Starting a business in Finland27 October 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 07 June 2012
The Finnish administrative authorities aim to help entrepreneurs starting a business in the country in all areas. Many companies located in Finland do business in other Nordic countries, as well as the Baltic countries and Russia. Finland offers an advantageous market position for some 80 million people.
The pursuit of some trades is restricted in Finland. These restrictions can be found in the Companies Act.
Legal forms for businesses
There are a number of different business forms. The business form influences the amount of tax paid, the division of responsibilities and how actions between the company and its owner are treated. It is worth investigating which form is the most suitable for your business.
The most common business forms are:
- sole trader;
- general partnership;
- limited partnership limited liability company;
Business activities and related rules
There are different rules for the different business forms, relating to the number of founders, the need for capital when commencing activities, division of liability, flexibility of activities, business continuity, distribution of profit and loss, and taxation.
Some trades require a licence.
It is worth familiarising oneself with the rules and regulations relating to businesses before setting up a new business.
Business plans and evaluation
When setting up a new business, it is worth preparing a business plan to explain the enterprise's activities.
There are different templates that can be used to design business prerequisites and viability. An electronic tool for preparing a business plan can be found on the Enterprise Finland website.
To succeed, a new business needs a sound commercial strategy and secure financing.
Some standard requirements to be completed when setting up a business are the same as when opening a branch.
Joint service point
A joint service point is a "one-stop shop" where you can easily complete all the forms required to set up a new business online.
Registering a company
The company must be given a business name before the documents for setting up a new business are prepared and the business is registered. This will be the company's insignia and it must be clearly different from existing company names.
New companies are registered in the Trade Register of the National Board of Patents and Registration (PRH). Companies can send their information for the registers maintained by the PRH and the Finnish Tax Administration on one form:
- Trade Register ;
- Prepayment Register ;
- Employer Register ;
- VAT Register.
For further information about registering a business:
An entrepreneur's statutory social security includes a pension plan. An entrepreneur may improve his pension and other social security benefits by means of voluntary insurance and pension payments.
An entrepreneur must insure himself against retirement, unemployment and death.
As the employer, the company is obliged to pay withheld tax from salaries paid and to pay the withheld tax and employer's social security contributions to the tax office.
Companies pay direct and indirect taxes for their business activities, such as value-added tax (VAT) and excise duty.
Companies that pursue a trade, agriculture or other profitable activity are registered in the prepayment register.
The national ministries grant business licences. In some cases, a licence is not required, only written notification from the business owner.
Virtual Finland is a multilingual website where non-Finnish nationals can find information about Finland.
Finnfacts helps companies with international communication, publishes material on industry and business life, and organises visits to Finnish companies for journalists.
Source: Your Europe