Establishing a Business in Finland
- Jump Down to:
- Introduction: Start a Business in Finland
- Professional Services for Starting a Business
- Suomi.fi: Advice for Entrepreneurs
- Registering a Business: Trade Register
- Business Information System (YTJ / BIS)
- Online Forms, Notices and Applications
- Opening a Corporate Bank Account
- 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 6,500 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
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
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:
- 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 over 40 offices and 600+ employees in Finland, with 80+ partners world-wide. Service available in Finnish, English, Swedish, Russian, German, Estonian 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.
Website: English, Finnish, Russian, Swedish
Kamppi, Helsinki Office: Salomonkatu 17 A, 00100 Helsinki Map
Tel: local 010 321 6476 international +358 10 321 6476
Adcount: Established in 2005, Adcount is a Finnish accounting firm specialized in company formation and accounting and tax services for foreign companies and individuals. Adcount's incorporation package makes it simple to start your business or branch in Finland, from selecting the right company form to undertaking the entire registration process.
The incorporation package does not require a presence in Finland and can be conducted by email. For a limited company it includes:
- Preparation and filing of start-up notification
- Preparation and submission of all registration documents ( ex. Finnish Trade Register, Tax Authority, VAT)
- All paperwork for opening a bank account, including minutes of board meeting
- Support, documentation and follow-up in English throughout the process
Following company registration, Adcount offers a full range of accounting, tax and corporate services, ensuring your company meets all Finnish reporting and employer obligations. Service in English and Finnish. Head office in Helsinki. En, Fi
Helsinki Office: Kalevankatu 12, 00100 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: local 09 4257 8260 international +358 9 4257 8260
Leinonen: Authorised accounting firm Leinonen provides specialist expertise guiding and supporting international companies entering Finnish markets, Finnish companies establishing their businesses abroad, and development of Finnish-Estonian and Finnish-Russian trade. 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's local and international services include:
- Company formation
- Tax, business, financial advisory
- Accounting, auditing
- Payroll management, administration
- Service in Finland available in English, Russian, Estonian, Swedish and Finnish
- One hour free consultation for every new client
Helsinki Office: Malminkaari 23 A, 00700 Helsinki Map
Tel: local 09 5868 410 international +358 9 5868 410
Leinonen Group: 13 offices in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria
Azets: From day one, Azets' is able to handle all your business processes and financial management in Finland. Azets also provides company registration and advisory services, with local and international expertise ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements.
Azets' philosophy is to turn administrative and business processes into a competitive advantage, with experienced professionals helping clients implement efficient accounting, payroll, taxation and reporting procedures, and online tools to streamline and automate operations.
Azets advises on mergers and acquisitions, financial due diligence and management reporting, and offers group companies support in group reporting, IFRS reporting and US GAAP reporting.
All or part of your accounting, reporting, and payroll requirements can be handled by Azets in Finland; services are scalable and flexible. Service in Finland is available in English, Finnish and Swedish.
Finland HQ, Helsinki: Elielinaukio 5 B, 00100 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: local 010 756 40 international +358 10 756 40
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:
- A free no-obligation meeting to discuss planning, establishment, and financing
- Guidance in ex. legal compliance, employer obligations, partnership contracts
- Preparation of authorisations and notifications
- Tailored financial administration services
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 8 offices in Finland and is the only Finnish member of global accountancy network UHY, with 325 offices worldwide. En, Fi
Helsinki Office: Laajalahdentie 23, 00330 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: local 010 3472 800 international +358 10 3472 800
1Office Finland: 1Office provides a range of business services which simplify the establishment and operation of a Finnish business; all services can be easily purchased at 1Office's Online Store with a credit card or online banking. These include:
- Company foundation and registration services
- Accounting services and international tax consultation
- Legal services
- Virtual office, meeting room and secretarial services
The 1Office Finland Blog includes helpful articles for establishing a business in Finland.
1Office Finland Oy is part of the 1Office Group, with offices in Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm and London. En, Fi, Ru, Est, Sw
Helsinki Office:Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6E, 00100 Helsinki Finland Map
Tel: local 0942 450 286 international +358 942 450 286 Mon-Fri 08:00-16:00
Jasecon: Over 25 years' experience providing tailor-made services in company formation, accounting, taxation, and business consulting to companies from a variety of fields, from international public companies to domestic micro businesses. Jasecon's Start-Up service offers new clients a 97€ +VAT package for formation of a company (branch, permanent establishment, or other legal entity in Finland) which includes:
- Initial consulting
- Completion of all minutes and forms
- Walk-through until finalisation of registration
Jasecon's professional accounting services include financial reporting, payroll management, e-accounting, tax consulting, management consulting, administration, controlling, audit and legal services. Service is available in English, German, Estonian, Italian and Finnish.
Head Office: Vapaalantie 2 B 20, 01650 Vantaa Finland Map
Tel: local 010 821 6100 international +358 10 821 6100
Accounting Anne Ikonen Ltd.: 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 by evaluating 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 include payroll services, annual and VAT notifications, tax returns, advisory services, and local and international business taxation consultancy. Service in English, Finnish and Swedish.
Website: Accounting Anne Ikonen
Head Office: Salmelantie 3, 04500 Kellokoski Finland Map
Tel: local 050 502 1848 international +358 50 502 1848
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.
Suomi.fi > Starting a Business
- Finnish Enterprise Agencies' 2017 guide Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland PDF
Versions of this document are available in several languages at uusyrityskeskus.fi
- NewCo Helsinki Like Suomi.fi, with details of courses, information seminars, business tools, services - English, Finnish
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 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.
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 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 > Language > English > Corporate Customers
- Osuuspankki > In English > Corporate Customers
- Danske Bank (formerly Sampo) > In English > Business
See also: Banking
- Business-Plan.fi: Free site by Helsingin Uusyrityskeskus helps you build your business plan, including financial projections En, Fi, Sw
- Invest in Finland: Government agency providing free sector-specific expertise to international companies seeking business opportunities in Finland.
- Business Finland Services and funding opportunities to help your business grow and innovate.
- 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
- Ministry of Economic Affairs & Employment > In English > Enterprises: Promotes entrepreneurial activity, including development and finance activities
- Suomi.fi: Multilingual e-services and downloadable forms from Finnish government agencies and local authorities