Establishing a Business in Finland
"The objective of the Government's economic policy is to create a framework that will foster company start-up, growth and internationalization." Prime Minister's Office
- Jump Down to:
- Introduction & Types of Business in Finland
- Starting a Business: Professional Services
- Enterprise Finland: Advice for Entrepreneurs
- Business Information System (YTJ / BIS)
- Trade Register: Patent & Registration Office
- Online Forms, Notices and Applications
- Opening a Corporate Bank Account
- Related Links
Introduction & Types of Business
Finland is an easy place for entrepreneurs to get started, and assistance is available. Setting up a business can be a good way for immigrants to obtain work; over 6,500 Finnish businesses have been established by people who have moved from abroad.
Business can be conducted as an entrepreneur, a general partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability company, or a cooperative. A European Economic Area (EEA) resident may act as a private entrepreneur. Such an entrepreneur / private trader / self-employed person is not a company; they act in their own name.
New enterprises, including foreign companies starting up business in Finland, must submit a basic declaration to the trade register using the start-up notification. The notification can also be used for registration in the employer register, prepayment register and/or VAT register; details below.
Important: Setting up as an entrepreneur impacts your pension and social security entitlements!
See also: Yle News article 23.7.2015 Finnish Entrepreneurs Get the Short End of the Stick Archive
Rantalainen Oy: Fully authorised accounting and financial administration group founded in 1972. Expert services include Business Start-up and Development. Rantalainen's online English-language PDF Starting a Business in Finland is a good introduction, including:
- The Finnish legal system
- Legal aspects: General
- Key legal dimensions of the Finnish corporate environment
- Subsidiary or Branch?
- Ways of doing business in Finland
- Establishment: Costs and length of time
- Electronic corporate environment in Finland: Katso-ID
- Starting a Business in Finland Information and PDF
Rantalainen has 18 offices in Finland and partners world-wide. Service available in Finnish, English, Swedish, Russian, German, Estonian and Spanish - please ask about other languages. International Services are located in Helsinki City Centre. Site in En, Fi, Sw
F & B Advisors: Established in 2005, F & B provides company registration services and an incorporation package to help you start your business or branch in Finland. From identifying the right company form to undertaking the entire registration process, company registration is made simple.
A comprehensive incorporation package is available, which does not require a presence in Finland and can be conducted by email. It includes:
- Preparation of all documents
- Submission of documents to the Finnish Trade register
- Minutes of the meeting for opening a bank account
- EU VAT / Finnish VAT number registration
- Income tax (pre-tax) registration
- Employer registration, and more..
F & B Advisors additionally provides provide a full range of accounting, tax and corporate services in English, Finnish and Russian. Head office in Helsinki. En, Fi
FinTax Business Solutions: Authorised accounting firm providing Company Formations services including:
- Business start-ups
- Mergers, acquisitions, and divisions
- Changes to form of existing company
- Winding up and dissolution
FinTax's additional services include financial administration, accounting, payroll, taxation, reporting, software leasing, administrative services, controller services and consulting. Auditing services can also be arranged. Member of Integra International, allowing clients access to services in 60+ countries. Service in English, Finnish and Swedish. Offices in Helsinki and Malmi En, Fi, Sw
Enterprise Finland , coordinated by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, offers guidance for new entrepreneurs. They can help you assess your personal and financial capabilities, and your business's chances of success. They can assist with development of your business concept, formulation of your business plan, and practical measures involved in establishing a business. Financial support at the start-up stage may be available, and information on legal and tax obligations is provided.
See Enterprise Finland's Starting a Business section. Topics are covered step by step in the Checklist for start-up entrepreneurs, in the order in which a prospective entrepreneur would usually encounter them.
Enterprise Finland > In English > Information on running a business > Starting a business
- Finnish Enterprise Agencies' 2014 guide Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland PDF
Versions of this document are also available in Swedish, Russian, Arabic, Estonian, Chinese, French, Turkish, Somali, Kurdish and Finnish
See Entrepreneur Guides
- Enterprise Helsinki Like Enterprise Finland, with details of courses, information seminars, business tools, services - Ar, De, En, Est, Fi, Fr, Ru, Sw
The Business Information System (BIS) is jointly maintained by the The Finnish Patent and Registration Office and the Tax Administration.
BIS enables businesses to report their company information to both the above authorities in a single notification rather than submitting duplicate data to the Trade Register and the registers kept by the Tax Administration.
The Business Information System includes businesses and corporations entered into the
- Trade Register
- Register of Foundations
- VAT register
- Prepayment Register
- Employer Register or
- the Client Register of the Tax Administration.
Business ID / Y-tunnus
A new business will get a Business ID / Y-tunnus as soon as the start-up notification has been entered in the Business Information System. Once you start doing business, you will feel that the Y-tunnus is like Personal Identity Code / Henkilötunnus for your company! The Business ID replaces the Trade Register Number, Foundation Register Number and Business Code used in the past.
Using a Y-tunnus, you can search detailed information about Finnish companies by visiting
Business Information System > In English > BIS-Search
Apart from contact details you will see the form of company, main lines of business, registrations in force, registration history, and more. This tool can help you make educated decisions about whether to deal with a company, and you can ensure the details of registration of your own company are correct.
The Trade Register is a publicly accessible data bank containing official information on traders and businesses Finland-wide. The majority of businesses are limited liability companies and private traders. As a rule, all businesses have to be registered at the Trade Register, and must notify the register of any changes in their details. Most businesses must also submit their financial statements to the register.
Contracting parties can obtain details from the Trade Register concerning, for example, the existence of a company, its articles of association, its representatives, and submission of the latest annual accounts for registration. Register entries are accessible both to the public and to authorities.
Finnish Patent and Registration Office > In English > Trade Register
The required notices and applications to the various registers are used by the Tax Administration and the National Board of Patents and Registration. They do not however need to be submitted to these authorities separately; through the Business Information System enterprises can report their information to both authorities using single notifications.
BIS offers bilingual English / Finnish versions of
its most common forms to make completion easier. These
include Start-up notifications, and Notifications on amendments or terminations of business amongst others. They are available for private traders, limited companies, general and limited partnerships and more.
Note: Even though these forms include English translations, they must by law be completed in Finnish or Swedish!
Business Information System > In English > Notification Forms
Opening an account for your company is generally quite simple. An account can usually be opened when the following documents concerning the company are presented, but due to possible variances between banks you should contact the bank you have chosen to verify the requirements; it may also be necessary to appoint a meeting time:
1. Extract from the Trade Register (no older than three months). If the company has not yet been registered, the extract from the Trade Register can be replaced by:
- a register certificate indicating that a declaration of establishment has been submitted
- documents of incorporation (for example for a limited company, memorandum of association, articles of association and the minutes of the constitutive meeting of shareholders)
2. An extract from the minutes of the company's decision-making body, which indicates the names of those officials of the company authorised to use the account and their authorizations, the decision to open an account, possible lending and submitting of collateral
3. An account of incoming and outgoing payments; their volume and the size of individual payments
4. An account of the company's operations (more detailed than the official line of business clause)
5. Other accounts (e.g. information on companies having shareholdings in the company etc.)
The required documents and information can be submitted either in Finnish, Swedish or English.
- Nordea > Language > English > Corporate Customers
- Osuuspankki > In English > Corporate Customers
- Danske Bank (formerly Sampo) > In English > Business
See also: Banking
- Lawyers & Legal Representation in Finland: Legal advice on business matters; finding a lawyer
- Legal Framework for Doing Business in Finland: PDF Information about the legal and business infrastructure in Finland. Booklet prepared 2012 by Roschier Attorneys Ltd. for the series 'Lex Mundi Guides to Doing Business'. Archive
- Development & Finance: Expat Finland page including information on business startup financing
- AYT - Ammatinharjoittajien ja Yrittäjien Työttömyyskassa: The Unemployment Fund for Entrepreneurs and the Self-Employed
- SYT-kassa - Suomen Yrittäjäin Työttömyyskassa: Finnish Entrepreneurs' Unemployment Fund Finnish / Swedish only
- Finnvera > In English > Starting a Business: Different financing methods targeted for start-up enterprises
- Finpro > In English: Provides services, support & information to help Finnish companies enter the international market
- Ministry of Employment & the Economy > In English > Enterprises: Promotes entrepreneurial activity, including development and finance activities
- Invest in Finland: Government agency promoting foreign investment in Finland, helps find business opportunities and provides guidance
- Suomi.fi > In English > E-Services: Multilingual e-services and downloadable forms from Finnish government agencies and local authorities