Establishing a Business in Finland
- Introduction: Start a Business in Finland
- Professional Services for Starting a Business
- Advice for Entrepreneurs
- Registering a Business: Trade Register
- Business Information System (YTJ / BIS)
- Online Forms, Notices and Applications
- Opening a Corporate Bank Account
- Relocation Services
- Business Premises in Finland
- Employer & Entrepreneur Obligations
Summary: Establishing a Finnish business, Finnish firms offering professional start-up advice and services in English+, Business ID and the Trade Register, BIS - The Business Information System, Forms and notifications, Corporate banking
Introduction to Starting a Business in Finland
Finland is an easy place to do business, for foreign companies and entrepreneurs alike. Plenty of assistance is available, and over 10,000 Finnish businesses have been established by people who have moved from abroad.
You will need to arrange funding, make a business plan, select your company form, obtain any required trade-specific permits, register your business, arrange the necessary insurance, and organise your accounting (see Accounting Practices and Accountants).
Funding: See Development & Finance
Business plan: You should have this for yourself as well as for consultants and investors. Free assistance at Suomi.fi and Business Plan
Company form: 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.
Permits: Certain types of business need a permit or licence from, or inspection by the authorities. Check whether permits or notifications are required for your business at Suomi.fi: Permits and Obligations
Registration: 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
Insurance: Employers and entrepreneurs alike have certain insurance obligations. See Employer & Entrepreneur Obligations
Definition of Authorised Accounting Firm: To be eligible an accounting firm must be a member of and comply with the rules of the Association of Finnish Accounting Firms, and meet the requirements specified in the Institute for Accountancy’s rules concerning authorised accounting firms.
Note: Setting up as an entrepreneur impacts your pension obligations 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.
Companies House Finland
Companies House aims to have your business operational in Finland with minimal effort from you. Your company is quickly and easily established and operating in accordance with local laws and regulations. Companies House Finland services are ideal for foreign companies setting up a subsidiary or branch in Finland.
Business Registration support:
- Choosing the most appropriate company form (e.g. subsidiary or branch)
- Registering your company with the Finnish Trade Register
- Opening a corporate bank account
- Finding Board members or other key people for your company in Finland
Setting Up support:
- Finding an office, production facility or other premises
- Assistance with business development funding and applications
- Ensuring statutory compliance, e.g. accounting, occupational healthcare, pension insurance
- Help with recruitment, sales and marketing, and legal matters
Any needs which cannot be met by Companies House can usually be fulfilled within their partner network. Services are available in English, Spanish, and Finnish. Companies House also provides Relocation Services, helping your employees feel at home from day 1.
Boutique firm specializing in permanent establishments, branches and serving the expat community. Over 25 years' experience serving clients from international public companies to domestic microbusinesses. Comprehensive company formation, accounting, financial reporting, payroll, consulting, administration, controlling, and audit and legal services. Jasecon's Start-Up service offers new clients an international company registration package or all-inclusive Finnish company formation package (branch, permanent establishment, or other legal entity in Finland) includiing:
- Initial consulting
- Completion of all minutes and forms
- Walk-through until finalisation of registration
Jasecon's head office is in Vantaa. Services are available in English, Finnish, Estonian, German and Italian.
Fully authorised accounting and financial administration group with a strong 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:
- Legal aspects and the Finnish legal system
- Key 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
- Starting a Business in Finland Information and PDF
Rantalainen has over 60 locations and over 1,100 experts in Finland, with 80+ partners world-wide. Service available in Finnish, English, Swedish, Russian, German, Estonian, French and Spanish - please ask about other languages. International Services cover the whole of Finland, with offices for example in Helsinki City Centre and by Helsinki Airport.
With over 15 years' experience, Adcount is a leading agent providing company formation and registration services for the following company forms in Finland:
Limited Liability Company, Branch in Finland, Foreign Business in Finland, Private / Sole Trader.
If you need help choosing the right company form, Adcount offers a 1-hour consultation on how to start a business in Finland.
Following company registration, Adcount offers a full range of accounting, compliance, and payroll services, ensuring your company meets all Finnish reporting and employer obligations. Service in English and Finnish. Head office in Helsinki.
From advice and company registration on day one, Azets can handle all your business processes and financial management in Finland. Azets' local and international expertise ensures your enterprise complies with regulations, and makes smart decisions, in matters such as company form, HR, and payroll & accounting. Foreign companies setting up in Finland are assisted with the critical choice of legal entity - foreign company, branch or subsidiary?
Once you're established, Azets' philosophy is to turn administrative processes into a competitive advantage, helping clients implement efficient accounting, payroll, taxation and reporting procedures, with online tools to streamline and automate operations. You can outsource all your financial administration to Azets, or specific tasks only, and all services are scalable and flexible.
Azets supports group reporting and, among others, US GAAP, IFRS, and SOX.
Service available in English, Finnish and Swedish.
1Office provides a wide range of business services, making the establishment of a Finnish business, and its operation, simple. Furthermore, 1Office offers the same services in Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and the UK.
Very much a 'one-stop shop' to get you up and running, all services can be purchased at 1Office's Online Store. Among others these include:
- Company foundation and registration services
- Accounting services and international tax consultation
- Legal: commercial / labour / contract law advice, document preparation
- Virtual office, meeting room and secretarial services
The 1Office Blog includes informative articles on starting and running a business in Finland - as well as 1Office's other countries of operation.
1Office Finland is part of the 1Office Group, with 7 offices in Europe and the UK providing both local know-how and international experience.
1Office Group: 1office.co
Authorised accounting firm Leinonen is a leader in company formation services for businesses of all types, with extensive cross-border expertise for international companies entering Finnish markets, and Finnish companies establishing their businesses abroad.
As an industry leader in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe, Leinonen also helps clients in development of European trade.
Leinonen's local and international services include:
- Company formation
- Tax, business, financial advisory
- Accounting, auditing
- Payroll management, administration
Established as Tehotilit Oy in 1989, Leinonen Finland has become Finland's most international accountancy company, operating as part of the Leinonen Group in 12 countries. Service is available in English, Russian, Estonian, Swedish and Finnish.
The Leinonen Group has offices in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Belarus and Bulgaria.
Accounting Agency Mesiperä Ltd
Mesiperä offers guidance and assistance starting a business in Finland, to have you rolling out quickly, easily, and affordably.
- What are the different company types, and which is best for you?
- What else do you need to plan for?
- Should you be self-employed or switch to more structured entrepreneurship?
- Advice on, or preparation and filing of, notifications and registration documents
- See Mesiperä's informative article Starting a Business in Finland
Once you're established, Mesiperä's affordable digital accounting services help make business operation and development fast and easy, allowing you to focus on your core skills. Clients have access to the Fennoa financial administration suite - modern, efficient and versatile financial management software. Service Finland-wide, in English or Finnish.
Accounting Anne Ikonen Ltd
Anne Ikonen provides personal service with over 20 years' experience. Full range of accounting services and business formation services including:
- Company foundation and registration
- Identifying sources of start-up and back-up
- Selecting the best business structure for tax advantages and legal exposure
- Payroll and payroll tax filing if you become an employer
- Compliance with employment laws
- Identifying business insurance needs
- Identifying needs and benefits of audit services
Tailored bookkeeping, accounting and financial services including tax returns, payroll services, annual and VAT notifications. Local and international business taxation. Personnel management and business advisory services. Service in English, Finnish and Swedish.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Government authority Suomi.fi 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 Suomi.fi'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.
Web: Suomi.fi > Starting a Business
Finnish Enterprise Agencies
There are 30 Enterprise Agencies in Finland offering free and confidential business counselling to all interested in entrepreneurship.
Help for entrepreneurs, Does entrepreneurship suit me?, Planning a business, Setting up a business.
See also: Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland, 2023 PDF
Versions of this document are available in several languages
NewCo Helsinki Details of courses, information seminars, business tools, and services.
NewCo Helsinki is soon to become part of Business Helsinki. If the link fails, visit
www.hel.fi/en/ > Business and work > Businesses and entrepreneurs
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
- 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, your Y‑tunnus is very handy - like a Personal Identity Code / Henkilötunnus for your company.
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
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:
- 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 > Business
- Osuuspankki > Corporate Customers
- Danske Bank > For Business
See also: Banking
Links to other sites are direct to the relevant page, where possible
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