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Establishing a Business in Finland

Introduction & Types of Business
Finland is an easy place to do business, for foreign companies and entrepreneurs alike. Plenty of assistance is available. Over 6,500 Finnish businesses have been established by people who have moved from abroad.

Business can be conducted as a general partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability company, a cooperative, or an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur, also known as self-employed or private trader, acts in their own name - they are not a 'company'.

Foreign companies most commonly conduct business through a limited liability company (osakeyhtiö, "Oy") or a Finnish branch office.

All new enterprises, including foreign companies starting up business in Finland, must submit a start-up notification to the trade register. The notification can also be used for registration in the employer register, prepayment register and/or VAT register. Details below

Note: Setting up as an entrepreneur impacts your pension and social security entitlements.

Starting a Business: Professional Services

These reputable firms provide professional help setting up and effectively operating a new business in Finland.

Definition of Authorised Accounting Firm: In order to be eligible an accounting firm must be a member of the Association of Finnish Accounting Firms, comply with the rules of the Association and meet the requirements specified in the Institute for Accountancy’s rules concerning authorised accounting firms.

Rantalainen Oy: Fully authorised accounting and financial administration group with good reputation, founded in 1972. Expert services include consultancy, counselling, industry expertise and Business Start-up and Development. Rantalainen's online English-language PDF Starting a Business in Finland is a good introduction, including:

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
Kamppi, Helsinki Office: Salomonkatu 17 A, 00100 Helsinki Map
Tel: 010 321 6700

Leinonen: Established as Tehotilit Oy in 1989, Leinonen Finland has become Finland's most international accountancy firm, operating as part of the Leinonen Group in 11 countries. Leinonen provides specialist expertise guiding and supporting international companies entering Finnish markets, and Finnish companies establishing their businesses abroad. An authorised accounting firm, Leinonen's local and international services include:

Leinonen Finland
Helsinki Office: Malminkaari 23 A, 00700 Helsinki Map
Tel: 09 5868 410
Leinonen Group: 13 offices in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria

UHY TietoAkseli: Experts in financial administration, authorised accounting firm TietoAkseli works with Finnish entrepreneurs and companies, and Finnish subsidiaries of international companies. The Start-Up Package for a New Enterprise includes:

For companies and investors considering operations in Finland, TietoAkseli's free guidebook details the Finnish business environment, foreign investment, setting up, labour, taxation, accounting and reporting. Doing Business in Finland PDF
TietoAkseli has 4 offices in Finland and is the only Finnish member of global accountancy network UHY, with over 296 offices worldwide. En, Fi
Helsinki Office: Laajalahdentie 23, 00330 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: 010 3472 800

1Office Finland: 1Office provides a range of business services aimed at making the establishment and operation of a Finnish business simple. These include:

1Office Finland Oy is part of the 1Office Group, with offices in Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm and London. En, Fi, Ru, Est, Sw
Helsinki Office: Lautatarhankatu 6, 00580 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: +358 504 356 226

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:

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
Helsinki Office: Eerikinkatu 7, 00100 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: 09 4257 8260

FinTax Business Solutions: Authorised accounting firm providing Company Formations services including:

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
Helsinki Office: Itämerenkatu 5, 00180 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: 020 703 2010

Enterprise Finland: Advice for Entrepreneurs

Enterprise Finland , coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 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
See Also:

Registering a Business: The Finnish Trade Register

Administered by the Finnish Patent & Registration Office, the Trade Register is a public register containing information about businesses and companies in Finland. As a rule, all businesses have to be registered at the Trade Register.

Details can be obtained 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 Trade Register

Businesses also have to notify the register of any changes in their registered details, and most businesses must also submit their financial statements (annual accounts) to the register. This information also needs to be provided to the Finnish Tax Administration, but the procedure is simplified with the joint notification procedure. See next section, the Business Information System.

The Finnish Business Information System (YTJ / BIS)

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

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, your Y-tunnus is very handy - like a Personal Identity Code / Henkilötunnus for your company.

Company Search
Using a Y-tunnus, company name or keyword, you can search detailed information about Finnish companies at
Business Information System > In English
Search results appear at bottom of page; click the Business ID for the business you're looking for. Apart from contact details you will see the company form, 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.

Online Forms, Notices and Applications

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 most notification forms to make completion easier. They are grouped as Start-up notifications, Notifications of changes, and Notifications of termination of business and 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 submitted in Finnish or Swedish!
Business Information System > In English > Notifications

Opening a Finnish Corporate Bank Account

Opening an account for your company is generally quite simple. Following are the documents typically required, but due to variances between banks you should confirm prior to your meeting. You may need to book an appointment in advance.

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:

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.

Banks

See also: Banking

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