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What are business incubators and how do they work?

A business incubator is a unique entity that offers its legal personality to those who have an idea for business at it early stage of development.

Many entrepreneurs have often little resources, knowledge or the experience to create and conduct their own economic activities. In this stage startup incubators will be one of the best options to help businesses at the springboard stage to navigate most of these challenging aspects of their operations.

The several resources and services offered for the companies at the incubation period can vary, but often will include direct support such as mentoring, access to the business network or financial and legal aid.

Running your own business requires not only an original idea or the creation of a common business concept, but also  significant financial resources and considerable experience and knowledge.

The cost of services is only a small part of the expenses incurred that the future entrepreneur can expect. On a daily basis businesses need to consider the extra financial costs that will be involved, such as social insurance contributions, the cost of renting premises and finally, hiring the employees. At this stage it is equally important to have a legal and accounting support available, as you know, that also generates considerable additional expenses.

However, there is another way to minimize all those extra outlays for the first business. Incubator is one of the best solutions offered for the companies at this developing stage.

How does this work in practice?

Having assigned a contract with such an incubator, you become its separate department and work within its framework, as if you were managing your own company. In fact, the legal entity is not you, but the incubator – and its data will appear, for example, on invoices issued to counterparties or on contracts that you sign. In exchange for granting your legal personality, the incubator owner will charge you a fee. The cost depends on the package, but usually does not exceed the amount of 300-500 PLN polish zloty.

Who can use the services of the business incubator

The services of a business incubator can be used by both companies with already registered business activity, and those that have not yet been created and want to try their idea for business.

From the point of view of the status of supported entrepreneurship, two forms of incubator activity can be distinguished:

  1. pre-incubation - the stage of the incubator's work, at which the company and the entrepreneur have not yet been created, uses the legal personality of the incubator. If an entrepreneur wants, for example, to issue an invoice, it is issued by the incubator along with his NIP number.
  2. Incubation - in this case, assistance is offered after the registration of the business activity, but its volume will be similar to the assistance that takes place in pre-incubation.

The services offered by a business incubator may include, for example, the following:

  1. Accounting service,
  2. No need to pay social security contributions (ZUS),
  3. The company's income goes to the sub-account of the incubator, which can be used by you to the fullest;
  4. Legal services and consultations,
  5. Address for correspondence and registration address
  6. Possibility of using office premises,
  7. Some incubators have discounts on products, services for entrepreneurs,
  8. Free trainings or webinars

How to get the help of a business incubator?

Before the first contact, you should properly prepare for the conversation - the incubator employee will ask you in what form you would like to start a business and what help you expect. Also think about  whether we need comprehensive support (financial, legal, accounting, advisory) or maybe you will need limited assistance (for example, the provision of premises).

Registration in the business incubator system in most cases is possible remotely. Thus, Internet access is sufficient. In practice, it takes about 15-30 minutes, and getting full access to all incubator services, from the moment of registration and signing of the relevant contract, will take up to 2-3 days.


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