The aim of the study was is to initially recognizeachieve initial recognition of the factors which that determine the survival rate of Polish micro and small enterprises. The research, conducted in June 2011, and covering the a sample of 147 entities, is constitutes of thea pilot characterstudy. We explore the determinants of companies’ survival and test whether firms with different characteristics exhibit different performances in terms of the duration of survival. The results indicate substantial differences in the survival rates. The factors taken into account in this study, which in to the greatest extent possible differentiates the whole sample in view of survival, are: running the business with employees or alone and specialist vs. popular activity as regards the required competences. Larger firms (with employees) were are significantly less likely to close than smaller firms. Firms in the highly competitive markets are more prone to closure.