Boasting some of the most flexible working arrangements in the world, it’s no surprise that so many people are keen to work in Finland. But if you want to go one step further and set up a new business yourself, there are several key factors you’ll need to consider.
Launching a start-up is never easy. However, with the right preparation, you can make the process much less stressful. According to the World Bank’s 2019 report on the Ease of Doing Business, Finland has won the 17th spot, with the report particularly noting the ease of paying taxes in the country.
Whether you’re a Finnish national or registering your business as an expat, read on to discover how to set up a new business in Finland in 2021.
1. Submit your business to the Trade Register
In order to register your new business, you will need to submit the name and nature of your company to the Trade Register. In Finland, this is managed by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH).
Every year, there are approximately 30,000 new businesses added to the Trade Register. Once yours is added to the list, you will need to submit annual accounts (or other financial documents) to keep your records up to date.
Finding it hard to name your business? If you need any advice before you reach the stage of being able to register your new company, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment can offer advice in the following areas:
- Arranging your corporate form.
- Testing out your business idea and making your business plan.
- Sorting out your financing.
You can find this entrepreneurial advice by visiting the government authority online at Suomi.fi.
2. Open a company bank account
There are many other financial considerations you’ll need to make in order to set up your company. Unless you have a large amount of capital, you may well need to take out a business loan. Visit comparison sites to find a simple loan (in Finnish lainaa helposti) that will enable you to fund your vision.
If you’ve already launched your new company in Finland, you will need to open a company bank account. This isn’t the case everywhere else in the world – in England, for example, there is no legal obligation to open a business bank account if you run a limited company, although you are obliged to keep accurate financial records.
You will need your online banking credentials in order to log in to My Enterprise Finland. This is an online tool that will give you access to a digital workspace and other useful resources.
3. File a ‘start of the business’ notification
One of the final administrative steps you will need to complete is filing a ‘start of the business’ notification. As with your business name and financial documents, you’ll have to file this with the Trade Register (as well as with the appropriate tax administrations). This notification will signal that your new business is ready to start operations.
Always check whether your business requires additional licenses. As a foreign worker, you will also need a permit before you’re legally allowed to work in Finland.
Whatever your niche, we hope this how-to guide has shown you how to start setting up a new business in Finland.