made. If the entrepreneur does it while he is alive – for this purpose he must complete the form available on the CEIDG website online or send the form by post. It is free. If the application is submitted by the legal successors of the entrepreneur, it is necessary to use the services of a notary.

Lawyer Aleksandra Tabędzka

Apl. lawyer Agnieszka Skoracka



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